The Little Red Schoolbook
|The little red schoolbook|
Cover of the first edition
|Author||Søren Hansen, Jesper Jensen|
The Little Red Schoolbook (Danish: Den Lille Røde Bog For Skoleelever; [English: The Little Red Book For Students)] is a book written by two Danish schoolteachers, Søren Hansen (b. 28 Mar 1940) and Jesper Jensen in 1969, which was controversial upon its publication. The book was translated into many languages in the early 1970s
The book encourages young people to question societal norms and instructs them in how to do this. Out of 200 pages, it includes 20 pages on sex and 30 on drugs, including alcohol and tobacco. Other topics included adults as "paper tigers", the duties of teachers, discipline, examinations, intelligence, and different schools.
As a result of its subject matter and its targeted audience of schoolchildren, a number of politicians in many countries criticised the book, fearing that the book would erode the moral fabric of society and be an invitation for anarchy in schools. The LRSB was banned in France and Italy.
In Switzerland, the Bernese cantonal politician Hans Martin Sutermeister led a campaign against the book. He was successful in temporarily blocking the introduction of the book into the country. The subsequent controversy, however, cost him his job as school director of the Swiss capital and contributed to a split in his party, the Ring of Independents, which led to its mid-term decline.
In the UK, the book was the subject of a successful prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act, a decision that was upheld by the Appeal Court and subsequently by the European Court of Human Rights in the case known as Handyside v United Kingdom. The government however allowed a second, censored edition to be published, in which some of the passages criticised in court were amended or cut.
It was discussed critically by Peter Hitchens in his book The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost its Way (2009). It was the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary in 2008 presented and produced by Jolyon Jenkins.
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- Handyside v United Kingdom
- The Little Red Songbook album by Momus
- BBC Radio 4 - In Living Memory - The Little Red Schoolbook 18 June 2008
- 2005/214/1 Book, Australian Edition 'The little red schoolbook', Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia
- Klaus H. Thiele-Dohrmann, “Ruhestörung in Bern.” Die Zeit July 24, 1970 (German)
- “Der SPIEGEL berichtete: Schüler-Lehrerbeziehung.” Der Spiegel 28/1970, July 6, 1970 (German)
- Documentary about the book's effect in Australia: "As It Happened: The Book that Shook the World". EnhanceTV. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
- Prosecution of the book in the UK (with further references): "As It Happened: The Book that Shook the World". MILESAGO. 2004. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
- Full scans of the original book at the National Library of Australia