'The Paradox of Democracy: Free Speech, Open Media, and Perilous Persuasion' by Sean Illing

Updated: Dec 5, 2021


No stranger to wrestling with challenging concepts, Sean Illing (in his second book) and his co-author Zac Gershberg have penned a "A thought-provoking history of communications that challenges ideas about freedom of speech and democracy." From the description:


"At the heart of democracy lies a contradiction that cannot be resolved, one that has affected free societies since their advent: Though freedom of speech and media has always been a necessary condition of democracy, that very freedom is also its greatest threat. When new forms of communications arrive, they often bolster the practices of democratic politics. But the more accessible the media of a society, the more susceptible that society is to demagoguery, distraction, and spectacle. Tracing the history of media disruption and the various responses to it over time, Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing reveal how these changes have challenged democracy—often with unsettling effects."

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