12 July, 2021
Conway Hall Ethical Society - Online via Zoom
The urge to censor is as old as the urge to speak. From the first Chinese emperor’s wholesale elimination of books to the Vatican’s suppression of pornography, right up to the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the advent of Internet troll armies in this century, words, images and ideas have always been hunted down by those trying to suppress them.
The first cultural history of its kind, Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West from the Ancients to Fake News reveals why and how humanity has, from the beginning, sought to silence itself. Lifting the lid on censorship and the suppression of free speech throughout the ages, first amendment rights lawyer, journalist and author Eric Berkowitz takes the reader on unruly yet captivating ride through history, highlighting the use of censorship to reinforce class, race and gender privilege, and guard against offence; examining these trends as part of a phenomenon that has shaped Western culture across centuries.
In an exclusive event with Conway Hall Ethical Society, Eric Berkowitz will take a compelling deep-dive into the political censorship of the nineteenth century. Through entertaining anecdotes, which range from the egregious – such as claims by American slave-owners that abolitionist literature be banned, as it was ‘injurious’ to their feelings, to the absurd – the word ’liberté’ being forbidden from appearing on chinaware in Austria – Berkowitz will unpack the effects of censorship during this fascinating period of history, illustrating the travails of the people, famous and obscure, who played central roles in the formation of our right to express ourselves.
Attendees of the event will also receive an exclusive discount code for £5 off the HB of Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West from the Ancients to Fake News.
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