Free Speech: And why You Should Give a Damn
by Jonathan Zimmerman (Author) and Signe Wilkinson (Author, Illustrator)
In America we like to think we live in a land of liberty, where everyone can say whatever they want. Throughout our history, however, we have also been quick to censor people who offend or frighten us. We talk a good game about freedom of speech, then we turn around and deny it to others. In this brief but bracing book, historian Jonathan Zimmerman and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Signe Wilkinson tell the story of free speech in America: who established it, who has denounced it, and who has risen to its defense. They also make the case for why we should care about it today, when free speech is once again under attack.Across the political spectrum, Americans have demanded the suppression of ideas and images that allegedly threaten our nation. But the biggest danger to America comes not from speech but from censorship, which prevents us fromfreely governing ourselves. Free speech allows us to criticize our leaders. It lets us consume the art, film, and literature we prefer. And, perhaps most importantly, it allows minorities to challenge the oppression they suffer. While any of us are censored, none of us are free.