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Publisher's Summary

Free speech is the bedrock of all our liberties, and yet in recent years, it has come to be mistrusted. A new form of social justice activism, which perceives language as potentially violent, has prompted a national debate on where the limitations of acceptable speech should be drawn. Governments throughout Europe have enacted 'hate speech' legislation to curb the dissemination of objectionable ideas, Silicon Valley tech giants are collaborating to ensure that they control the limitations of public discourse, and campaigners in the US are calling for revisions to the First Amendment.

However well-intentioned, these trends represent a threat to the freedoms that our ancestors fought and died to secure. In this incisive and fascinating book, Andrew Doyle addresses head-on the most common concerns of free speech sceptics, and offers a timely and robust defence of this most foundational of principles.

©2021 Andrew Doyle (P)2021 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"A fantastically timely book written by one of the smartest thinkers in Britain." (Piers Morgan)

"Impassioned, scholarly and succinct." (The Times)

What listeners say about Free Speech and Why It Matters

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So short, yet so quotable.

I was impressed of how short the book was (for such a subject and all the examples that could have been used), but I found myself thankful for that same reason. The book is very quotable and I could not stop making notes (in the Kindle version); and for such a small book, I was impressed of how many notes the author included (literally half of the book are notes that you can consult). Another great surprise was the Immersion Reading experience (when you have both the audiobook and the e-book). Nearly all the book is identical to the audible one, which I very much appreciate. My only complain is that the book ends somewhat abruptly (honestly, I was expecting the next character) and is on the short side, but this latter "defect" make it enjoyable and easy to consult on a whim.

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  • C8
  • 04-06-22

Least we forget

Andrew Doyle is right on point. The progressives are just as bad as any totalitarian regime. Humanity must stand up for our basic right of free speech least we forget the atrocities of the past if we want to preserve it for today and the future.

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The content is sad but true.

I hope we get truly free speech again some day. We need to end woke censorship.

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Overall Reasonable Arguments

Not really understanding the simping for J. K. Rowling though. She has one of the loudest platforms and has not been silenced in any way as far as I can tell. Just a misandrist flailing and whining as the snake of progressivism eats itself, leaving her on a lower rung of the progressive stack.

There's an important distinction lacking in the discussion of the inception of gender ideology that is conspicuously missing. But the book is about free speech, so I wouldn't necessarily expect the author to be correct on this issue.

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Important perspective our times

Doyle explores the diminishment of the right of free speech in many liberal Western democracies. He approaches the subject both from a historical perspective as well as by examining current events, and makes a strong case for protecting this foundational liberal value.

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must read

perfect.....this book should be mandatory reading in all schools. Thank you for writing it.
Keep up the good fight.

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McGrath is gonna be angry....

I mostly know Doyle from his alter ego, Titiana McGrath. In this book, Doyle shows his philosophical and rhetorical chops to be quite impressive. I'm actually prepared to sit down and listen again soon, although I will say the only sad part is those that should listen/read this book probably will not.

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Fight for Free Speech

This short book will provide you with some good ammunition when faced with the opportunity to defend free speech.

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There is a war going on for your mind.

This book really paints a fantastic picture of tolerance for the sake of knowledge and understanding.

Without dialog, how will it be possible to share and express information?

How can we understand those who have differing views, if all we do is push them to the side.

How can we make jokes?

Silencing thoughts and beliefs has never worked and we would be wise to stop debating, and start having dialog. We might be surprised of what we can learn.

Make Orwell fiction again!

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Okay

If you have listened to Doyle on TV and online, then there is nothing new in this book. It is a regurgitation of the usual talking points that have been put forward recently ad nauseum.
If you are new to this topic, then you will love it and it will open your eyes, but there is little new here in this very brief book.

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  • Ian
  • 02-25-21

A voice of reason in troubling times

Doyle succinctly modernises free speech principles for the social media age, which has forgotten them.

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  • Slubberd
  • 07-25-21

Wise Words -Take Heed No Matter What Your Politics

It's a very short book for Andrew Doyle dealing with a serious topic - so don't expected his usual jocular delivery.

We seemed to have reached a point where people are deliberately taking what others say in bad faith. This is a mistake. It is necessary for the derangement on the left and the right to fly a truce flag and come into the centre. In order to do that people must be allowed to express themselves freely, talk about their fears - no matter if they are unfounded - without judgement. We may not like everything that is to be heard but we will have a better understanding of another's viewpoint.

I wish folk would take a deep breath and stand back. Politics is as tribal as ever and I fear if the adults don't come into the room shortly we won't be able to go forward.

Some people have different viewpoints to you. Be offended if you want - but you did that to yourself no matter your politics.

Excellent essay by a very smart man. This needed to be written.

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  • Terri Roskruge
  • 03-02-21

EVERYONE needs to read this

Everyone needs to read this. Too important not.... from a non university educated individual.

1 person found this helpful

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  • B. Whelan
  • 02-27-21

Good but very short

Good book but very short , feels like it could be a chapter in a much wider discussion.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DW
  • 12-19-21

Worth a listen

Short but insightful. Some really thought provoking passages. No matter what side of the political spectrum your on, you'll find this eye opening. The auther does a great job.

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  • Mr. Ronald Wild
  • 10-27-21

An Essential Read

This is a short and well put explanation of just how far the West has fallen and what needs to be done to rectify it.

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  • T
  • 10-21-21

Thoughtful, clear, excellent.

A much needed reminder of why freedom of expression is the foundation of any society that values liberty, democracy and equality, irrespective of its political tilt.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-21

Succinct argument and playful

Succinct argument for freedom of speech with playful overtones. I will gladly revisit this book.

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  • Antony
  • 07-14-21

Weak sixth form essay

This is a poor book. No original facts or arguments. Clichés and arguments based on supposed slippery slopes.

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  • HarryR
  • 06-16-21

Concise, thoughtful, well articulated.

Gives a good exposition of the value of our freedom to express ourselves. Worrying that the popularity of social censorship is higher than I thought. The best test of our ideas is to listen to opposing views. The best way to know what others are thinking is to hear their ideas and challenge them if they concern us. We do not all think the same about much, if anything. Ideas must be tested. Even good ideas can be improved. Our willingness to freely express ourselves does seem to be wilting as we see others hounded for saying off narrative things.

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  • Craig P
  • 07-01-21

Interesting and concerning

Didn't agree with everything he had to say, but hey that's kinda the whole point of it.

I do hope that by trying to tread a much needed path of tolerance and acceptance that we don't as a society inadvertently hand power and control to those who we should know will abuse it for their own ends. Read Animal Farm again people.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Thompson
  • 08-05-21

Common Sense

Just when you thought you'd forgotten what it was...
and current zeitgeist is slowly erasing it...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Iain Sinclair
  • 04-25-21

Essential reading for artists.

A clear headed, same and unpretentious breakdown of the threats faced by liberal democracy and individual freedom. An excellent companion piece to Cynical Theories and to Fashionable Nonsense. Digestible in a single sitting. Lucid and well researched.
Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful