Information

Freedom of Speech


The freedom of speech is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Never regarded as an absolute right, the limits within which free speech could be confined as well as the definition of speech have received the attention of the Supreme Court since the earliest years of the republic.When movies were introduced in the first years of the 20th century, they immediately came attracted the attention of the guardians of public morality. Griffith`s classic film "The Birth of a Nation" was openly supportive of the aristocratic Southern view of Reconstruction, and drew criticism from around the country. Griffith responded with an article in 1916 called "The Rise and Fall of Free Speech in America," in which he excoriated such thinking:

The right of free speech has cost centuries upon centuries of untold sufferings and agonies; it has cost rivers of blood; it has taken as its toll uncounted fields littered with the carcasses of human beings -- all this that there might come to live and survive that wonderful thing, the power of free speech. ...They tell us we must not show crime in a motion picture. We cannot listen to such nonsense. These people would not have us show the glories and beauties of the most wonderful moral lesson the world has ever known -- the life of Christ -- because in that story we must show the vice of the traitor Judas Iscariot.

One consideration has been the right of citizens to dissent from the conduct of a duly declared war. During World War I, the United States passed an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917, known as the Sedition Act of 1918, and under its terms, Jacob Abrams and other defendants were convicted of circulating Communist literature critical of American participation in the war. Their convictions were upheld by the Supreme Court in Abrams et al. v. United States in a ruling in November 1919, but Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote a dissent which stands as a landmark in the defense of free speech:

But, as against dangers peculiar to war, as against others, the principle of the right to free speech is always the same. It is only the present danger of immediate evil or an intent to bring it about that warrants Congress in setting a limit to the expression of opinion where private rights are not concerned. Congress certainly cannot forbid all effort to change the mind of the country. Now nobody can suppose that the surreptitious publishing of a silly leaflet by an unknown man, without more, would present any immediate danger that its opinions would hinder the success of the government arms or have any appreciable tendency to do so.

In another case, Holmes delivered what has become one of the most famous expressions of the limits of free speech. Writing in Schenck v. United States, also in 1919, he stated, "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic."The book Ulysses by James Joyce was published in Paris in 1922 but banned in the United States. Joyce`s American publishers sued to have the ban overturned, which they achieved in the 1933 ruling in the District Court of New York.At the time of the First World War, a young Harvard law professor name Zechariah Chafee grew concerned about the impact that war fever was having on the freedom of speech. After the war, he drew together a number of his articles into a book entitled, Freedom of Speech, which appeared in 1921. Freedom of Speech influenced a generation of legal thinking about the power of the First Amendment.Seeing the situation before World War II trending toward that of the previous great war, Chafee revised and expanded his work into Free Speech in the United States in 1942. It was a ringing endorsement of the value of free speech in a society that should value its leadership on moral issues as much as its military prowess:

My contention is that the pertinacious orators and writers who get hauled up are merely extremist spokesmen for a mass of more thoughtful and more retiring men and women, who share in varying degrees the same critical attitude toward prevailing politics and institutions. When you put the hotheads in jail, these cooler people do not get arrested -- they just keep quiet. And so we lose things they could tell us, which would be very advantageous for the future course of the nation. Once the prosecutions begin, then the hush-hush begins too. Discussion becomes one-sided and artificial. Questions that need to be threshed out do not get threshed out.

Another topic has been the dividing line between commercial and political speech. The Constitution does not address the difference, but the Supreme Court has tended to view commercial speech as being of a different sort, so that regulations regarding advertising and the like could be constitutionally imposed.It is generally agreed that obscenity is not protected speech, but no clear definition has been produced. Justice Potter Stewart famously declared in Jacobellis v. Ohio that while the Supreme court was perhaps being asked to define what may be indefinable, "I know it when I see it." The question of artistic value in pornography has led to some forms being given First Amendment protection.Freedom of speech has been extended to forms of expression not commonly regarded as speech. Works of art expressing viewpoints have been given constitutional protection. When the act of burning the United States flag became a symbol of protest during the Vietnam War, Congress attempted to make desecration of the flag illegal, but the Supreme Court declared it to be protected free speech.In recent years, spending on political campaigns has risen sharply and legislatures at the state and national level have attempted to place limits on campaign advertising. The Supreme Court has been ruling generally against limitations. Its 5-to-4 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission overruled a previous 1990 decision in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce that had upheld limits.


Freedom of speech in the United States

In the United States, freedom of speech and expression is strongly protected from government restrictions by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, many state constitutions, and state and federal laws. Freedom of speech, also called free speech, means the free and public expression of opinions without censorship, interference and restraint by the government. [1] [2] [3] [4] The term "freedom of speech" embedded in the First Amendment encompasses the decision what to say as well as what not to say. [5] The Supreme Court of the United States has recognized several categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment and has recognized that governments may enact reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions on speech. The First Amendment's constitutional right of free speech, which is applicable to state and local governments under the incorporation doctrine, [6] prevents only government restrictions on speech, not restrictions imposed by private individuals or businesses unless they are acting on behalf of the government. [7] However, laws may restrict the ability of private businesses and individuals from restricting the speech of others, such as employment laws that restrict employers' ability to prevent employees from disclosing their salary to coworkers or attempting to organize a labor union. [8]

The First Amendment's freedom of speech right not only proscribes most government restrictions on the content of speech and ability to speak, but also protects the right to receive information, [9] prohibits most government restrictions or burdens that discriminate between speakers, [10] restricts the tort liability of individuals for certain speech, [11] and prevents the government from requiring individuals and corporations to speak or finance certain types of speech with which they do not agree. [12] [13] [14]

Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment include obscenity (as determined by the Miller test), fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, [15] speech that incites imminent lawless action, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. [16] [17] Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as rights for authors over their works (copyright), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons, restrictions on the use of untruths to harm others (slander and libel), and communications while a person is in prison. When a speech restriction is challenged in court, it is presumed invalid and the government bears the burden of convincing the court that the restriction is constitutional. [18]


  • Structured mode
  • Speech Output mode
  • Text Attribute Indicators
  • Line mode

Structured Mode gives you descriptive information about the current dialog and/or control. If there is no special descriptive information, such as in a text document, the braille display behaves as if it were in Line Mode. By default, JAWS is configured to use Structured Mode.
Structured Mode is designed to provide one or two lines of descriptive information about menu dialogs and their controls. The additional information offered in Structured Mode is particularly helpful because it lets you navigate the dialog and its controls faster. When specific dialog and/or control type information is in focus, JAWS uses braille and specific braille abbreviations to compose a "structured line" that describes the screen information on your braille display. JAWS also attempts to position the structured line on the display so the most relevant information, such as a prompt, appears at the beginning of the display.
If Braille Follows Active is selected, JAWS switches to Line Mode when the Braille cursor moves away from the control that is in focus. This gives you an exact representation of the information on the screen. When the Braille cursor moves back to the control in focus, JAWS switches to Structured Mode.
In Structured Mode, the braille being displayed will be aligned with the focused control information, such as the state and label of a check box, as this is considered to be the most relevant information a user would want. You may need to PAN LEFT so you can see the title of the dialog box and the page title if it contains multiple pages. When in a structured line, your PANNING keys allow you to see any information about the structured line not showing on the display. This is especially helpful with displays containing 40 or fewer cells.

EXERCISE: Structured mode in the Taskbar And Navigation Properties Dialog

Let's use the Windows Taskbar to see how Structured Mode displays essential information on the braille display.

  1. Press WINDOWS KEY+M to move focus to the Desktop
  2. Press SHIFT+TAB until you reach the Taskbar
  3. Press ALT+ENTER to invoke the "Taskbar And Navigation Properties" dialog

After pressing ALT+ENTER on the task bar, a line similar to the following will appear on the braille display:
"<x> Lock the taskbar chk Taskbar and navigation properties dlg Taskbar"
Note the special symbols and abbreviations used in the braille example. See the JAWS Specific Braille Abbreviations section for the complete list and their descriptions.
The words "Dialog," "checkbox," and "Check Box not checked," never appear on the screen in this situation. And since Windows is a three-dimensional graphical environment, the information shown on the braille display does not follow the order spoken by the JAWS speech synthesizer. The information is presented on the braille display in an order which allows a braille user to quickly determine the state of the control which currently has focus, the type of control (in this instance, a checkbox) and the dialog in which this control appears.

NOTE: Your braille output may be somewhat different depending on the versions of Windows and JAWS you are using.

Let's take a look at this same control without the benefit of Structured mode.
Press M-CHORD until JAWS announces and displays "Line Mode" in braille. Notice the difference in what is displayed. The braille display merely shows
"Lock the taskbar"

Using Settings Center, you can configure how information appears in Structured Mode. You can specify what information is displayed for various control types, as well as the positioning of text on the structured line. More advanced users can even modify braille control symbols, the display order in which they appear, and the braille representation of the control state.


March on Washington

Thanks to the efforts of veteran organizer Bayard Rustin, the logistics of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom came together by the summer of 1963.

Joining Randolph and King were the fellow heads of the 𠇋ig Six” civil rights organizations: Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Whitney Young of the National Urban League (NUL), James Farmer of the Congress On Racial Equality (CORE) and John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Other influential leaders also came aboard, including Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Joachim Prinz of the American Jewish Congress (AJC).

Scheduled for August 28, the event was to consist of a mile-long march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, in honor of the president who had signed the Emancipation Proclamation a century earlier, and would feature a series of prominent speakers.

Its stated goals included demands for desegregated public accommodations and public schools, redress of violations of constitutional rights and an expansive federal works program to train employees.

The March on Washington produced a bigger turnout than expected, as an estimated 250,000 people arrived to participate in what was then the largest gathering for an event in the history of the nation’s capital.

Along with notable speeches by Randolph and Lewis, the audience was treated to performances by folk luminaries Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and gospel favorite Mahalia Jackson.


Milton's Areopagitica: A Seminal Text on Free Expression

John Milton, best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost, entered the fray with the political essay Areopagitica, in which he carefully laid out arguments against the Parliament’s adoption of the Licensing Act in favor of unfettered licensing. His main argument, novel at the time, is today basic to our understanding of freedom of expression: “Truth is most likely to emerge in a free and open encounter.” While Milton’s view was rejected, and the Licensing Act was passed, his arguments later found general adherence. In the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when Mary II and William III assumed the throne, they agreed to adhere formally to the newly adopted Bill of Rights. Censorship by royal fiat continued, but “unfettered licensing” became a new and generally accepted right that initiated England's tradition of a free — and freewheeling — media. Milton's Areopagitica, despite its complexity, became the touchstone for freedom of speech advocates. It has influenced the liberal tradition in Britain, the United States, and countries throughout the British Empire (see Resources ).


Free Speech History Podcast

This episode will focus on what role the dynamic between censorship and free speech has played in maintaining and challenging racist and oppressive societies. The episode will use American slavery and segregation, British colonialism, and South African apartheid as case studies.

In May 2020, protests erupted all over the U.S. after a video emerged of a white police officer killing a black man named George Floyd. Millions took to the streets in support of racial justice under the rallying cry “Black Lives Matter.” Most protests were peaceful, but several cities experienced large-scale violence. Free speech was also affected in the process. A disturbing number of incidents of police brutality and excessive force against peaceful protesters and journalists were documented. President Trump accused a Black Lives Matter leader of “treason, sedition, insurrection” and labelled protestors as “terrorists.”

But demands for structural change also led to calls for de-platforming people whose views were deemed hostile to or even insufficiently supportive of racial justice. A Democratic data analyst named David Shor was fired after tweeting a study that showed that nonviolent black-led protests were more effective than violent ones in terms of securing voter support. In another instance, New York Times staffers protested that the newspaper put “Black @NYTimes staff in danger” by running a provocative op-ed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, which argued for deploying the military to quell riots. The newsroom revolt led to opinion editor James Bennet resigning.

Academia was affected too. A letter signed by hundreds of Princeton faculty members, employees and students demanded a faculty committee be established to “oversee the investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication” and write “Guidelines on what counts as racist.”

Social media companies came under intense pressure to take a more robust stand on “hate speech.”

The entrenchment of so-called “cancel culture” caused around 150, mostly liberal, writers and intellectuals to sign an open “ Letter on Justice and Open Debate .” The letter argued against what the signers saw as “intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.” The letter drew sharp criticism from many journalists, writers and intellectuals for being “tone-deaf,” “privileged,” “elitist” and detracting from or even hurting the struggle for racial justice.

The wider debate often turned nasty — especially on social media — with loud voices on each side engaging in alarmist, bad faith arguments ascribing the worst intentions to their opponents. Many of those concerned about free speech warned of creeping totalitarianism imposed by “social justice warriors” run amok, intent on imposing a stifling orthodoxy of “wokeism.” Some confused vehement criticism of a person’s ideas with attempts to stifle that person’s speech. On the other hand, some racial justice activists outright denied the existence of “cancel culture” and failed to distinguish between vehement criticism of a person’s ideas and calling for that person to be sanctioned by an employer, publisher or university. Some even accused free speech defenders of being complicit in or actual defenders of white supremacy and compared words deemed racially insensitive with violence.

Underlying these debates is a more fundamental question. Is a robust and principled approach to free speech a foundation for — or a threat to — racial justice?

To help shed light on this question, this episode will focus on what role the dynamic between censorship and free speech has played in maintaining and challenging racist and oppressive societies. The episode will use American slavery and segregation, British colonialism, and South African apartheid as case studies.

In this episode we will explore:

  • How Southern legislators and congressmen adopted some of the most draconian restrictions of free speech in American history, while Southern mobs enforced a “slaver’s veto” to curb abolitionist speech and ideas
  • How Southern demands that the Federal government and Northern states actively police abolitionist ideas kicked off a debate over first principles and the role of free speech in America
  • How Southern “cancel culture” purged a professor critical of slavery from the University of North Carolina
  • How women played a critical role in mobilizing opinion against slavery and defying the slaver’s veto
  • Why Frederick Douglass believed that “The right of speech is a very precious one, especially to the oppressed”
  • How the First Amendment did little to end the discrimination and oppression of African-Americans immediately after the abolishment of slavery
  • How the civil rights movement and its civil libertarian allies advanced group rights of discriminated minorities through the dramatic expansion of constitutionally protected individual rights, not least First Amendment freedoms
  • Why recently deceased congressman John Lewis believed that “Without freedom of speech and the right to dissent, the Civil Rights movement would have been a bird without wings”
  • How the British used laws against sedition and hate speech to target anti-colonial movements and silence dissidents like Mahatma Gandhi
  • How Mahatma Gandhi viewed the freedoms of speech and association as “the two lungs that are absolutely necessary for a man to breathe the oxygen of liberty”
  • How censorship and suppression was a key component of South African apartheid, which punished expressions “hateful against the white man” and kept an index of prohibited books to silence anti-apartheid activists
  • How Nelson Mandela only abandoned peaceful resistance when the regime had shut down all lawful modes of expressing opposition to white supremacy
  • Why Mandela believed that free speech should constitute a core value of South African democracy and that “ No single person, no body of opinion, no political or religious doctrine, no political party or government can claim to have a monopoly on truth.”

Why have kings, emperors, and governments killed and imprisoned people to shut them up? And why have countless people risked death and imprisonment to express their beliefs? Jacob Mchangama guides you through the history of free speech from the trial of Socrates to the Great Firewall.

You can subscribe and listen to Clear and Present Danger on Apple Podcasts , Google Play , YouTube , TuneIn , and Stitcher , or download episodes directly from SoundCloud .


The Disadvantage Of Freedom Of Speech

While freedom of speech is good, they are so many disadvantages to the form of expression. Anything that has an advantage has its disadvantages. Here are some disadvantages of freedom of speech.

It can spread lousy information

One significant disadvantage of freedom of speech is that it can cause substantial damage because people would not want to verify certain information before spreading it to the public. People might tend to want to believe the information because it is coming from the mouth of someone they trust.

Most times, wrong information spreads through men who have attained great height, and when a piece of information is coming from some persons like that, almost everyone will want to believe.

It spreads fear

When people get information that instills fear instead of hope, it becomes a disadvantage of freedom of speech because the main aim is to make people live in harmony and not to live in fear. Relative to the case of the coronavirus, if people keep spreading the fear of the virus instead of sharing both the positive and negative results, it will even kill some people before the virus.

It can promote violence

Words have powers. It can pierce the emotion of people hence causing emotional damage to people.

It encourages verbal abuse

Verbal abuse and physical abuse have just almost the same effect. Verbal abuse is an insult to both the leaders and the people of a nation.


Free Speech: The History of our First Amendment Right

Unlike today’s modern world, freedom of speech has not always been a right and, particularly in US history, the government has not always preserved it. The tradition of freedom of speech has been challenged by several hundred years of war, of changes in culture and of legal challenges.

Recommended Reading

Emancipation Proclamation: Effects, Impacts, and Outcomes
The American Revolution: The Dates, Causes, and Timeline in the Fight for Independence
How Old Is the United States of America?

After listening to a suggestion made by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison secured the Bill of Rights, of which the First Amendment is a part of, ensuring it was included in the US Constitution. The theory of the First Amendment is that it is there to protect people’s rights to free speech. In practice, it is more of a symbolic gesture.

President John Adams took umbrage when his administration was criticized and made a successful push for the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Sedition Act was aimed at those people who supported Thomas Jefferson and it was passed to restrict people from criticizing any President. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson took over the presidency and the law expired. John Adams party would never again be in a position of power.

In 1873 the Federal Comstock Act was passed, granting the US Postal Service the authority to be able to censor mail. In particular, it was aimed at letters containing material that could be classed as “obscene, lewd and /or lascivious”.

The desecration of the US Flag was officially banned in South Dakota and Illinois, Pennsylvania in this year. This ban was to last almost 100 years before the Supreme Court declared the ban as unconstitutional and lifted it.

In this year, the Sedition Act was passed to target socialists, anarchists and any other left-wing activists that were against the participation of the US in World War 1. This marks the nearest point to which the US Government came to adopting a model of government that could be classed as Fascist and nationalist.


Freedom of Speech - History

“We mustn’t allow free speech to fade into a feel-good slogan. It is an unintuitive principle with a rationale that many don’t appreciate and a history that many don’t know. Mchangama’s lucid history of free speech fills that gap and deepens our understanding of this precious concept”.

“Freedom of speech is the most successful social policy ever – and also the most counterintuitive. Jacob Mchangama’s delightful podcast series paints vivid portraits of the lives, ideas, and struggles of the people who brought this improbable principle to life. I haven’t missed an episode, and neither should you.”

“Free speech in the ancient Athenian democracy, as Jacob Mchangama so brilliantly and wittily makes clear …was one of the cardinal and fundamental principles of ancient Greek demokratia…..So important are the issues still today that ‘Free speech in Ancient Athens’ is worth an hour of any concerned citizen’s time”

“Throughout much of history, free speech advocates have been progressives fighting elite power structures. Karl Marx rightly opposed and indeed lampooned press censorship. It is a tragedy of the 20 th and 21 st centuries that too many progressives have switched sides, weaving poorly reflected theories of language into poorly reflected theories of politics. Jacob Mchangama leads us through a vividly told history that, sadly, continues to repeat for as long as its lessons remain un-learned”.

”After impressive gains, free speech is once again in retreat across the globe. This development should concern all who care about democracy, freedom, and truth. Free speech superstar Jacob Mchangama’s new highly informative and engaging history of free speech is just the answer. The podcast is the perfect medium to rediscover the rich heritage and crucial civilizational gains of free speech and to inoculate against dangerous complacency.“

“The podcast provides an engaging and inspiring history of free speech that is accessible to anyone interested in a topic that is fundamental to every human being and society. If you want to understand what’s at stake and know about the battles that our predecessors were engaged in the fight for free speech there can be no better place to start than with Jacob Mchangama’s podcast.”

THE EPISODES

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Episode 41 - Free Speech and Racial Justice: Friends or Foes?

In May 2020, protests erupted all over the U.S. after a video emerged of a white police officer killing a black man named George Floyd. Millions took to the streets in support of racial justice under the rallying cry “Black Lives Matter.” Most protests were peaceful, but several cities experienced large-scale violence. Free speech was also affected in the process. A disturbing number of incidents of police brutality and excessive force against peaceful protesters and journalists were documented. President Trump accused a Black Lives Matter leader of “treason, sedition, insurrection” and labelled protestors as “terrorists.”

But demands for structural change also led to calls for de-platforming people whose views were deemed hostile to or even insufficiently supportive of racial justice. A Democratic data analyst named David Shor was fired after tweeting a study that showed that nonviolent black-led protests were more effective than violent ones in terms of securing voter support. In another instance, New York Times staffers protested that the newspaper put “Black @NYTimes staff in danger” by running a provocative op-ed by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, which argued for deploying the military to quell riots. The newsroom revolt led to opinion editor James Bennet resigning.

Academia was affected too. A letter signed by hundreds of Princeton faculty members, employees and students demanded a faculty committee be established to “oversee the investigation and discipline of racist behaviors, incidents, research, and publication” and write “Guidelines on what counts as racist.”

Social media companies came under intense pressure to take a more robust stand on “hate speech.”

The entrenchment of so-called “cancel culture” caused around 150, mostly liberal, writers and intellectuals to sign an open “ Letter on Justice and Open Debate .” The letter argued against what the signers saw as “intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.” The letter drew sharp criticism from many journalists, writers and intellectuals for being “tone-deaf,” “privileged,” “elitist” and detracting from or even hurting the struggle for racial justice.

The wider debate often turned nasty — especially on social media — with loud voices on each side engaging in alarmist, bad faith arguments ascribing the worst intentions to their opponents. Many of those concerned about free speech warned of creeping totalitarianism imposed by “social justice warriors” run amok, intent on imposing a stifling orthodoxy of “wokeism.” Some confused vehement criticism of a person’s ideas with attempts to stifle that person’s speech. On the other hand, some racial justice activists outright denied the existence of “cancel culture” and failed to distinguish between vehement criticism of a person’s ideas and calling for that person to be sanctioned by an employer, publisher or university. Some even accused free speech defenders of being complicit in or actual defenders of white supremacy and compared words deemed racially insensitive with violence.

Underlying these debates is a more fundamental question. Is a robust and principled approach to free speech a foundation for — or a threat to — racial justice?

To help shed light on this question, this episode will focus on what role the dynamic between censorship and free speech has played in maintaining and challenging racist and oppressive societies. The episode will use American slavery and segregation, British colonialism, and South African apartheid as case studies.


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This is a book of essays by nine scholars, based on series of academic talks held at Columbia University during 2007-2008. In the essays, the scholars: (1) identify and discuss ideas and opinions about free speech from 18th century Europe and North and South America (2) examine how those 18th century ideas and opinions about free speech were influenced by various political, religious, and social factors in different countries and regions (3) note how 18th century ideas and opinions about free speech differ from modern ideas and opinions about free speech (4) offer opinions and make arguments for how 18th century ideas and opinions about free speech influenced the development of modern ideas and opinions about free speech and (5) challenge the notion that it was inevitable that free speech would be accepted, adopted, and institutionalized in Western societies.

There is a variety of writing styles exhibited by the authors of the nine essays. Overall, the book is interesting, informative, thought-provoking, and provides a variety of different perspectives on the history of ideas and opinions about free speech. This book of essays is written in an academic, technical style that could be difficult and daunting for readers without some training or experience in historical studies or intellectual history.

This book probably would not be of interest to readers with only a passing or casual interest in the concept of freedom of speech. I would recommend this book to the following categories of readers: (1) people interested in the intellectual history of the concept of freedom of speech (2) people interested in the history of modern Western political ideas and (3) people interested in a historical perspective to help better understand and evaluate current discussions and debates about freedom of speech.


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