The reportage is more engrossing than the history, which can occasionally shade into a kind of term-paper gloss on complex events and politics ... This hurried campus history is a disappointment, because unlike most of the mainstream press, Moskowitz treats the concerns of students and young people seriously. Their approach is a refreshing contrast with well-heeled newspaper columnists and magazine opinion writers, who have found it easy to characterize college students as privileged, fragile 'snowflakes' unable to cope with the hurly-burly of rigorous, free-wheeling debate ... The Case Against Free Speech is a sometimes flawed but necessary book, one that I hope people will read and argue with, and one that I hope spawns both some more rigorous histories of political conceptions of speech as well as some more pointed polemics aiming at the sacrosanctity of the First Amendment, which could stand to be a site of contestation rather than blindly awed reverence.
The Case Against Free Speech provides a view of free speech that will challenge people of all political stances, not just radical liberals. This isn’t surprising, as Moskovitz makes his leftist leaning views, and his sympathy for Black Lives Matter and Antifa, quite clear in the book's Introduction. However, he puts his arguments into perspective by showing the reader what is happening today in the U.S. and making a clear connection to events in the pasts that have led to what we see today. Ultimately, whether the reader agrees with Moskowitz’s view of free speech, if the reader critically examines their opinions on free speech [the book] was not written in vain.
This book does not present a case against free speech. The title smacks of an editor’s calculated decision to choose an eye-catching title rather than reflect the author’s project ... an intriguing start, and Moskowitz gets credit for conducting extensive interviews with a wide array of people involved in free speech controversies ... These accounts are engaging and make the abstract debates over free speech far more personal and immediate. But Moskowitz betrays an appalling ignorance of the field into which they are venturing ... Very few...seminal works [on free speech] are cited in the book’s text or footnotes. Instead, Moskowitz offers their own brief history of the First Amendment. It is more or less fine until they selectively describe the history of the ACLU, skewing it to serve their pre-conceived narrative ... summary is intended to advance Moskowitz’s pessimistic theme...but unfortunately does a disservice to both the heroic people throughout American history who have tenaciously fought to exercise their right to free speech ... a skewed, depressing, hopeless, and misleading account of the history of the brave men and women who have struggled to breathe life into the words of the First Amendment.
In this incisive treatise, journalist Moskowitz...argues that the concept of free speech has been distorted as a cover for maintaining existing systems of power ... The analysis here is keen, complex, and well-organized. It probably won’t convince right-wing readers, but others will appreciate it.
Although the argument is sometimes diffuse, Moskowitz does valuable work in connecting dots ... A provocation for First Amendment absolutists, who may be surprised at all the hidden constraints that bind free expression.