Topics

Journalism
David K. Shipler's 'Freedom of Speech' reflects our fractured times
David K. Shipler's 'Freedom of Speech' reflects our fractured times

David K. Shipler calls himself a free-speech absolutist in his seventh book, "Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword." "Lines are murky," he writes, "and it's always risky to use vague characterizations to give authorities the power to shut down speech whose content (rather than method) displeases them." The point of the 1st Amendment, he continues, is to encourage debate and dissent. This means all debate and dissent, even that which makes reasonable people wary about the health — mental or otherwise — of the republic. The question of course is what constitutes "reasonable," a dilemma with a different shape in the United...

Loading