The Tyranny of Silence

Journalists face constant intimidation. Whether it takes the extreme form of beheadings, death threats, government censorship or simply political correctness—it casts a shadow over their ability to tell a story.

About the Book

When the Danish newspaper Jyllands‐​Posten published the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed nine years ago, Denmark found itself at the center of a global battle about the freedom of speech. The paper’s culture editor, Flemming Rose, defended the decision to print the 12 drawings, and he quickly came to play a central part in the debate about the limitations to freedom of speech in the 21st century. Since then, Rose has visited universities and think tanks and participated in conferences and debates around the globe in order to discuss tolerance and freedom.

In The Tyranny of Silence, Flemming Rose writes about the people and experiences that have influenced the way he views the world and his understanding of the crisis, including meetings with dissidents from the former Soviet Union and ex‐​Muslims living in Europe.

Now in paperback and with an afterword that addresses the 2015 attack on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo, Rose provides a personal account of an event that has shaped the debate about what it means to be a citizen in a democracy and how to coexist in a world that is increasingly multicultural, multi‐​religious, and multi‐​ethnic.

About the Author

Flemming Rose is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. He previously served as foreign affairs editor and culture editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands‐​Posten. During his tenure as culture editor, Rose was principally responsible for the September 2005 publication of the cartoons that initiated the Muhammad cartoons controversy in early 2006. Since then, he has been an international advocate for freedom of speech. In 2016 he received the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty from the Cato Institute. He lives in Denmark and speaks widely in Europe and elsewhere.

Praise for The Tyranny of Silence

“This book is the best book I have ever read on what we lose when we lose our courage to defend free speech in all its forms, including the one I hold very dear, cartoons. If you only read one book on this subject, read this one. If you want to read two books, read this twice.”
—Bob Mankoff, Cartoon Editor, The New Yorker

“This is a compelling argument for free speech and the freedom to criticize. Flemming Rose recounts his life and the incredible risks he has taken to defend a liberty threatened everywhere, not only in the Middle East and in Russia but also in the very heart of the Western world. His testimony is a moving story of courage, principle, and a love of liberty.”
—Mario Vargas Llosa, Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature