For inmates locked up at the Utah State Prison, copies of John Grisham’s “A Time to Kill,” the classic “Crime and Punishment” and each installment in the “Game of Thrones” series are encouraged reading. Two provocative guidebooks are not. As the only titles on the prison’s banned books list, “The 48 Laws of Power” and “The Art of Seduction,” both by Robert Greene, are not allowed inside the institution’s towering wire fences, the Salt Lake Tribune reports The reason? They’re all about manipulation.
The ban was categorized as a security measure, accompanied by a brief explanation. Prison officials feared the books, could show inmates “how to control people, how to get people to do exactly what you want them to do,” says prison librarian Christie Jensen. Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power” has been described as the “bible for atheists,” “chicken soup for the soulless” and, by The New Yorker, a manual on “how to be a creep.”