"'Huckleberry Finn' is, among other things, a complex, serious book. And it should be taught as such--to children old enough to think and read with imagination. The supposedly racially insensitive tale, with its repeated use of the word 'nigger,' is the most devastating portrait of American white trash and white-trash racism that has ever been written. 'Huck Finn' savages racism as thoroughly as any document in American history...After 'Huckleberry Finn' was published in 1885, the Public Library in Concord, Massachusetts, banned the book. As the 'Boston Transcript' reported: 'One member of the committee says that, while he does not wish to call it immoral, he thinks it contains but little humor, and that of a very coarse type. He regards it as the veriest trash. The librarian and the other members of the committee entertain similar views, characterizing it as rough, coarse, and inelegant.'"RINEHART AND WINSTON HOLT is the author of 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: With Connections (HRW Library)', published 2000 under ISBN 9780030951596 and ISBN 0030951593.