Clear and Present Danger - A history of free speech
By Jacob Mchangama
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Why have kings, emperors, and governments killed and imprisoned people to shut them up? And why have countless people risked death and imprisonment to express their beliefs? Jacob Mchangama guides you through the history of free speech from the trial of Socrates to the Great Firewall. Stay up to date with Clear and Present Danger on the show’s website at freespeechhistory.com
||CleanEpisode 21 - The Bulwark of Liberty - Free Speech in 18th Century America, Part I||18th century America was impacted and influenced by the so-called Glorious Revolution in the Motherland. And no-one had a bigger impact on American attitudes towards freedom of speech than Cato’s Letters written by the Radical Whigs John Trenchard...||2/14/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 20 - The Seeds of Enlightenment||1685 was a watershed year for events that would lead to what we call the Enlightenment. France´s Sun King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes and initiated a policy of religious persecution of Protestants. In England, the Catholic James II assumed...||1/25/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 19 – Expert Opinion: Steven Nadler on Spinoza’s ‘book forged in hell” and the right to “think what you like and say what you think”||Baruch Spinoza (also known as Benedict de Spinoza) was born in Amsterdam in 1632. While his given name means “blessing” in both Hebrew and Latin, Spinoza’s “Theological-political treatise” from 1670 was condemned as “a book forged in...||1/3/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 18 - Colonial Dissent: Blasphemy, Libel and Tolerance in 17th Century America||Americans are more supportive of free speech than any other people. 95 % of Americans think it’s “very important” to be able to criticize the government without censorship and 77% support the right to offend religious feelings. But in 17th...||12/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17 - Global Inquisition||In the 16th Century Spain and Portugal globalized the inquisition by spreading the fight for religious orthodoxy and against heresy, blasphemy and apostasy to the Americas, Africa and Asia allowing inquisitors to pry into the souls of men on five...||11/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 16: Expert Opinion - Michael Shermer||In this episode, we join up with historian of science Dr. Michael Shermer to investigate the cross-fertilization between science and free speech. Michael Shermer is a prolific writer on science, philosophy and morality and has appeared in numerous...||11/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 15 - Paper-bullets and the forgotten martyrs of radical free speech||Episode 15 returns to Europe and formative events in 17th Century England, where a mostly forgotten group of radicals demanded a written constitution guaranteeing free speech, liberty of conscience, and democracy. But who were the Levellers? What was...||10/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14 - ‘Universal Peace’: Religious tolerance in the Mughal empire||Episode 14 leaves the West and heads to 16th and 17th Century India and the Mughal empire. In particular, the rule of Akbar the Great. A century before John Locke’s “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” Akbar developed a policy of “Universal...||9/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 13: Expert Opinion - Jonathan Haidt||In this episode, we do a bit of time travel and leave the 17th century for a discussion of free speech on American college and university campuses today. Our guest is New York University professor Jonathan Haidt, who is a co-author with FIRE’s Greg...||9/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 12: Expert Opinion - Teresa Bejan||We enter the early modern age with an expert opinion featuring Teresa Bejan, associate professor at Oriel College, Oxford University and author of “Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration.” In this episode, Jacob and Teresa will...||8/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11: The great disruption - Part II||In episode 11 we continue to survey the wreckage after hurricane Luther was unleashed on Europe with the Reformation. When the Reformation mutated and spread across the continent a burning question arose: Can people of different faiths live together...||8/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 10: The great disruption - Part I, the printing press and the viral Reformation||The disruptive effects of the internet and social media on the spread of information are unprecedented. Or are they? In episode 10 of Clear and Present Danger, we cover the invention, spread, and effects of the Gutenberg printing press: ...||6/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 9: Expert Opinion - Christine Caldwell Ames||Our last stop in the Middle Ages is an interview with professor Christine Caldwell Ames, who is an expert on medieval heresy and inquisition in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The discussion highlights the similarities and differences between...||5/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 8: The hounds of God - medieval heretics and inquisitors||From the High Middle Ages, Europe developed into a “persecuting society,” obsessed with stamping out the “cancer” of heresy. But questions about how this was accomplished — and the consequences of these developments — abound: Why did...||5/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7: Expert Opinion - Peter Adamson||In our second expert opinion episode, Jacob Mchangama talks with Peter Adamson, who is a professor of philosophy at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and host of the podcast “History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps.” We’ll discuss medieval...||4/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6: The not-so-Dark Ages, medieval intellectuals, and freethinkers||In episode 6, we get medieval! Find out why the Middle Ages were as much a period of reason and inquiry as inquisition and superstition. Why was the famous medieval intellectual Pierre Abelard castrated, forced to burn his works, and condemned to...||4/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5: The Caliphate||Why did the medieval Abbasid Caliphs have almost all ancient Greek works of philosophy and science translated into Arabic? How did the long list of medieval Muslim polymaths reconcile abstract reasoning with Islamic doctrine? Who were the radical...||3/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4: Expert Opinion - Paul Cartledge||In our first expert opinion segment, Jacob Mchangama talks to Emeritus Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University Paul Cartledge. With his intimate knowledge of ancient Greece, we dive deeper into the concepts of free speech and democracy in...||3/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3: The Age of Persecution||Why did the polytheist Ancient Romans persecute the followers of the new Jewish sect of “Christians” in the first three centuries AD”? How high was the price that Christians had to pay for casting away their ancient religious traditions for the...||3/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2: Liberty or License - Free Speech in Ancient Rome||Rome was the most powerful empire in antiquity. But were the Romans free to speak truth to power? Did history’s first successful Women’s March take place in Rome? And who came out on top when the words of Cicero clashed with the ambition of Caesar..||2/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 1: Who wishes to speak? - Free Speech in Ancient Athens||The democracy of Ancient Athens was the birthplace of equal and uninhibited speech. Or Isegoria and parrhesia to the Athenians. Jacob Mchangama guides you through how oratory was central to the idea and practice of Athenian democracy. What Athenian...||2/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 0: Why free speech?||Only 13% of the world’s 7,4 billion people enjoy free speech. 45% live in countries where censorship is the norm. Still, more than half the world’s population across cultures and continents think free speech is very important. But why is...||1/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Had to stop listening
The cheesy changes to the voice track for quotations and the oddly-spaced jingle were too annoying. It was like 25 mins of history packed into a hour long podcast. Plus the level changes blew my ears out. Lasted through two episodes.
Now more than ever a program like this needs to reach as many people as possible. The freedom of expression is a finite resource, it seems. It needs a history and protection. Both needs are met here in his show. Thanks!
The Best Guide to Free Speech
There is no better guide to the history of free speech than Jacob Mchangama. He is one of the most principled, intelligent, and courageous liberal voices in Scandinavia today. I can't recommend this podcast enough.