Freedom to Think

Freedom to Think : The Long Struggle to Liberate Our Minds

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'Compelling, powerful and necessary.' Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

'Fascinating' Guardian

Without a moment's pause, we share our most intimate thoughts with trillion-dollar tech companies. Their algorithms categorize us and jump to troubling conclusions about who we are. They also shape our everyday thoughts, choices and actions - from who we date to whether we vote. But this is just the latest front in an age-old struggle.

Part history and part manifesto, Freedom to Think explores how the powerful have always sought to influence how we think and what we buy. Connecting the dots from Galileo to Alexa, human rights lawyer Susie Alegre charts the history and fragility of our most important human right: freedom of thought.

Filled with shocking case-studies across politics, criminal justice, and everyday life, this ground-breaking book shows how our mental freedom is under threat like never before. Bold and radical, Alegre argues that only by recasting our human rights for the digital age can we safeguard our future.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 28mm | 619g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1838951520
  • 9781838951528
  • 29,739

Table of contents

1: Inner Freedom 2: Of Gods and Men 3: Inside Your Head 4: The Politics of Persuasion 5: The Power of Human Rights 6: Facebook Knows You Better 7: The Ministry of Truth 8: Consenting Adults 9: Social Credit 10: Pre-Crime and Punishment 11: Body and Soul 12: We Don't Need No Thought Control 13: The Backlash 14: Freeing Our Minds
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Review quote

Fascinating... We have all sleepwalked into this gloomy fairytale, and it's time to wake up. * Guardian * Freedom to Think could not be more timely... As the world experiences yet another brutal reminder of how far authoritarians will go to control and suppress their populations, [Alegre's] recommendations feel freshly relevant. * Financial Times * Profoundly essential and deeply engaging. If freedom of thought and the very possibility of a free society are to survive the digital century, then we urgently need the rights and laws that will make it so. Thankfully, Alegre stands with us to lead and light the way, beginning with her compelling, powerful, and necessary book. * Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism * Engaging and thought-provoking... [a] hard-hitting examination of the evils of Big Tech and, to a lesser extent, the surveillance state. * Literary Review * A brilliant, accessible book by a brilliant lawyer. Freedom of thought is a fundamental human right and Susie Alegre powerfully argues that it needs to be harnessed now. * Helena Kennedy QC, author of Eve was Framed * Freedom to Think identifies and then fills a gaping hole in how we consider the world. It is a book that will shake and refresh, but ultimately leave you more hopeful about the future. * Alison Goldsworthy, CEO of The Depolarization Project and author of Poles Apart * Engaging and entertaining. A call to action on one of the most pressing issues of our time. * Jennifer Robinson, leading human rights lawyer * Alegre asks a provocative and original question as we struggle to understand and react to our increasingly technologized world: are we losing our freedom of thought? Her ideas are much needed. * David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect * A thoughtful and engaging book: profound, moving, and even funny. * Johnny Ryan, leading privacy campaigner * In the absence of adequate scrutiny or accountability, technology has developed to undermine the keystone for human dignity: the right to freedom of thought. In this timely and pioneering book Alegre contributes a sorely needed vision for how we may protect a "forgotten freedom" and collectively avert an Orwellian future. This book is an insightful and urgent wake-up call. * Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief * Powerful and persuasive. This important, finely written book explains why we must protect that most fundamental of our freedoms at a time when it is in danger of being overborne by profit-making propaganda, fake news and hate-fuelled social media. * Geoffrey Robertson QC, founder of Doughty Street Chambers * Freedom to Think is an effective wake-up call for those unaware of the scale of efforts to restrict and control our thoughts. * Engineering & Technology *
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About Susie Alegre

Susie Alegre is a leading human rights barrister at the internationally renowned Doughty Street Chambers. She has been a legal pioneer in digital human rights, in particular the impact of artificial intelligence on the human rights of freedom of thought and opinion. She is also Senior Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton.
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