Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

when the dying speak, they cannot lie

I was sad to read of the passing of the great English author Hilary Mantel. Here in the colonies we became acquainted with her powerful prose through the Wolf Hall trilogy. I thought that I would share this piece from Hilary Mantel’s essay … Continue reading

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It’s That Time of the Year Again

Forty years after Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 to raise awareness about censorship, the issue has taken on new importance across the country. This year more than ever it’s essential that we raise awareness about book banning and … Continue reading

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The Very Definition of Irony

  Even if you do not live in North America you are probably aware that the United States has been experiencing a wave of book bannings and attempts by a vocal neo-Fascist Christian Nationalist minority to censor both library books … Continue reading

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To Live Deliberately

Writer, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. Associated with the Concord-based literary movement called New England Transcendentalism, he embraced the Transcendentalist belief in the universality of creation and the primacy of personal … Continue reading

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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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