1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email

Book Reviews: Free Speech, Censorship, Freedom of Expression

Is freedom of speech an absolute right, or are there legitimate reasons for restricting it? What role does the media play in promoting free speech and in informing the public? What effect to large corporations have when it comes the people's right to know and to disseminate information? These are some of the issues discussed in recently published books which are reviewed here.
  1. Free Speech Resources

Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent
One of the more common and serious criticisms of the Bush administration has been that it appears to have a consistent and deliberate policy to suppress dissent and debate over policy decisions. Insofar as such criticisms are true, they certainly aren’t unique to the Bush administration. Many times in the past, the government has suppressed...

A Passion for Freedom
Freedom is an important cause all around the world. Most who struggle for freedom do so in quiet anonymity while a few have become quite famous for their work. All, however, have the same basic goals and the same fundamental obstacles. The more one learns about the struggles of such people, the more important the entire agenda becomes.

Casualty of War: Bush Administration’s Assault on a Free Press
Press censorship is a standard feature of warfare - governments naturally don’t want the enemy to obtain too much information, but they do want to prop up morale at home. Should the same be true of the “war on terrorism,” which isn’t a declared war at all? Under President Bush, the American government has become very ambivalent towards press freedom and journalistic independence.

Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes & Censors Movies
Have you ever watched a movie where the military played some role, even if marginal? Chances are, the military actually helped in the movie’s production by providing facilities, equipment, and even people free of charge — but only under the condition that the movie serve to make the military look good and encourage young people to join up. Did you know that?

The Erotic History of Advertising
Sex sells - at least, that is the general perception that most people have. But is it true? And, if it is true, how and why does "sex sell" - everything from lingerie to soap to coal? What is it about sex and sensuality that they attract our attention, hold our interest, and actually get us to buy the associated products?

Democracy and the News
Americans tend to hold idealistic views about democracy and the role of journalism in a democratic society. However, they also tend to hold pessimistic views about the state of democracy in America and the state of journalism in American society. There appears to be a serious disconnect between what people want and what they have - is there...

Into the Buzzsaw: The Myth of a Free Press
Is there a "Free Press" in the United States? Does this "Fourth Estate" fulfill a role as watchdog over the government and business, serving the public interest? Do our news organizations work to enhance and preserve an informed democracy? Evidently not.

Government vs. Erotica: The Siege of Adam and Eve
Should the government have the power to regulate private sexual conduct - and if so, how far should that power reach? Why would the government even be interested in regulating such conduct - what would be the purpose, and what would be the consequences?

Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech and Sexual Harassment
Are words bad because of some intrinsic naughty quality, or due to the moral significance some people choose to attach to them? The answer to this tells us a lot about not only ourselves, but also how we are to deal with our own language. Dooling explains how words are imbued with strong emotional significance and, because of that, are viewed as being "bad" and are "banned."

Digital Copyright
Have you ever downloaded an MP3 music file from the internet? Have you ever copied software from a friend? Have you ever thought about how a movie might be different if this or that actor had been replaced by someone else? Did you know that all of the above may have been a violation of current American copyright laws?

Free for All: Defending Liberty in America Today
It is often argued that the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, 2001, forever changed American society. However, a stronger argument can be made for the idea that the response of the American government to those attacks has made even greater changes - by systematically undermining American civil liberties. Which is worse, the disease...

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.