WGCU Interview: “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media”

At WGCU Radio in Southwest Florida, Mike Kiniry recently interviewed Jacob Mchangama about current threats to free speech and his book Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media. ___ After the United States Constitution was ratified, Congress adopted ten amendments which were then ratified by three-fourths of the states, and these ten amendments […]

CBS News: How free speech is under attack in the U.S.

America was built on the premise of free speech, but today’s news is filled with examples of limiting people’s expression – from prohibitions against misinformation, to book bans and state laws restricting how teachers can discuss such topics as racial injustice, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Correspondent David Pogue talks with writers and academics about […]

Foreing Affairs: The War on Free Speech – Censorship’s Global Rise

The roots of free speech are ancient, deep, and sprawling. The Athenian statesman Pericles extolled the democratic values of open debate and tolerance of social dissent in 431 BC. In the ninth century, the irreverent freethinker Ibn al-Rawandi used the fertile intellectual climate of the Abbasid caliphate to question prophecy and holy books. In 1582, […]

Wall Street Journal: Will Banning Hate Speech Make Europe Safer?

A new EU plan targeting extremists ignores history’s lessons about the danger of restricting unpopular views. Shortly before Christmas, the European Commission—the EU’s executive arm—announced a plan with dangerous implications for free speech in Europe. Citing a “tsunami of hate and xenophobia” targeting ethnic and religious minorities, LGBT+ people, the disabled and women, the commission […]

The Economist: A history of free expression charts its seesawing progress

Repression leads to liberalisation and vice versa, says Jacob Mchangama Free Speech. By Jacob Mchangama. Basic Books; 528 pages; $32 and £25 Aglobal firestorm erupted in 2005 after the publication in a Danish newspaper of 12 provocative cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Jacob Mchangama, a Dane and then a young lawyer, was dismayed. In the Muslim world he […]

Kirkus Review: Free Speech – A History from Socrates to Social Media

A comprehensive history of free speech from ancient to modern times. In this well-researched and highly readable book, Copenhagen-based writer Mchangama, host of the podcast series Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech, traces the history of free speech around the world, examining the views of both its advocates and its suppressors. The author […]