Feb 9 • 29M

The history of free speech

My conversation with Danish lawyer, human-rights advocate and author Jacob Mchangama

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Conversations with heterodox authors and journalists from around the world, asking the questions that are not being asked.
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It’s hard to imagine better timing for a book release. This week — as our culture finds itself embroiled in numerous debates around speech — Danish lawyer Jacob Mchangama has published a brilliant new book that provides historical perspective.

Jacob is the founder and executive director of Justitia, a human-rights think tank based in Copenhagen. Free Speech: A History From Socrates to Social Media is a deeply-researched, engaging, and humane title that grew out of Clear and Present Danger, Jacob’s podcast project on the global history of free speech.

I’m so pleased to have Jacob Mchangama as my guest on the podcast. Here is our wide-ranging discussion, taped last week, in which he touches on everything from Athenian democracy to Orwell and Mandela — and makes the case that censorship is not a good solution to the societal tensions we are living through.