A lit­tle book widely red

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IT was known as “the book that shook the world” and banned from sale in mul­ti­ple coun­tries.

The Lit­tle Red School­book hit Aus­tralian book­stores in 1972 and was an in­stant hit. thanks to the world­wide con­tro­versy pre­ced­ing its re­lease.

The sub­ver­sive book, sell­ing for $1.75, was writ­ten by two Dan­ish school­teach­ers and frankly dis­cussed sex, con­tra­cep­tion, drugs, al­co­hol and ed­u­ca­tion — and un­leashed hys­te­ria from tra­di­tion­al­ists for its per­mis­sive stance and an­ti­au­thor­i­tar­ian ad­vice.

Lead­ing Aus­tralian con­ser­va­tive Bob San­ta­maria re­port­edly said the book was “not even suit­able for adults with weak stom­achs”.

It was de­nounced by the Pope as sac­ri­le­gious.

And it was banned in the UK, where its pub­lisher was suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted un­der the Ob­scene Pub­li­ca­tions Act, as well as in New Zealand, France, Italy — and Queens­land. As The Sun re­ported at the time, Mel­bourne par­ents were quick to buy the book, which de­lib­er­ately echoed Mao’s Lit­tle Red Book in ti­tle and de­sign.

One woman looked hor­ri­fied when a book­seller told her the book con­tained “ev­ery­thing your chil­dren want to know”.

The book’s re­lease here came af­ter fed­eral Cab­i­net backed cus­toms min­is­ter Don Chipp’s de­ci­sion to let it go on sale, but it also de­cided to try to stop the book be­ing dis­trib­uted in schools.

It was a vin­di­ca­tion of Mr Chipp, who had let it be known he would re­sign if he was over­ruled.

If you read the book in 1972, let us know what you thought.

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