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Free Speech - A History from Socrates to Social Media

Book presentation

Sunday 13 February 2022, by siawi3

Source: https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/jacob-mchangama/free-speech/9781541620339/

Free Speech
A History from Socrates to Social Media

by Jacob Mchangama

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781541620339
USD: $18.99 / CAD: $22.99

ON SALE: February 8th 2022

Genre: Nonfiction / Political Science / Censorship

PAGE COUNT: 528

“The best history of free speech ever written and the best defense of free speech ever made.” —P.J. O’Rourke

Hailed as the “first freedom,” free speech is the bedrock of democracy. But it is a challenging principle, subject to erosion in times of upheaval. Today, in democracies and authoritarian states around the world, it is on the retreat.

In Free Speech, Jacob Mchangama traces the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of this idea. Through captivating stories of free speech’s many defenders—from the ancient Athenian orator Demosthenes and the ninth-century freethinker al-Rāzī, to the anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and modern-day digital activists—Mchangama reveals how the free exchange of ideas underlies all intellectual achievement and has enabled the advancement of both freedom and equality worldwide. Yet the desire to restrict speech, too, is a constant, and he explores how even its champions can be led down this path when the rise of new and contrarian voices challenge power and privilege of all stripes.

Meticulously researched and deeply humane, Free Speech demonstrates how much we have gained from this principle—and how much we stand to lose without it.

VIDEO here 1:30

Praise

“Mchangama’s conclusions, presented in a crisp and confident march through Western history, are sobering.”—Economist

“A work with no real counterpart, at once vividly told, masterfully researched, and exceptionally executed page after page as the history of free speech breaches the barriers of time to come alive with verve and profundity. Given its breadth and depth, Mchangama’s work may well prove to be one of the most important books on free speech published in our lifetimes — an extraordinary achievement!”—First Amendment News

“[Free Speech makes] a persuasive argument that free discourse is essential to democracy, breaking down systems of oppression, and challenging existing social hierarchies… Readers on both the right and the left seeking insights into modern day debates over free speech will welcome this evenhanded and wide ranging history.”—Publishers Weekly