Free speech under threat”: isn’t that, in Western democracies anyway, an anachronism, an antique item from the fusty cabinet of disused historical curiosities?1 I mean, haven’t we waged, and won, the battle for free speech? After all, this is the twenty-first century. Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England, was published in 1644. It stands as a landmark in the coalescence of free speech (unless you happened to be Catholic). Other landmarks followed in short order. As the historian Jeremy Black notes in his essay below, the 1662 Licensing of the Press Act...

 

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