Daniel Boone cover

Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone
Daugherty
1939

Submitter: In Daniel Boone, Native Americans are variously described as savages, demons, “rats in the night,” “infesting the woods,” cat-eyed, and “as doomed as the buffalo.” White skin or white racial identity is frequently painted as superior to other races, for example: “The great landlords were demanding costly land titles and bringing in slave labor so that it was a disgrace for a white man to work with his hands” (page 25).

Bram Stoker cover

Bram Stoker is Possessed

The Man Who Wrote Dracula: A biography of Bram Stoker
Farson
1975

Submitter: This may not be so much an awful library book as it is an awful book cover. We can see from an inside photo that Stoker was a decent looking guy, so why the demonic possession eye treatment? I’m guessing the publishers wanted to ride The Exorcist wave as this book was published in 1975 after the 1973 film release. Better yet, the author was the great nephew of Stoker, so you think he’d want to honor his relative rather than make him look like an evil character. We have plenty of other (better) Stoker biographies so this one had to go.

Holly: What a strange choice of cover art! I swear I’ve seen this cover before, actually, but it’s not part of my library’s collection and I don’t see it in a previous ALB post. That’s a face you don’t forget, though!

Columbus cover

Columbus Day Fail

Columbus
D’Aulaire
1955

Submitter: We had a homeschool family Interloan this book for schooling purposes. We are so glad it is NOT on our shelves nor will it be. Reviews praise the artwork but that does not save this book. Besides the fact it is quite old with original copyright of 1955, it is just all wrong for educating children about Columbus. Using terms of “red skin savages” and “yellow skin” and “slanty eyes” is not acceptable; it is all stereotypes and glorifying the “white explorers” who save everyone they discover. This book will only teach you all the wrong facts about Columbus!

Holly: Not to mention it’s all highlighted and scribbled in!

Great Men of India cover

Great Men of India

Great Men of India, Including Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi
Williams
1985

Submitter: I work at an international school library in India, and the collection development philosophy in the India section seemed to be: “Never throw anything away. Ever.” The dusty, damaged, and out of date outnumber the relevant, unfortunately, so I’ve decided it’s time to take a deep breath and dive in. These are just some of today’s treasures, including my favorite of the day: Great Men of India, Including Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi […]. It’s not the oldest, or most inaccurate, or even the most damaged. I’m just amazed that in 1985 people thought that “men” was a non-gender-specific term.

Holly: They even put a woman on the cover! If this isn’t the most damaged, then I’d hate to see the rest of the collection.

Al Franken cover

Al Franken

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate
Franken
2017

Submitter: So, I was making a delivery of intra-network media transfers to a local college library the other day, and as I was waiting for the right person to accept the delivery and fetch my pick-up, my eyes scanned the shelves, just happening to fall upon the “political commentary” shelves. I spotted this tome sitting there, pulled it off, and immediately recognized it as probably dated with “weeding” potential.