Jonathan Rauch's "Kindly Inquisitors"

So to Speak: The Free Speech PodcastEp. 1
Jonathan Rauch's "Kindly Inquisitors"

In 1993, a young Jonathan Rauch published "Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought." It was his response to what he saw as the West's lackluster and apologetic defense of the novelist Salman Rushdie's free speech rights.

Since its publication, "Kindly Inquisitors" has never gone out of print and has been described by Foundation for Individual Rights in Education President & CEO Greg Lukianoff as the best modern defense of free speech and by "The Washington Post" columnist George Will as "slender and sharp as a stiletto."

In this episode, Nico Perrino sits down with Jonathan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, to talk about his book and its impassioned moral (not legal!) defense of liberal inquiry and criticism. They also discuss the role that free speech played in the gay rights movement, the life story of Frank Kameny, the state of free expression at Jonathan's alma mater (Yale University), and the heroism of Danish newspaperman Flemming Rose.

Nico also chats with Greg about FIRE's recent work at Williams College and what happened during Greg's first meeting with Jonathan (hint: it involved comic book superheros).

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