In the twentieth century, free people faced a number of mortal threats, ranging from despotism, fascism, and communism to the looming menace of global terrorism. While the struggle against some of these overt dangers continues, some insidious new threats seem to have slipped past our intellectual defenses. These new threats are quietly eroding our
hard-won freedoms, often unchallenged and, in some cases, widely accepted as beneficial.
In New Threats to Freedom, editor and author Adam Bellow has assembled an all-star lineup of innovative thinkers to challenge these insidious new threats. Some leap into already raging debates on issues such as Sharia law in the West, the rise of transnationalism, and the regulatory state. Others turn their attention to less obvious threats, such as the dogma of fairness, the failed promises of the blogosphere, and the triumph of behavioral psychology.
These threats are very real and very urgent, yet this collection avoids projecting an air of doom and gloom. Rather, it provides a blueprint for intellectual resistance so that modern defenders of liberty may better understand their enemies, more effectively fight to preserve the meaning of freedom, and more surely carry its light to a new generation.
Contributors include: Anne Applebaum, Bruce Bawer, Peter Berkowitz, Max Borders, Richard A. Epstein, Jessica Gavora, Michael Goodwin, Daniel Hannan, Alexander Harrington, Mark Helprin, Christopher Hitchens, Robert D. Kaplan, James Kirchick, Greg Lukianoff, Barry C. Lynn, David Mamet, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Tara McKelvey, Mark T. Mitchell, Michael C. Moynihan, Chris Norwood, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Naomi Schaefer Riley, Christine Rosen, Ron Rosenbaum, Stephen Schwartz, Lee Siegel, Christina Hoff Sommers, Shelby Steele, and Dennis Whittle.
The 30 contributors to Bellow’s collection of brief essays grapple head-on with various American freedoms and how fragile they are. The arguments deal with new ways of understanding freedom and the counter-forces at work to undermine them, more often from within than from outside … Bellow has assembled an A-list of commentators.
Essays such as Greg Lukianoff's "Students Against Liberty?" was very thought provoking. The placement of a very strong essay by Mark Helprin entitled "The Rise of Antireligious Orthodoxy" right before a strong essay on multi-culturalism by Christopher Hitchens makes me smile every time... I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.
External threats to democracy abound, from the explosive-laden SUV in New York City onward, but it is the internal and very real threats to American freedom that you will want to explore in these thoughtful, informed essays in order to be more effective in the urgent need to preserve the meaning of freedom. —Dea Adria Mallin
Some of the essays in this book will truly alarm you. Some will have you wondering what all the fuss is about. And, some while pointing to a true problem aren't really a threat to freedom. . . . I strongly recommend it. You won’t agree with every essay, but so what? It will get you thinking, and that's what counts. —Fred Litwin
I must say that I found this book truly intriguing. I myself have taken a vacation from protecting freedom. I have ignored the travesty of many parts of the Patriot act. I was silent when it became clear that the press were all colluding to limit our freedom while gaining more for themselves. This book reminds me that we must continue the eternal fight against oppression, no matter what form it may take.
Rosenbaum writes eloquently about how the tone of political debate has become increasingly toxic in the past decade in the U.S., and he credits much of that to the raw nature of exchange on the often-anonymous world wide web. &mdashDouglas Todd
Note: This review is in reference to the chapter entitled Cyber Anonymity
There are some very good articles in the book. Greg Lukianoff wrote a very good article on speech codes and the recent debacle that happened when someone wrote a satirical play and tried to perform it. Other good articles talk about the stupidity of the press and its short attention span, and the threats to a free press from around the world. These were all very well written and thought out articles.
[A] remarkable collection of essays by an eclectic group of professors, journalists, intellectuals, and other wordsmiths, all on the topic of what's corroding the mainstays of liberty in America. —Mike Gibson
While most of the topics covered in the book are not FIRE issues or are only tangentially related to freedom in academia, FIRE is always glad to see an exercise in advancing ideas and robust debate, and we are proud to be part of the prestigious intellectual group that the authors of this book represent. —Robert Shibley