You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom

You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom

Nick Cohen

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0007518501

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The uncompromising Nick Cohen exposes the reality behind the freedoms we enjoy in the book that won Polemic of the Year at the 2013 Political Book Awards. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism, and the advent of the Web which allowed for even the smallest voice to be heard, everywhere you turned you were told that we were living in an age of unparalleled freedom. 'You Can't Read This Book' argues that this view is dangerously naive. From the revolution in Iran that wasn't, to the Great Firewall of China and the imposition of super-injunctions from the filthy rich protecting their privacy, the traditional opponents of freedom of speech - religious fanaticism, plutocratic power and dictatorial states - are thriving and in many respects finding the world a more comfortable place in the early 21st century than they did in the late 20th.

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honour of my family and whole clan – uncles, brothers, male cousins – forever and irretrievably. The place between my legs was sewn up to prevent it. It would be broken only by my husband.’ The retreat of poor-world radicals from the dying creed of socialism and into religious and tribal fanaticisms was well underway in Kenya by the time Hirsi Ali was a teenager. In Europe and America as well as Africa and the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood was the vehicle for religious reaction. Although

safety, Dutch politicians threatened to make her a stateless woman again. If they had succeeded, the Dutch authorities would have been under no obligation to protect her. They could call off her police escort and leave Hirsi Ali in a free-fire zone. Such was the price elements in the Dutch establishment wished Hirsi Ali to pay for upholding the ideals they professed to hold themselves. Nor were the majority of the wider liberal intelligentsia prepared to offer support to a woman hitmen wanted to

member said to me, ‘I’m not walking three paces behind any fucking man.’ My illusions lasted less than an hour. I walked into a nearby bar with a young woman who was as British as anyone else in London that day. ‘You’re not welcome here,’ EDL members spat at a Muslim so integrated that she would walk into a pub with a casual acquaintance. ‘Fuck off back to Pakistan.’ I learned then that the English Defence League was not against Islamists, but against all Muslims. As I expected, the League soon

been impressed to see Asian women in Western clothes. Performers like her would be freer here, she reasoned, because immigrants had had longer to integrate. ‘I first realised that something was wrong when my new manager told me that there was no competition. No other Muslim woman was doing what I was doing. He thought it was great, but I wondered, “Why am I the only one?”’ She soon found out. In 2006, she released a single, ‘What Will it Be’. ‘We don’t take it lightly when you threatenin’

history of code-breaking and the efforts of generations of mathematicians to find a proof for Fermat’s last theorem. He explained scientific ideas to a lay audience without glossing over difficulties the reader needed to understand – one of the hardest forms of prose writing there is, in my opinion. In 2008, Singh and Ernst released Trick or Treatment, a history of how the various alternative therapies came about, why they once seemed plausible, and why patients and governments should now reject

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