Of course you can read this book if you want to. But, as the Observer journalist Nick Cohen argues with passion and wit, there are many important books you cannot read, not because they have been banned but because they have not been written. Their authors have been forced into self-censorship through fear of violence, financial ruin or death.
Pre-publication censorship is rare in today's world. But there are many other ways of silencing writers. The most effective is fear. For all the advances of secularism, democracy and new technology, the forces of religion, wealth and the state continue to suppress ideas and information. In fact, as Cohen argues, censorship has become more powerful over the past 20 years, not less.