Author Susan Dennard recently hired a fan to review her portrayal of a transgender character. (Courtesy of Emily Rae Photography)

I read with dismay, but alas without surprise, the article “Touchy subject:  The hiring of book readers to flag sensitivity” [Style, Feb. 13]. Our obsession with “sensitivity” or “political correctness” has reached an absurd level.  Had “Othello,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” or “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” been submitted for review today, none would have survived the scrutiny of the “sensitivity readers.”  

Douglas Southall Freeman’s majestic work “Lee’s Lieutenants” never would have passed muster without a ringing denunciation of slavery and Freeman’s complicity in it by treating the Confederacy’s battlefield leaders with intelligence and insight.

This kind of “sensitivity review” differs in degree, but not in kind, from the censorship of the Catholic Church against which Giuseppe Verdi struggled and the repressiveness of the Soviet state that almost robbed Dmitri Shostakovich of his sanity.  

Timothy Snider, Charlottesville