In “The effort to ‘delete’ American novelist Norman Mailer,” David Walsh argues that “[t]he censorship of Mailer’s work has a thoroughly reactionary, antidemocratic content.” Walsh summarizes the Cancel Mailer movement so far, putting in context with the other controversies in Mailer’s life. He continues:
The issue of the artistic and social value of Mailer’s work is not the central one here. The WSWS chronicled in detail his decline from the left-wing stance of his early works, The Naked and the Dead (1948) and Barbary Shore (1951), which, despite their problematic elements, remain eminently worth reading, to his later, often self-destructive clowning. Along the way, there are no doubt important, truthful and oppositional portions of his vast output of fiction and journalism. Objectively speaking, Mailer was, in any event, the product and victim of definite historical circumstances, the stagnant and reactionary postwar years in the US with their state religion of anti-communism.