Recommended Common Reads from FIRE and First Amendment Watch

Fiction

Banned Books

  • “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury (1953)
    Fahrenheit 451 cover
  • “1984” by George Orwell (1949)
  • “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess (1962)
  • “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley (1932)
  • “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie (1988)
  • “We” by Yevgeny Zamyati (1924)

Nonfiction

Free Speech on Campus

  • “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech” by Keith E. Whittington (2018)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “‘Speak Freely’ with Professor Keith Whittington” 

  • “Free Speech on Campus” by Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman (2017)
  • “Unlearning Liberty” by Greg Lukianoff (2012)

International Stories 

  • “Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink” by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom (2020)
    Hong Kong on the Brink cover
  • “Unfree Speech: The Threat to Global Democracy and Why We Must Act, Now” by Jason Y. Ng and Joshua Wong (2020)
  • “A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment” by Philipp Blom (2012)

Technology and Free Speech

  • “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Zuboff (2018)
  • “#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media” by Cass Sunstein (2017)

Press, the Media, and Free Speech

  • “An Aristocracy of Critics: Luce, Hutchins, Niebuhr, and the Committee That Redefined Freedom of the Press” by Stephen Bates (2020)
  • “Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge” by Richard Ovenden (2020)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “‘Burning the Books’ with Richard Ovenden

  • “The People vs. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s Howl” by Ronald K. L. Collins and David M. Skover (2019)
    The People v. Ferlinghetti cover

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’

  • “Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock” by Amy Werbel (2018)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “‘Lust on Trial’ with Amy Werbel

  • “Freedom of the Screen: Legal Challenges to State Film Censorship, 1915-1981” by Laura Wittern-Keller (2008)
  • “Make No Law” by Anthony Lewis (1991)

American History and Free Speech

  • “Mere Civility” by Teresa M. Bejan (2017)
  • “The Soul of the First Amendment” by Floyd Abrams (2017)
  • “Revolutionary Dissent: How the Founding Generation Created the Freedom of Speech” by Stephen D. Solomon (2016)
    “Revolutionary Dissent: How the Founding Generation Created the Freedom of Speech” cover

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “NYU Professor Stephen Solomon’s ‘Revolutionary Dissent’

  • “Liberty’s First Crisis” by Charles Slack (2015)
  • “The Great Dissent” by Thomas Healy (2013)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “‘The Great Dissent’ with Professor Thomas Healy

  • “Defending My Enemy” by Aryeh Neier (1979)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “Aryeh Neier on ‘Defending My Enemy’”

Tolerance and Censorship 

  • “Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All” by Suzanne Nossel (2020)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “‘Dare to Speak’ with PEN America’s Suzanne Nossel

  • “HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship” by Nadine Strossen (2018)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “‘HATE’ with Nadine Strossen

  • “The Coddling of the American Mind” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt (2018)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “‘Coddling’ One Year Later

  • “Tyranny of Silence” by Flemming Rose (2016)

Resource: So to Speak podcast episode, “Flemming Rose and ‘The Tyranny of Silence’

  • “Freedom From Speech” by Greg Lukianoff (2014)
  • “On Tolerance” by Frank Furedi (2011)
  • “Kindly Inquisitors” by Jonathan Rauch (1993)

So to Speak podcast episode, “Jonathan Rauch’s ‘Kindly Inquisitors’

Historical Documents and Foundational Texts 

  • “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)
  • “Cato’s Letters” (1720-23) by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon

Resource: First Amendment Watch’s “History Speaks” entry 

  • “The Report of 1800” by James Madison (1800)

Resource: First Amendment Watch’s “History Speaks” entry

  • “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill (1859)

Resource: “All Minus One: John Stuart Mill’s Ideas on Free Speech, Illustrated

  • Abrams v. United States (1919), Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, dissenting

Resource: First Amendment Watch’s “History Speaks” entry 

  • Whitney v. California (1927), Justice Louis Brandeis, concurring 

Resource: First Amendment Watch’s “History Speaks” entry

  • “Areopagitica” by John Milton (1644)

Resource: First Amendment Watch’s “History Speaks” entry

  • “Letter Concerning Toleration” by John Locke (1689)

Bonus: Sources for First Amendment News and Commentary