The Freedom to Lie

A Debate about Democracy


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SKU: 9780786469932 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

“It is ironic that we librarians debate the place of dangerous and extreme ideas in our corner of the world of communication, when we are so sorely needed as champions of access. This is a time in which the Meese Pornography Commission recommendations are being turned into repressive laws, government secrecy is burgeoning while public access to information is dwindling, and media monopolies…continue to narrow the spectrum of what is deemed ‘newsworthy’.”—John Swan
“Unless we have a holistic view of intellectual freedom and other values, we are liable not only to charges of racism and other forms of discrimination, but our own professional rhetoric, our own Library Bill of Rights, can be turned against us.”—Noel Peattie.

About the Author(s)

The late John Swan was head librarian at Bennington College in Vermont.
The late Noel Peattie was a philosopher and humanities librarian at the University of California-Davis.

Bibliographic Details

John Swan and Noel Peattie
Format: softcover (5.5 x 8.5)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: annotated bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [1989]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6993-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Two Disclaimers vii
Acknowledgments ix
The Dolphins: A Foreword (by Robert Franklin) xiii
Untruth or Consequences (John Swan) 1
Lies, Damned Lies, and Democracy and The Ethics of Freedom; or, The Practicalities of Free Access (John Swan) 15
Truth, Libraries, and Revolution (Noel Peattie) 35
Damned Lies, Part II: A Rebuttal in Specifics (John Swan) 107
A Brief Rejoinder (Noel Peattie) 123
Three Hard Cases for Socially Responsible Librarians (An Appendix) (Noel Peattie) 127
Two Last Socially Conscious Questions for Hardy Librarians (An Appendix) (John Swan) 143
A Bibliographic Essay (Noel Peattie) 151
An Idiosyncratic Bibliography about Freedom-Or, an Argument in the Form of a Reading List (John Swan) 157
Index 173

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “A sound philosophical and historical underpinning to our professional code of ethics…[and] a very useful annotated bibliography”—Library Journal
  • “A greatly expanded print version of the debate ‘Two Views of Intellectual Freedom’ at the 1988 [ALA] Conference”—American Libraries
  • “Deserves our careful attention”—Wilson Library Journal
  • “Exceptional…superlative bibliography. Every librarian should read this book”–Journal of Academic Librarianship
  • “Required reading for all librarians”–Sources.