PFS Podcast: Jonathan Rauch on his acclaimed new book

Below is a link to our first podcast, a 52-minute interview of Jonathan Rauch, a Brookings scholar and journalist who is one of America’s sharpest and most original thinkers, by Stuart Taylor Jr., president of Princetonians for Free Speech. The subject is Jonathan’s highly acclaimed new book, The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth. It is a deep dive into how Western thinkers have used evidence and logic since the enlightenment to determine what is true and what is false, making possible enormous progress in science, medicine, philosophy, politics, law, and other human affairs.

Most important for today’s world, Rauch explains the threats to all this progress, to the health of what he calls the reality-based community, and even to our way of life, from the Trumpist “firehose of falsehoods” on the far right and the totalitarian cancel culture that is coming to dominate academia, the news media, and other educated elites on the  left. The book includes a muscular defense of free speech, which is vital to the constitution of knowledge.

The many glowing reviews include those of columnist George Will, who calls Rauch “a James Madison for this era,” and former American Civil Liberties Union president Nadine Strossen, who says: “Starting from first principles and applying them to headlines as recent as the storming of the U.S. Capitol in 2021, The Constitution of Knowledge provides the map we've been waiting for.”