Areopagitica and Other Writings

By John Milton,

Book cover of Areopagitica and Other Writings

Book description

John Milton was celebrated and denounced in his own time both as a poet and as a polemicist. Today he is remembered first and foremost for his poetry, but his great epic Paradise Lost was published very late in his life, in 1667, and in his own time most readers…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Areopagitica and Other Writings as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Written at the height of the English Civil War, this is perhaps the single most important manifesto for free speech in the English language. But it’s also surprisingly good fun, composed in a vivid, memorable style that brings abstract concepts to life.

Advocating what he terms ‘promiscuous reading,’ Milton encourages us to think for ourselves and resist intellectual authoritarianism. I love his argument for the importance of reading in cultivating independent thought: "A good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm’d and treasur’d up on purpose to a life beyond life." As a writer and literary critic,…

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