Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

P. E. Moskowitz / The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent

August 29, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm PDT

Booksmith hosts P. E. Moskowitz for their new book, The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent. Please join us for what promises to be a stimulating conversation!

There’s a critical debate taking place over one of our most treasured rights: free speech. We argue about whether it’s at risk, whether college students fear it, whether neo-Nazis deserve it, and whether the government is adequately upholding it.

But as P. E. Moskowitz provocatively shows in The Case Against Free Speech, the term has been defined and redefined to suit those in power, and in recent years, it has been captured by the right to push their agenda. What’s more, our investment in the First Amendment obscures an uncomfortable truth: free speech is impossible in an unequal society where a few corporations and the ultra-wealthy bankroll political movements, millions of voters are disenfranchised, and our government routinely silences critics of racism and capitalism.

Weaving together history and reporting from Charlottesville, Skokie, Standing Rock, and the college campuses where student protests made national headlines, Moskowitz argues that these flashpoints reveal more about the state of our democracy than they do about who is allowed to say what.

Our current definition of free speech replicates power while dissuading dissent, but a new ideal is emerging. In this forcefully argued, necessary corrective, Moskowitz makes the case for speech as a tool-for exposing the truth, demanding equality, and fighting for all our civil liberties.

P. E. Moskowitz is the author of How to Kill a City. A former staff writer for Al Jazeera America, they have written for publications including theGuardianNew York Times, NewYorker.com, New RepublicWiredSlate,BuzzfeedSplinter, and Vice. A graduate of Hampshire College and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, they live in New Orleans.

This is an all ages event with mature themes.

As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of The Case Against Free Speech, order below and put your request in the comments field. If you’d like to request a signed copy of any of P. E.’s other books, order here and be sure to include your request in the comments field.

RSVP is appreciated but not required.


The Booksmith
View Organizer Website


The Booksmith
1644 Haight St
San Francisco , CA 94117 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website