Banned Books Validate Superior Intelligence & Worthwhile Reading

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This is BANNED BOOKS WEEK. Here’s a book, written by Jesse & Frank James’ first cousin Dan James. Like Jesse James, the book was banned in its day. But today, Dan’s book is famous, widely read, and seriously studied in college courses, together with his films. So, too, is Dan James.

 

book cover
Famous All Over Town by Danny Santiago

 

Daniel Lewis James was blacklisted, first as a Hollywood screenwriter after co-writing the screen classic The Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin. Then later, Dan James was banned as a novelist.

The House on Un-American Activities Committee, convened by the U. S. Congress, branded Dan James as a Communist on evidence of hearsay. Dan was driven underground to write B-movies instead, one of them the screen classic Gorgo.

When Daniel Lewis James published his novel Famous All Over Town under the Hispanic pen name of Danny Santiago, the Hispanic literati exposed him. Attempting to ban his book, they brown listed Dan James and Danny Santiago, the fictional author who did not exist.

Today, Dan’s novel is celebrated and taught in college in Hispanic studies classes. The chapter in my book, Jesse James Soul Liberty,  about Dan James, titled “All For the Underdog,” has been made into a play, commissioned by the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. The play was written by the award-winning Hispanic playwright, Carlos Murillo.

There have been various efforts to ban my book, Jesse James Soul Liberty. The Northfield Historical Society will not carry the book in its bookstore. Do they fear the return of the James family to Northfield in book form will steal the fortune they gather each year celebrating Jesse James defeat?

The Kansas City Star has refused to review the book, because, they say, the book’s publisher is not on the newspaper’s list of approved publishers. Do they fear a publisher who isn’t a gatekeeper will slip something new into the book market? Will that new information threaten what they’ve already approved?

A Missouri state representative, when asked about making the book available at James Farm & Museum in Kentucky, has stated, “I couldn’t give a s _ _ t about Jesse James!” Many of Missouri’s politicians today would simply like to be rid of the name and its association. They think that banning a book about the Jesse James family will erase the outlaw’s sad history. They believe that restricting what people read, and banning what they think people should not read, will guarantee proper social behavior.

I wish them all every success for banning my book, as well as others. Banishment certainly will ensure my book will be around for generations to come. History has proved, authors of banned books tend to become very successful, and their books become widely read. As my book shows, among the James family being banned or persecuted is evidence of significant accomplishment.

As much as books are banned by those of lesser intelligence, banned books are celebrated by those of higher intelligence. After all, isn’t that how one gains higher intelligence? By reading books? By reading all kinds of books? You will know a person’s level of intelligence by the number of banned books they read.

Cover for Stray Leaves Daily
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Stray Leaves Daily

Stray Leaves Daily

Daily updates from the family of Frank & Jesse James with stories, photos, & two searchable genealog

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2 months ago
Stray Leaves Daily

FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
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FIND-A-GRAVE BLUNDERS LEAVE JAMES FAMILY HOWLING . . . Can you spot the errata in this Find a Grave post for the grandfather of Frank & Jesse James? The most glaring deception is the photograph!

History tells us the photograph was invented about the time John M. James was dying. Neither history, nor the administrator of this posting, Charlotte Raley McConaha, can tell us is how photographic technology made its way from France to the distant American frontier to take a photo of John M. James, months before his demise.

Another imprecise miscalculation in this post is the attribution of the middle name “Martin” to John M. James. The name never has been proved by evidence. To guess the name is unreliable and wrong.
2 months ago
Stray Leaves Daily

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Here’s the statement: "It is a sad year for us in the Gang. Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death. We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year. Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc. Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going." The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize. See MoreSee Less

JAMES-YOUNGER GANG TO CLOSE . . . Sad news as Danny Urban, former President of the J-Y Gang, posted to Facebook that the organization is about to disband. Heres the statement: It is a sad year for us in the Gang.  Since I originally posted this, we have lost members due to death.  We are down to around 30, but the Board has decided to shut the Gang down at the end of the year.  Donate all of our monies to Non-Profits around the country that are history related in the areas that the real Gang had robbed, etc.  Two of our members will be taking over the website and they plan on keeping it going. The photo below is of yours truly in 2002 at the family reunion with some great-grandchildren of Jesse James. The 2017 logo is from the last meeting of the Gang that I helped to organize.
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