Dare to Speak reading list book covers

My approach to free speech is that we need to think hard about how it interacts with other constitutional principles and social values, especially our commitment to equality and inclusion in a diverse society. That makes it important to think about the precepts of free speech in terms of these other goals, and to consider how they can dovetail to be mutually reinforcing. It is also essential to recognize the ways in which our landscape for speech is shaped and bounded by forces other than government prohibitions; social norms, digital behaviors, and institutional policies and rules set by private companies can dictate what can and cannot be said not just as a formal matter, but in terms of the calculus that happens in our heads as we contemplate whether to voice an idea or opinion that may be contested. To effectively defend free speech in 2021, we need to consider all of these factors.

The books here provide a pathway for thinking through these issues and have helped to inform the principles for protecting free speech that I lay out in Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All.
—Suzanne Nossel, CEO, PEN America