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Timothy Garton Ash’s free speech mission is idealistic—but we have to try

Speak, liberty

By Diane Roberts   May 2016

©Planet Flem/Getty Images

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash, Atlantic Books, £20

Freedom of speech has always been a vexed, even dangerous, business. Socrates questioned the gods and earned himself a swift trip across the Styx. Here we are, 2,400 years later, and western liberal democracies still struggle over how much free speech is healthy, whether there should be any sort of bridle on it and, now, how to deal with the ever-growing electronic media. Is shouting “Fire!” in a crowded…

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