Freedom to Read About Free Speech

Are you enjoying this season's One Book, One Chicago theme, exploring Freedom To Read and the book Maus by Art Spiegelman? Maybe you've started thinking about issues of freedom of speech in not just books, but music, television, movies and other art forms as well, and are curious about the history of censorship. We recommend these great books to help you explore more.

Hip hop lovers will enjoy Rap on Trial by two professors, Erik Nielson and Andrea L. Dennis, one of whom is also a former assistant public defender. The book takes a serious look at cases where rap lyrics, introduced as evidence, had an effect on or even determined the outcome of a trial, and the racial biases in the U.S. criminal justice system that treat this genre of music different than others.

If you've ever wondered about the television rating system, The Indecent Screen by Cynthia Chris is a must read. Learn how our attitudes towards what we watch have radically changed in the twenty-year period since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as what streaming and new technologies may mean in the future.

Film buffs can learn about the time before the motion picture codes in Forbidden Hollywood by Mark A. Vieira, who shares scandalous stories and many photos of the 1927 - 1934 period in Hollywood, when films were not yet subject to strict standards. 

Free Speech Handbook is a creative and accessible comic detailing ten important legal cases related to freedom of speech. Comic artist Mike Cavallaro worked with lawyer and author Ian Rosenberg to adapt Rosenberg's book The Fight for Free Speech into this volume of the World Citizen Comics series. 

We may think of it as a classic now, but James Joyce's Ulysses was once thought of as dangerous. In The Most Dangerous Book, Kevin Birmingham details the Joyce's long fight for the freedom to publish and share his masterpiece. 

Got a favorite book, movie or tv show that has been censored? Share it in the comments!

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Chicago Public Library