We live in extraordinary times. I’ll go so far as to call them apocalyptic, according to the true greek meaning: to reveal, unveil, lay bare.

Each week in The Free Mind I will write about culture, politics, critical thinking, media, gender, free speech and freethinking. This substack is all about freeing minds.

Once a month in The Vanguard I will publish a written interview with someone interesting, someone brave, who occupies the forefront of their field.

The regular weekly substack is for paid subscribers only. Each month I will make one substack and interview available for free subscribers.

Writing here gives me freedom to say what I want, without relying on that elusive commission, and without compromising on the edit. Please subscribe to support my independent writing.

About Laura Dodsworth

I’ve been described as a ‘Slayer of Taboos’ and a ‘latter-day punchy Cassandra’. I suppose I don’t sit on the fence. I like it edgy, but incisive. Critical, but kind.

It can be difficult to describe what I do because I’ll admit my past is creatively chequered. I’ve also been described - kindly - as a polymath.

The same themes run through everything I do. My work is an exploration of people, and I’m always on a quest for truth. I’m drawn to telling the untold story with integrity. I like researching and investigating. The subject choice might be a little eclectic, encompassing politics, psychology, behavioural science, gender, culture wars, climate, human interest and lifestyle.

My part in these times is to create and communicate. I do this through books, published articles, documentaries, photography projects, and now here, on Substack.

When it comes to both creative thinking and navigating an information battlefield, I’m in the vanguard. Join me, it’s where the fun is. Let’s see where this goes together. I’ll welcome your comments and suggestions.

My books

Free Your Mind: The new world of manipulation and how to resist it was an instant Sunday Times bestseller when it published in July 2023, described as “an informative, and engaging read” by Forbes and “an important new book” by the Telegraph.

A State of Fear: how the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemicwas also a Sunday Times bestseller (despite the shocking difficulty readers had trying to obtain the book). It’s about how fear was used to encourage compliance during an extraordinary period in British life and politics, with stories from members of the general public and revealing interviews with psychologists, politicians, scientists, lawyers, Whitehall advisers and journalists. It’s been called “an important book”, “a chilling post-mortem” and “dark and compelling”. I also hope it offers a clarion call for transparency and a more effective democracy.

My recent focus on fear and psychology follows a trajectory of interest in the taboo and what makes us who we are. You might say I went from pillow talk to nightmares. You see, it all started with the Bare Reality series…

Bare Reality: 100 women, their breasts, their storiesManhood: The Bare Reality and Womanhood: The Bare Reality attracted worldwide media coverage and critical acclaim. I gave a TEDx talk about the series. A Channel 4 documentary based on Womanhood called 100 Vaginas has now been aired around the world. That led to being commissioned by The Guardian to direct another documentary, SCARS.

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Laura Dodsworth's substack for free minds. Focussing on culture, politics, critical thinking, media, gender, free speech and freethinking.


Writer, photographer, commentator. Author of two Sunday Times bestsellers, 'Free Your Mind' and 'A State of Fear'.