Last updated 3/15/2021 at 12:40pm

In response to Art Cole’s recent letter about the cessation of publication of six Dr. Seuss titles, in which he claims their demise is due to “The Cancel Culture;” here is a direct quote from the conservators of the author’s estate:

“To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,’ ‘If I Ran the Zoo,’ ‘McElligot’s Pool,’ ‘On Beyond Zebra!,’ ‘Scrambled Eggs Super!,’ and ‘The Cat’s Quizzer.’ These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

We do know, from the release, that the estate deemed that to continue publishing these books is both harmful and wrong. We do not know how many others of the Dr. Seuss series are out of print or otherwise unavailable. We do not know how many copies of the retired books were sold per year over the last decade (this may well be a tempest in a teapot). We do not know the profitability of each of the retired books (the decision may well have had an economic component).

We also know that many books are retired, some for economic reasons (there is no demand); some for social reasons: here is a list of the most commonly banned books (largely, though not exclusively, at the instigation of social conservatives): “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald; “The Catcher in the Rye,” by JD Salinger; “The Grapes of Wrath,” by John Steinbeck; “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee; “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker; “Ulysses,” by James Joyce; “Beloved, by Toni Morrison; and “The Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding; and some for no apparent reason at all.

In my opinion, this matter has received as much publicity as it has because certain elements of our society and certain elements of the press thrive on outrage-generated divisiveness.


Peter B. Mockridge



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