An illustrated version of Mill’s “On Liberty”

I hesitate to call this to your attention, because I think everybody who follows this website should read John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, which constitutes the best argument in print for free speech—including “hate speech”. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination, the Heterodox Academy has put out an illustrated version consisting solely of Chapter 2: the heart of Mill’s argument.

Although you can buy it on Kindle or get an expensive hardcover version, you can also get a free downloadable 48-page pdf by clicking on the screenshot below:

As the HA page notes, “Editors Richard Reeves (a biographer of Mill) and Jon Haidt (a social psychologist) have written a brief introduction to link Mill and his time to the issues of our time, and
artist Dave Cicirelli has created 16 gorgeous original illustrations that amplify the power of Mill’s metaphors and arguments.

There’s also a free downloadable pdf in the book’s original format (two pages at a time). Read either the original version or this one, but read one of them!




  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    A pdf of the whole kit and caboodle can be downloaded for free here.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 18, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, I missed that you had a link in your envoi.

  2. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    If downloaded, it turns into vertical scrolling instead of horizontal scrolling. I vastly prefer the former.

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    The hardcover version would make a lovely gift for the right person.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 18, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      That a hint? You got a b-day comin’ up or sumpin’? 🙂

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted May 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        My birthday is in December, so not a hint.

        Though if someone still remembered when it got to my birthday, I’d be very happy!

  4. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I rather see statistics on outcomes of different politics. Mills was a philosopher and may or may not have done his best without data. But we have better methods today.

  5. jaxkayaker
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I had already downloaded this but got busy and had forgotten I had it. Thanks for the reminder, Jerry.

    There are free ebook versions of the full On Liberty by Mill on the Google Play Store, as well as some of his other works, such as Utilitarianism

  6. Posted May 18, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I read On Liberty in college as a reading assignment. It was probably one of the most influential books I ever read, as was Mill’s On the Subjection of Women. I wonder how many college reading lists those works are on now.

  7. BJ
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Alas, I already own two copies of the original text. Of course, that’s not to say that I would mind owning this one! I’ve always appreciated Mill’s style. On Liberty is not only profound, but also a surprisingly easy read.

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    What strikes me is that we have today the greatest tools in our history to feed the greatest number of human minds with the greatest works of our species. And yet I struggle to believe that we are racing toward an enlightened state of peace and harmony.

  9. Posted May 19, 2018 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  10. nicky
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Kew about Mill, but never read anything. Nor did I know he was a nearly exact contemporary of Darwin. From the pdf, he appears to be a great philosopher.
    Thank you!

  11. Arno Matthias
    Posted May 19, 2018 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    free audiobook of ‘On Liberty’:

  12. H Walter Muchow
    Posted June 2, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The conservative approach to free speech seems to me to be to use it as a weapon against the left rather than to actually support it.
    Here is an article that supports that conclusion.

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