September 12th, 2010

la la la, not listening

Audio Review: Freedom for the Thought that We Hate by Anthony Lewis

Freedom for the Thought That We HateFreedom for the Thought That We Hate by Anthony Lewis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can't really recommend getting this book on audio. At least for me, the procession of court cases and dates would have been easier to follow in print, and it would have been easier for me to flip back and refresh my memory on cases that had been discussed earlier. Also, the narrative style is a bit monotonous.

However, I would recommend this book, because it's pretty fascinating seeing how our conception of freedom of speech has changed over the years. It really wasn't that long ago that restrictions on speech that we now think of as obviously unconstitutional were entirely uncontroversial. Lewis also does quite a good job in laying out the balance that has to be found between freedom of speech and other interests in cases relating to libel, the rights of journalists to keep their sources confidential, hate speech, and political campaigning. I'm not sure that I always agree with Lewis, but I do feel that he's broadened my mind in how I think about these things.

Definitely recommended if you're not an expert in constitutional law, but are interested in free speech. But get it in print, not on audio.

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