Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

Why Orwell’s 1984 Still Matters

Each year around this time someone remembers that George Orwell’s iconic novel Nineteen Eighty- Four was first released in June of 1949. I think that bringing attention to the book is always a valuable exercise, now more than ever. Ironically, in … Continue reading

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Banned But Unburnable

To protest widespread book bans in the U.S., Canadian author Margaret Atwood has collaborated with her publishers on a fireproof edition of her most famous—and often banned—novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.  The unique issue was produced by Rethink, an independent creative agency, and made in … Continue reading

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“Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.”

Sadly, book banning and even book burning continues to be in the news here in the USA. Just this week, I saw a video of members of a State legislature demanding the books that they found objectionable be removed from … Continue reading

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Another Reason To Love Brooklyn

When I was a little kid my Grandmother used to grudgingly take me to the Brooklyn Library on Flatbush Avenue. She wasn’t much of a reader and never understood how I could spend so much time looking at books. But … Continue reading

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Get a New York Public Library Card (even if you don’t live there)

One of my favorite places to visit in New York City is the NYPL flagship branch in Manhattan. The grand Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is a must see for any book lover in the city. The grand Beaux-Arts design aside, … Continue reading

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Fear and Loathing in America

I have long been a fan of the outrageous gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. More recently I found myself binge watching the television show Succession which stars the great Scotish actor Brian Cox. So I was tickled to stumble on the … Continue reading

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Book the Vote

The group Writers for Democratic Action along with dozens of independent booksellers, librarians, and the student group Democracy Matters has launched a new project called  Book the Vote, with the aim of registering more voters, particularly in battleground states, before … Continue reading

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Censorship is as American as apple pie

Although there is much ballyhoo and bluster in the United States about free speech, in reality censorship and book banning have been endemic since first European colonists arrived. The act of censorship, while theoretically limited by the First Amendment to … Continue reading

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Book Burning USA

So here we are well into the 21st century and the reactionary book burners are at it again. Just this week, some self-appointed guardians of American Aryan youth in the state of Virginia have called for removing books from schools … Continue reading

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Graphic Lessons on the Twentieth Century

When Dr. Timothy Snyder’s powerful book  On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century was published in 2017, I was a vocal evangelist for the book and its message. Now, the Yale history professor has released an updated and illustrated … Continue reading

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