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About the book
  • Published: 6 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780753554791
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $24.00

Unfree Speech

The Threat to Global Democracy and Why We Must Act, Now




The urgent, first book from global phenomenon Joshua Wong – leader of the Hong Kong protests, Nobel prize nominee and TIME, Forbes and Fortune world leader – who will tell us how he took on the biggest country in the world, and why we all have a stake in the global fight for democracy.

The must read book for anyone who cares about Hong Kong and democracy. - Introduction by Ai Weiwei -
'Joshua Wong is a brave and inspiring young leader. Together we are one loud voice that cannot be silenced.' – Greta Thunberg
At what point do you stand up to power?
When he was 14, Joshua Wong made history. While the adults stayed silent, Joshua staged the first ever student protest in Hong Kong to oppose National Education – and won.

Since then, Joshua has led the Umbrella Movement, founded a political party, and rallied the international community around the anti-Extradition Bill protests, which have seen 2 million people – more than a quarter of the population – take to Hong Kong’s streets. His actions have sparked worldwide attention, earned him a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, and landed him in jail twice.

Composed in three parts, Unfree Speech chronicles Joshua’s path to activism, collects the letters he wrote as a political prisoner, and closes with a powerful and urgent call for all of us globally to defend our democratic values.

When we stay silent, no one is safe. When we free our speech, our voice becomes one.
'[Wong's] tenacious dynamism shines through Unfree Speech: a guide to mobilising for democracy and representation in and far beyond Hong Kong.' – Julia Lovell, award-winning author of Maoism

'If we want freedom, we need to learn from Hong Kong. With values, tactics, and courage, Joshua Wong shows us the way.' – Timothy Snyder, bestselling author of On Tyranny - The Times Book of the Week -
- Observer Book of the Week -
- Named by the Financial Times as one of the 50 people who shaped the decade -

  • Pub date: 6 February 2020
  • ISBN: 9780753554791
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $24.00

About the Authors

Joshua Wong

Joshua Wong was born in 1996. He has been named by TIME, Fortune and Forbes as one of the world’s most influential leaders. In 2018 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his leading role in the Umbrella Revolution. He is Secretary-General of Demosisto, a pro-democracy organisation advocating self-determination for Hong Kong which he founded in 2016. Joshua came on to the political scene in 2011 aged 14, when he founded Scholarism and successfully protested against the enforcement of Chinese National Education in Hong Kong. He has been arrested by the Chinese state numerous times for his protesting and activism and has served over 100 days in jail. Unfree Speech is Joshua’s first book in English and his first published outside of Hong Kong.

Jason Y. Ng

Jason Y. Ng is a lawyer, activist, newspaper columnist, former president of PEN Hong Kong and author of three acclaimed books charting Hong Kong’s post-colonial development, HONG KONG State of Mind, No City for Slow Men, and Umbrellas in Bloom. Ng has covered Joshua Wong’s story since he founded Scholarism in 2012 and has become a personal friend. He continues to report on and advocate for Joshua’s cause.


Praise for Unfree Speech

“Joshua Wong is a brave and inspiring young leader. Together we are one loud voice that cannot be silenced.”

Greta Thunberg, climate change activist and bestselling author of No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference

“'Joshua Wong represents a new generation of rebel. All they require and demand is a single value: freedom.'”

Ai Weiwei

“If we want freedom, we need to learn from Hong Kong. With values, tactics, and courage, Joshua Wong shows us the way.”

Timothy Snyder, historian and bestselling author of On Tyranny and The Road to Unfreedom

“One of the most prominent political activists in the world ... a powerful insight into the turbulence on the city's streets that made world headlines”

Rana Mitter, Sunday Times

“A call to arms for the Snapchat generation ... This book is a memoir of an extraordinary decade in which Wong went from a nerdy obsession with Marvel comics to a Netflix documentary in which he was characterised as a superhero for democracy.”

Tim Adams, The Observer (Book of the Week)

“[Wong's] tenacious dynamism shines through Unfree Speech: a guide to mobilising for democracy and representation in and far beyond Hong Kong.”

Julia Lovell, award-winning author of Maoism


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