Ideas Can’t Be Banned: Reading Lists That Name the Issues

Friday, June 9, 2023
For more than thirty years, The New Press has been a leading publisher of diverse narratives and books that provide cutting-edge analyses and critical perspectives. As a not-for-profit, public interest publisher, it has been our mission to provide books on topics and by authors traditionally ignored by mainstream publishers—books that facilitate social change, enrich public discourse, and defend democratic values, including from historically disenfranchised voices and on underrepresented subjects such as race, economic inequality, LGBTQ+ communities, criminal justice, and environmental reform.
Over the last few years we’ve seen a rise in attacks targeting communities, classrooms, cultural spaces, and more in school districts, cities, and states across the country. These attacks are made through legislation, bans, and the rewriting of curriculum that seek to dehumanize minority groups and skew the telling of history—from bills that criminalize gender-affirming care to attempts to censor the teaching of history to a shocking increase in book bans.
Our authors and books have been invoked and included in this current wave of censorship, but it’s not the first time New Press books have been banned. In the face of this censorship and attempts to restrict dialogue and scholarship, we’re naming the issues, saying them out loud, and sharing a series of reading lists that provide a deep dive into topics that are in the spotlight.
From photobooks to anthologies, this collection of books celebrates the rich diversity of the queer community and honors the vibrant history and ongoing work of LGBTQ+ activism.
This list provides essential reading to better understand the relationship between history, race, and the legal system.
From memoirs on the impact of incarceration to comprehensive primers on police abolition written by activists, lawyers, and the formerly incarcerated, this collection of books offers the tools to reimagine our justice system.
We hope that these titles shed light on the issues, provide nuance and understanding, and spur conversations that lead to reflection and change. 
The New Press is able to fulfill its mission of publishing books for a more inclusive, just, and equitable world through the support of readers, foundation grants, and contributions from individual donors.
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