Civil Liberties

Adam Bellow on The New Threats to Freedom


Adam Bellow is a well-known figure in publishing circles and the author of the best-selling In Praise of Nepotism. He's also the editor of the collection New Threats to Freedom, just published by the Templeton Press.

New Threats (visit the book's website here) includes contributions from figures such as Christopher Hitchens ("Multiculturalism and the Threat of Conformity"), David Mamet ("The Fairness Doctrine"), Glenn Reynolds ("Liberty and Complacency"), Anne Applebaum ("The Decline of American Press Freedom"), and Reason staffers Katherine Mangu-Ward ("The War on Negative Liberty") and Michael C. Moynihan ("The Anticapitalists").

In his introductory essay, "Where Have All The Grownups Gone?," Bellow calls for a reinvigorated debate about the meaning and necessity of freedom in a world that is a generation past the Cold War. Reflecting on figures such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his own father, the Nobel Prize winning novelist Saul Bellow, he writes,

Many of us assumed that there would always be such people on hand to make the case for freedom and democracy. The loss of many of these outsized intellectual and literary figures in the first decade of this century leaves one wondering whether there are still any grownups around.

But here is a sobering thought: merely to ask the question is to assume responsibility for embracing the task oneself. Resistance doesn't come out of nowhere; it has to be fostered the old-fashioned way, word by word, through magazines and books, think-tank panels, conferences and seminars. We are the grownups now, and we owe it to the next generation to provide a model of how to be serious about ultimate questions.'s Nick Gillespie sat down with Bellow just before a May 17, 2010 panel discussion on the book featuring Bellow, Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward, Stephen Schwartz ("Shariah in the West"), and Christine Rosen ("The New Behaviorists").

To watch the full panel discussion, go here.

Approximately 4.45 minutes. Shot and edited by Dan Hayes, Meredith Bragg, and Josh Swain.

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