Petition Closed

Intellectual freedom is at stake.

Letter to
The General Public
I just signed the following petition addressed to: The General Public.

We have been deeply concerned by the statements from Niall Ferguson,a professor of history at Harvard University, threatening to sue the London Review of Books on the basis of Pankaj Mishra’s review of his recent book ("Harvard historian Niall Ferguson threatens suit over bad review," Los Angeles Times blog, November 29, 2011).

Intellectual debate is not resolved through the courts. If Ferguson disagrees with a poor review of his book, he should respond by explaining his position (as he has done on the ‘Letters’ page of the London Review of Books) and allowing readers to decide for themselves. He does not need to resort to tactics of crude intimidation.

We do not think there is any basis whatsoever for a court case based on Mishra’s review, and we consider any threats of this nature to be a basic violation of intellectual freedom. We express our unequivocal support for the London Review of Books with regard to this case."