Book Excerpts

Akhil Reed Amar: “The Words that Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation, 1760-1840”

In his newest book, The Words that Made Us: America’s Constitutional Conversation 1760-1840, Yale law professor and constitutional historian Akhil Reed Amar tells the story of the first 80 years of democratic debate in the United States. This excerpt focuses on the origins of America’s newspaper culture and the central role it played in forming our democracy.

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Ian Rosenberg

Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Ian Rosenberg and The Marketplace of Ideas

In "The Fight for Free Speech," Ian Rosenberg distills the last century of First Amendment law into ten critical issues. The first chapter, excerpted here, traces the story of several anarchists who were tried under the Espionage Act of 1917 for distributing anti-war pamphlets.

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Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Timothy Zick on The First Amendment in the Trump Era

In The First Amendment in the Trump Era, Timothy Zick catalogs and analyzes the various First Amendment conflicts that have occurred during the Trump presidency. It places these conflicts in historical context–as part of our current digitized and polarized era but also as part of a broader narrative concerning attacks on free speech and press. We must understand what is familiar in terms of the First Amendment concerns of the present era, but also what is distinctive about these concerns.

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Amy Werbel

Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Amy Werbel and Lust on Trial

In Lust on Trial, [Amy] Werbel presents a colorful journey through Comstock’s career that doubles as a new history of post–Civil War America’s risqué visual and sexual culture. Born into a puritanical New England community, Anthony Comstock moved to New York in 1868 armed with his Christian faith and a burning desire to rid the city of vice.

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Floyd Abrams

Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Floyd Abrams and The Soul of the First Amendment

The Soul of the First Amendment "addresses legal issues from the adoption of the Bill of Rights through recent cases such as Citizens United" and  "examines the repeated conflicts between claims of free speech and those of national security occasioned by the publication of classified material such as was contained in the Pentagon Papers and was made public by WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden" - Yale University Press..

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Marjorie Heins

Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Marjorie Heins on Some of its Ironies and Complications

Ironies and Complications of Free Speech, a collection of the best writing from the Free Expression Policy Project (2001-2017), covers topics that range from loyalty oaths, junk science to the FCC’s censorship of “indecency” on the airwaves, Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl, and other controversies.

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Catherine Ross headshot

Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Catherine J. Ross and Lessons in Censorship

Ross's book "highlights the troubling and growing tendency of schools to clamp down on off-campus speech such as texting and sexting and reveals how well-intentioned measures to counter verbal bullying and hate speech may impinge on free speech. Throughout, Ross proposes ways to protect free expression without disrupting education." - Harvard University Press.

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Professor Amy Gajda

Authors Share Excerpts on Free Speech: Amy Gajda and The First Amendment Bubble

The First Amendment Bubble , "In determining the news that’s fit to print, U.S. courts have traditionally declined to second-guess professional journalists. But in an age when news, entertainment, and new media outlets are constantly pushing the envelope of acceptable content, the consensus over press freedoms is eroding." - Harvard University Press

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