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Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All
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Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A must read. --Margaret Atwood

A vital, necessary playbook for navigating and defending free speech today by the CEO of PEN America, Dare To Speak provides a pathway for promoting free expression while also cultivating a more inclusive public culture.

Online trolls and fascist chat groups. Controversies over campus lectures. Cancel culture versus censorship. The daily hazard
Kindle Edition
Published July 28th 2020 (first published May 5th 2020)
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Dawn Michelle
This is a must read for everyone. When my mind stops reeling, I may be able to write a better review.
Sep 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Whoooh, boy, is this one going to be a doozey- and not in a good way. I virtually picked up "Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All," from the library because it was available and I needed something to pass the time until my intended books became free. Before this, I had never heard of Suzanne Nossel, nor her organization PEN America of which she is the CEO. I knew going in that I might not like it as much of the free speech discourse these days comes from white supremacists or white neo-l ...more
Wei Mon
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Things learned from this book:
It's fine to be racist with friends as long as you choose your words carefully in public.
If you think your intent is fine, then don't worry about the consequences of your speech.
You shouldn't say that being subjected to hateful speech is "violence", but it's totally okay to call people who are asking for accountability "mobs".
The general public should not have the power to cancel people & restrict opportunities, but rich white people have been the gatekeepers for so
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, audio
Caveat: The author is a good personal friend.

Dare to Speak is a lucid, well organized, and highly readable defense of free speech principles as well as an outline for actions we can all take to be better participants in the marketplace of ideas. I found the parts on Internet content moderation particularly interesting.

I must admit that I agree with everything Suzanne says (after all, as mentioned, she's a friend) but I wonder if her balanced, thoughtful, considerate yet principled voice even ha
David Gamble
Wow, what a great book! I picked up the audio on a suggestion and plan to buy a hard copy to re-read and take notes in. It's well balanced with data, conversational information, examples, suggestions, exercises, plans, all of it. Basically each chapter tackles a different issue from hate speech by campus lectures to online trolls and everything in between. I really appreciated the content on cancel culture, how harmful it is, and what to do instead. Overall that was what stands out to me- she in ...more
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtfully written and practicable guide to understanding, utilizing and promoting matters of free speech. It sure got my noodle going and I suspect it will help me ask my seniors engaging questions during our Free Speech unit in French class.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Free Speech Fell Out of Fashion
By Michael Maiello

What if all the good free speech has been defended already? The United States government hasn’t gone after James Joyce, DH Lawrence or Theodore Dreiser in a long time. While the occasional local library might perk up against this book or that, it seems like the real free speech fights are all about Twitter running the right wing QAnon conspiracy group off of its platform or whether Ann Coulter or Milo Yiannopoulos can visit a college campus.
Feb 25, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of good stuff about free speech, but a little too mixed up with progressive movement politics for my taste. I’d rather a book about free speech remain above the political fray, or at least be even-handed. Also the book was a little like a handout for a speech, lots of little listicles and summaries.
Ben Rogers
Not what I was expecting.

Not very impressed by this read.

Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Graeme Rodaughan
Aug 05, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Graeme by: margaret atwood
Recommended to me by Margaret Atwood on Bookbub.
Oct 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books should definitely be read as part of discussions on free speech; however it suffers serious issues from its organization.

Part IV is by far the strongest section, where practical problems and discussions are discussed in full. Through the first 2/3 of the book, I was frustrated, constantly asking, what about "this" and "hasn't the author considered x and y", all of which was answered in the last 1/3rd of the book.

There is also a lack of detailed explanation about the true differences b
Zibby Owens
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is so much information in this book. After reading, it almost felt like this book should be the main resource on free speech. Every family should have it. Every lawyer should have it. Everyone should have this book on their shelf to help answer any questions they may have about the topic of free speech.

The author is at the stepping stone of her career where not only is her book a wonderful resource, but she is also leading a great company, PEN, in helping enhance speech and thought throug
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Free speech, like everything else in life, is “complicated.” This author lays out, with clarity and manifold examples, the nuances of the issue. In a very evenhanded way, she explains free speech issues from historical, legal, cultural, governmental, economic and social points of view. A first-rate approach to a very timely issue. 3.5*
Marge Congress
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Very scholarly discussion which is made easier to understand by many examples of the principles she is writing about, this book about the First Amendment and its many permutations and occurrences brings many ideas and thoughts to the reader. My recommendation is to skip the introduction (really hard to read), and read only one big section at a time. At the end of a section she does a few bullet points for you to remember. Read those till you understand them, wait a few days, then continue.

The a
Mark Mortensen
I was drawn to this book by the title, as who is against free speech? The author makes some good basic points; however she seems to lean towards the protection and guidelines of political correctness (PC), which I am not a fan of. In one chapter she focuses on the link of hate speech to hate crimes, terms she supports. I believe in basic law where any crime is a crime and therefore one should not to divide society and elevate friction with labels of hate speech.
Beth M.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As CEO of PEN America, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and with experience working in a range of settings from the State Department to Amnesty International USA, Suzanne Nossel definitely has the qualifications needed to take on the thorny topic of free speech. And that’s just what she does with her new book.

In Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech For All, Nossel argues that freedom of speech and the fight against prejudice can, and in fact must, co-exist. She explores the boundaries of free s
Jan 05, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely more of a manual than a philosophical defence of free speech. I definitely wouldn’t shy away from skipping sections or chapters on facets that you’re not interested in or don’t need to know about, for example some of the section about social media.

Beyond this, I think the author may err too much on the side of averting offends as opposed to staunchly defending free speech but some of the ideas discussed are useful for anyone seeking to reach wider audiences with written or spoken ide
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Accessible but not simple. Answered questions I didn’t know I had, revisited questions I felt I understood in greater depth, and discussed the way free speech has evolved to the present moment. I found the discussions of social media responsibility enlightening. After reading this book, I feel like I should do more to seek out a breadth of information sources on current events, so I’m embarking on a TV news watching adventure. We’ll see how it goes as election 2020 and NoFacebook November approa ...more
Deep Frey
An interesting and timely read. Free speech has become a very political issue. The author gives a very balanced approach which pleased my middle leaning political sensibilities. I enjoyed the many anecdotes and chapter summaries.
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book like this could only be written within the United States’ last four chaotic, vindictive years, and we need it now most of all. It strikes an excellent balance between the opposing political and cultural forces clashing in our country, highlighting the dangers of some speech even as it lays the case for why most speech must be permitted. Several times I found my own bias twinging at an example or two Nossel selected to make a point, only to become assuaged when she segued that very same po ...more
Samuel Longoria
started slow and was just telling you what you could say and not say. I thought give a chapter more, put it down, finally picked it up and it started giving some very good examples of people saying things that really should not be said but it also said that some things were not said as people took them. Certain words are not understood by everyone, people "THINK" they are something else. The word Niggardly is used as an example. A word that was used to mean stingy, as many will recall the DC Adi ...more
The problem with this book is twofold: If you're aware of the subject, there's nothing new; while if you're not you probably won't read it. All it does is preach to the choir about how important free speech is to a democracy. Also, while it does try to remain unbiased and talk about issues off correctness and ignorance on the left and the right, it does clearly come from a liberal perspective.

One thing emblematic of a problem that both sides hold is an early example. The author points to how pr
Steven Volk
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong endorsement of maintaining, rather than challenging, First Amendment rights. The first part is more a "how-to" (speak, listen, etc.). As the narrative goes on, the arguments deepen and are more nuanced (challenges to "snowflake" representations; understandings of the real harm that "speech violence" can create, etc.). Couldn't help but think of January 6, 2021 when the author -- the CEO of PEN America -- discussed Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), in which the State of Ohio could forbid advocac ...more
Vincent Lombardo
There is much good information in this book about the laws regarding free speech and the importance of free expression. Nossel also debunks some myths, like how speech is violence -- it is not!

But this book is less a defense of free expression than a primer on how we can express ourselves freely and civilly. It constantly promotes self-editing and self-censorship to avoid offending others. I often found her tone patronizing.

Many people today do self-edit and self-censor so that others are not o
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent overview of ‘freedom of speech’ issues that are a perennial hot button issue, but housed in contemporary history and examples. Nossel lays out many of the current issues ranging from people being ‘cancelled’ to controversial speaking engagements, and changing progressive norms the author examines the subject without any overt bias of her own, if that’s even possible on this subject. Was a tad disappointed that she never got into the topic of Milkshake Ducking, which has been one of the mo ...more
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