Tuesday, 14 February 2012

What's wrong with free speech? March/April issue on sale 16 February

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

What’s wrong with free speech? So asks the cover of our new issue, on-sale Thursday 16 February, with a ripped-out space where Salman Rushdie’s mouth should be. On the one hand of course the answer is “nothing”, as in free speech is one of our most cherished and hard-won rights and something we value and should protect. On the other hand the answer is “quite a lot”, in that threats to free speech seems to be proliferating around us, as in the case of Sir Salman himself, who was prevented from travelling to the Literature Festival in Jaipur because of death threats which may or may not have been concocted by the local police to keep him away. Our response is to bring out the heavy guns in the shape of the tireless free-speech campaigners Kenan Malik and Nick Cohen. Kenan writes a typically economical and acute piece about what has gone wrong with our commitment to freedom, and Nick contributes a brilliant ten-point plan for fixing it, drawn from his latest (and briskly selling) publication You Can’t Read This Book (Fourth Estate).

Having committed ourselves to the principle of free expression we proceed to use it to its best advantage in this issue – we interview Alain de Botton about his controversial new proposal that atheists ransack religion for useful ideas; a year after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan, Angela Saini asks are we any safer?; Matthew Adams searches out the enigma that is Jonathan Meades; Laurie Taylor interview Stefan Collini about the crisis in higher education; Stephen Cave explores the all too human obsession with cheating death; and Lisa Randall talks us through the mind-warping findings of contemporary cosmology.

Plus: a Q&A with the campaigning MP Tom Watson, why rationalists should embrace Tarot cards, 10 things we miss about Christopher Hitchens and the best worst review you will ever read by the incomparable Jonathan Rée. And just in case you haven’t seen it, we have Jesus appearing in a KitKat bar. Something for everyone. If you don’t already, you should subscribe now – at the incredible special offer price of just £1. If there was a God you know he’d want you to.

Alternatively, you will find us from Thursday in hundreds of stores nationwide, including selected WH Smiths (use the store finder box on our home page to find a stockist).
blog comments powered by Disqus