Persona Non Grata

The Death of Free Speech in the Internet Age

Publisher: Signal
Now in paperback, a passionate and edgy defense of free speech in Canada, and the role the internet plays in the issue--from an acclaimed writer and former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

     On February 28th, 2013, Tom Flanagan, well-known author, University of Calgary professor, and former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, made comments about the punishment for viewing child pornography that were tweeted from the event he was speaking at and broadcast worldwide. Following the event, in the two-and-a-half hours it took to drive from Lethbridge to his home in Calgary, Flanagan's career and reputation came under siege. Every media outlet made the story front-page news, most of them deriding Flanagan and casting him as a pariah. His university, the Prime Minister's Office, other influential politicians, and much of the media, including the CBC, made him persona non grata before he even had a chance to explain the comments he made. 
     Persona Non Grata is a superb and convincing defense of free speech--not just in Canada but everywhere--in the age of the Internet, a double-edged sword when it comes to freedom of expression.

PRAISE FOR

   • "A very compelling case about the insidious impact of social media and new technology on public debate, academic freedom and freedom of speech." Toronto Star 

   • "[This is] a settling of scores, a polemic about intellectual freedom, and a firsthand account from the pyre at a public burning. As a work of personal journalism, the book is compelling, even terrifying." Globe and Mail 

   • [Persona Non Grata raises] an important question about the Internet as a venue for conducting the conversations we need to have. Could it be that the Web's global reach, as well as the elaborate and sophisticated forms of social media that come with it, actually stifles freedom of expression rather than promotes it?" The Walrus