“Mill points out that very often, throughout history, people have thought that they were certainly right, and then turned out to be quite wrong.”
Peter Singer, Philosopher
“Mill is one of those mildly irritating authors like Tocqueville, who say so much so well that it’s difficult to say it better.”
Timothy Garton Ash, Historian
“What we’re having to relearn now is the fire-in-the-belly liberalism that drove Mill to write On Liberty in the first place.”
Nick Clegg, Politician
“The problem Mill sees is that society tries to suppress individualism. He thinks social institutions like education and religion and politics always push you towards conformism.”
Carlos Fraenkel, Philosopher
“On Liberty is a very important document, and one which, because of the clarity with which one can read it and its brevity, is slightly passed over.”
A C Grayling, Philosopher
“What is rich about this work is that it doesn’t just assert the importance of free speech for the speaker without going into why it is important.”
Claire Fox, Sociologist
“I think liberals, of both a libertarian, classical, liberal stripe and a more modern egalitarian stripe, see John Stuart Mill as a common ancestor.”
Brink Lindsey, Political Commentator
“Imagine how John Stuart Mill would feel if he were made to wear a seatbelt because the federal government tells him so.”
Anne Heller, Journalist
We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview.
This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations.
We publish at least two new interviews per week.
© Five Books 2018