Robert Darnton offers a useful reminder that not all societies are as dedicated to free speech as the US. In fact, some intellectuals have seen censorship as a valuable way to form and maintain civil society.
Darton’s new book Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature (published by W. W. Norton) examines censorship in three societies. Revolutionary France, imperial India, and East Germany.
His detailed examples give use second thought on the value of censorship. Some censors have acted more like editors, enhancing the author’s work. Some not.
His blog is worth a read: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/sep/17/what-is-censorship/