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The Tyranny of Silence

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  199 ratings  ·  28 reviews
When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten (Viby, Denmark) published the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed nine years ago, Denmark found itself at the center of a global battle about the freedom of speech. The paper's culture editor, Flemming Rose, defended the decision to print the 12 drawings, and he quickly came to play a central part in the debate about the limitations t ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 14th 2014 by Cato Institute (first published 2010)
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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  199 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Richard Nelson
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If I call you fat, and you punch me in the face, who is guilty under the law? What if I call your mother fat and you maim me? What if instead of your mother, I say these things about your god or his prophet? Where is the line now? And who gets to decide when what I've said is insulting enough to make me rather than you the guilty party? You? Me? The law?

Hint: this isn't about fat. It's about fatwa.

This is a book about what happened when a Danish newspaper ran cartoons of Muhammad, including one
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Do you remember the Danish cartoon crisis? You know those cartoons that were considered so insulting that it made killing people look like a needed solution?
Well, this is by one of the editors for the newspaper.
I suppose I should say here that freedom of speech is something that I consider important. I think the less said about a certain overly rich man with the initials DT the better, but he has the right to sound like the stupid idiot he is.
The book at times is a bit too in detail about som
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've long been interested in freedom of thought but hadn't found anything discussing this issue in depth until this book. I found it through a podcast by the Cato institute and decided to read it.
Flemming Rose is the person who commissioned the Muhammed cartoons which ignited a debate over freedom of speech which has been raging ever since. The book follows its author as he tries to understand himself and the values he then ends up defending.

Roses first comes to grips with the importance of fre
Bonnie Samuel
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An eloquent book that highlights the importance of free speech in a free society. The timing of the book is propitious considering the recent attacks in Paris and the "they knew what they were doing when they published those cartoons" rhetoric that followed, but the book is actually a response to the "Cartoon Crisis" that took place after a cartoon depicting Mohammad with a bomb in his turban was published in a Danish newspaper. This book makes a far more convincing argument that I ever could ag ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Given the Charlie Hebdo attacks, this is an extremely timely rationale for free speech from the editor of the Danish newspaper who published a cartoon of Muhammed nearly a decade ago. Since then, he's interviewed people affected by terrorist reactions to the cartoon, and has spoken multiple times about the importance of freedom of speech. I think one can get the gist by reading only the first couple of chapters.
Jose Guzman
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Un increíble libro para los que amamos la libertad y abogamos por ella.

La libertad de expresión está hoy bajo ataque constante en un mundo donde cada vez más personas se creen con el derecho a "no ser ofendidos".

Es un libro escrito al estilo periodístico, no cuenta solo la historia del autor, sino muchas otras que permiten una amplia visión de la importancia de la libertad, el costo de obtenerla y las terribles consecuencias de renunciar a ella.
Ernest Sneed
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
An interesting in depth discussion on free speech, multiculturalism, and the suppression of thought with violence.
Rex Libris
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The author is one of the editors at the Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that printed the Muhammed cartoons that spurred a log way of violence by MUslims who claimed the paper committed blasphemy. Rose explains the original reason behind publishing the cartoons: Authors and illustrators were reporting self-censorship of Muslim images out of fear of violence and backlash. This was occurring upon the heels of the Theo Van Gogh murder. Jyllands-Posten wanted to call attention to the issue of self-cen ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have to say, when this book referenced the Cato Institute in its introduction, I was was leery of reading further, afraid that I would wasting my time with a fact-free, , ideology-only, far-right screed about islam, muslims, and how muslims are violent. Upon reading further, I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Tyranny of Silence is a very well reasoned and well written defense of the fundamental freedom of speech from the editor who commissioned the cartoons of the now notorious 'carto ...more
Garret Seinen
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are very few books that even attempt to do what this book does so well - tie events to the history of the prevailing ideas held in a culture. The author fully understands that actions are the result of ideas held dear, morality in other words. And while the particular event that gave birth to this book, the publishing of the Danish cartoons mocking Mohammed is central to story, he brilliantly document a multitude of similar situation from around the world. Furthermore, he has a profound un ...more
Jim Strasma
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Liked this book a lot, and would have given it five stars except for one important thing: it spent hundreds of pages discussing a few cartoon drawings, and how important it was for there to be freedom to publish them despite offending some thereby, and how doing similar things initially got Soviet dissidents imprisoned but eventually brought down the USSR, yet somehow did not have enough courage in its own convictions to actually include any of the cartoons being discussed.

Because of that omissi
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I finished this the day before the Paris attacks, and though the book felt a bit padded I really respect Rose for standing up for free speech amidst the onslaught of death threats from Islamic extremists and the hate from so-called liberals who employed the soft bigotry of low expectations by claiming Islam was immune from ridicule because "their culture" couldn't handle the same ribbing that Christians, Hindus, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, etc. are accustomed to getting with regularity.

If you don
Juliana Knight
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I started Rose's book, I wasn't sure what it would be like. I thought it may be dry, not convincing, and uninteresting, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Last year, Flemming Rose visited my college and students protested his appearance, proving his argument. Nothing Rose says in his book is offensive, he doesn't lay the blame of violence at any specific group's or religion's feet, but he makes a powerful argument for free speech. Written quite a few years ago, Rose identifies pro ...more
Antonio Langella
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
As societies become increasingly multicultural, multiethnic, and multireligious, if we accept the idea that people have a right not to be offended, we will end up with a tyranny of silence, for almost any speech may be deemed offensive. The alternative is to define a minimal set of constraints on freedom of speech necessary for peaceful cohabitation. For me, the line should be drawn at inciting violence, the key issue being a clear and present danger that the speech will be followed by violence.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was a teenager when the Danish "Cartoon Crisis" arose in 2006. It's still conspicuous in my memory through the movement to boycott Danish products that gained momentum in Pakistan as a result. This books presents the Cartoon Crisis from the perspective of the Cultural Editor of Jyllands-Posten. It highlights one of the most important differences between free and closed societies: in the former you use speech to counter speech, in the later you tell your opponent to shut up.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
He is very passionate about the topic, and he present some compelling arguments. I like his examples the best. I find the work very complete in his defense of freedom of speech.
I lack solutions for the "weak", where the strong with plenty of resources uses their freedom of speech to (non-violently) crush the identity, culture, self-esteem or similar of a group they dislike.
Aug 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important book on how the new Europe is strangled in political correctness. How authorities condemn and blame expressions given under the right of free speech because some groups collectively "are getting hurt" and answers with violence. How Muslim countries in UN are trying to invoke criticism of religion parallel to racism.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Self censorship is as dangerous and insidious as state censorship.
OLA Intellectual Freedom
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: censorship
Rose approached this topic of using fear to censor those who oppose your ideas as a journalist. The book is engaging, informative and thought provoking.
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Articulate and insightful

The Tyranny of Silence exposes the the enemies of Freedom of Speech and their quest to restrict man's fundamental freedom
Kristian Traberg
Vigtig, indsigtsfuld og udfordrende indblik i debatten om Mohammed tegningerne og alt hvad der derefter fulgte.
Mills College Library
323.443 R7959 2014
Anthony Bennett
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A thorough and rigorous defense of the American philosophy on speech.
Katherine Lavelle
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting read in light of the recent violence around cartoonist depicting the prophet and Islam.
Katharine Rudzitis
Jan 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
An in-depth exploration of the fallout from a cartoon in 2005, along with a strong argument for free speech, even if it makes people uncomfortable.
Kitty Red-Eye
I bought this book some years back, but was a little fed up with the subject(s) and put it on hold. I didn’t think it would be quite as good and solid as it turned out to be. Still highly relevant.
Winfield Sterling
rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2016
Janusz Tydda
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2015
Aleksandar Maćašev
rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2015
Perumal Sadagopan
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Dec 09, 2015
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