This is a great book.  Bridge at Andau is a non fiction book about the Hungarian Revolution against the Soviet Russians in 1956.  It is an amazing story of a very strong willed people who merely wanted their freedoms.  

One of the themes in the book is the freedom to just talk.  The Hungarians were not even allowed to discuss art, opera, books, or any other thing that did not fit strictly within the political views of the ruling elite, the Russian Communist Party.  There was not even the illusion of equality between the Hungarians and the Russians in Hungary.  Many people who escaped into Austria from Hungary at first just wanted to talk about things.  They had come from their own homeland where no one could be trusted because the secret police had spies everywhere to report on people saying anything negative about the Russians, or about communism.  They were not able to freely converse and discuss ideas or seek for the truth of matters.

This book is a timely discussion for today in the United States.  There is a discussion of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine and otherwise limiting freedom of speech.  There is already tremendous pressure brought to bear against people who use politically incorrect speech.  If you are against gay marriage, you are a hate monger and a homophobe.  If you use some rather rude and antiquated words to desribe a person of different ancestry and therefore a different skin tone, you are a raging racist.  If you use the wrong words to describe someone who has a physical or mental impairment you are a bigot and uneducated.

We are losing our freedom of speech because of government controls of the levers of broadcast and communication.  We are losing our freedom of speech because of private individuals and media personalities that will mercilessly berate people who have a different opinion and have the audacity to express their opinion in an effective way.

The people of Hungary launched a revolution for many reasons, but one of the main ones was the comlete telling of lies and a lack of being able to talk freely about art, philosophy, history, and other great ideas.  The revolution was such a bitter and difficult battle that many children were going forth to use gas bombs to burn out tanks driving through the city of Budapest.  

What are you doing to protect your freedom of speech?

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