Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash - review by Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray

Voicing Concerns

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World


Atlantic Books 491pp £20 order from our bookshop

Free Speech concludes with a chapter entitled ‘Courage’. Following on from some slightly technical chapters on modern communication networks, it seems an appropriate principle with which to conclude a book on free speech. For while methods of dissemination are important, the real battles for free speech always lie at the boundaries and are only ever pushed by a minority. Being at those boundaries requires courage, and even sometimes recklessness.

In discussing this principle, Timothy Garton Ash contrasts the fearfulness of an Isaiah Berlin with the fearlessness of a Christopher Hitchens: ‘Hitchens exemplified courage, Berlin tolerance. Hitchens was outspoken, outrageous, never afraid to offend … Berlin was not notable for his courage.’ (The comparison could have been improved had he

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