Freedom of Speech
Elizabeth Powers (Ed.)
The History of an Idea
The essays in this volume portray the debates concerning freedom of speech in eighteenth-century France and Britain as well as in Austria, Denmark, Russia, and Spain and its American territories. Representing the views of both moderate and radical eighteenth-century thinkers, these essays by eminent scholars suggest that twenty-first century controversies regarding the extent of permissible speech have their origins in the eighteenth century. The economic integration of Europe and its offshoots over the past three centuries into a distinctive cultural product, "the West," has given rise to the triumphalist Enlightenment narrative of universalism and tolerance that masks these divisions and the disparate national contributions to freedom of speech and other liberal rights.
About the editor:
Elizabeth Powers was chair of the Columbia University Seminar on Eighteenth-Century Culture from 2003 to 2010.