Author: Thomas Healy
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Release Date: 2013-08-20
A gripping intellectual history reveals how Oliver Wendell Holmes became a free-speech advocate and established the modern understanding of the First Amendment No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Constitutional Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one's political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States. Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes's journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, The Great Dissent is intellectual history at its best, revealing how free debate can alter the life of a man and the legal landscape of an entire nation. A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013
Author: Thomas Healy
Release Date: 2014-09-09
No right seems more fundamental to American life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States. Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, The Great Dissent is intellectual history at its best, revealing how free debate can alter the life of a man and the legal landscape of an entire nation.
Author: Anthony Lewis
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2008-03-03
More than any other people on earth, we Americans are free to say and write what we think. The press can air the secrets of government, the corporate boardroom, or the bedroom with little fear of punishment or penalty. This extraordinary freedom results not from America's culture of tolerance, but from fourteen words in the constitution: the free expression clauses of the First Amendment. In Freedom for the Thought That We Hate, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Lewis describes how our free-speech rights were created in five distinct areas—political speech, artistic expression, libel, commercial speech, and unusual forms of expression such as T-shirts and campaign spending. It is a story of hard choices, heroic judges, and the fascinating and eccentric defendants who forced the legal system to come face to face with one of America's great founding ideas.
Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 1997-01-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., has been called the greatest jurist and legal scholar in the history of the English-speaking world. In this collection of his speeches, opinions, and letters, Richard Posner reveals the fullness of Holmes' achievements as judge, historian, philosopher, and master of English style. Thematically arranged, the volume covers a rich variety of subjects from aging and death to themes in politics, personalities, and law. Posner's substantial introduction firmly places this wealth of material in its proper biographical and historical context. "A first-rate prose stylist, [Holmes] was perhaps the most quotable of all judges, as this ably edited volume shows."—Washington Post Book World "Brilliantly edited, lucidly organized, and equipped with a compelling introduction by Judge Posner, [this book] is one of the finest single-volume samplers of any author's work I have seen. . . . Posner has fully captured the acrid tang of him in this masterly anthology."—Terry Teachout, National Review "Excellent. . . . A worthwhile contribution to current American political/legal discussions."—Library Journal "The best source for the reader who wants a first serious acquaintance with Holmes."—Thomas C. Grey, New York Review of Books
Author: G. Edward White
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1995-11-16
By any measure, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., led a full and remarkable life. He was tall and exceptionally attractive, especially as he aged, with piercing eyes, a shock of white hair, and prominent moustache. He was the son of a famous father (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., renowned for "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"), a thrice-wounded veteran of the Civil War, a Harvard-educated member of Brahmin Boston, the acquaintance of Longfellow, Lowell, and Emerson, and for a time a close friend of William James. He wrote one of the classic works of American legal scholarship, The Common Law, and he served with distinction on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was actively involved in the Court's work into his nineties. In Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, G. Edward White, the acclaimed biographer of Earl Warren and one of America's most esteemed legal scholars, provides a rounded portrait of this remarkable jurist. We see Holmes's early life in Boston and at Harvard, his ambivalent relationship with his father, and his harrowing service during the Civil War (he was wounded three times, twice nearly fatally, shot in the chest in his first action, and later shot through the neck at Antietam). White examines Holmes's curious, childless marriage (his diary for 1872 noted on June 17th that he had married Fanny Bowditch Dixwell, and the next sentence indicated that he had become the sole editor of the American Law Review) and he includes new information on Holmes's relationship with Clare Castletown. White not only provides a vivid portrait of Holmes's life, but examines in depth the inner life and thought of this preeminent legal figure. There is a full chapter devoted to The Common Law, for instance, and throughout the book, there is astute commentary on Holmes's legal writings. Indeed, White reveals that some of the themes that have dominated 20th-century American jurisprudence--including protection for free speech and the belief that "judges make the law"--originated in Holmes's work. Perhaps most important, White suggests that understanding Holmes's life is crucial to understanding his work, and he continually stresses the connections between Holmes's legal career and his personal life. For instance, his desire to distinguish himself from his father and from the "soft" literary culture of his father's generation drove him to legal scholarship of a particularly demanding kind. White's biography of Earl Warren was hailed by Anthony Lewis on the cover of The New York Times Book Review as "serious and fascinating," and The Los Angeles Times noted that "White has gone beyond the labels and given us the man." In Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, White has produced an equally serious and fascinating biography, one that again goes beyond the labels and gives us the man himself.
Author: Stephen D. Solomon
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2016-04-26
When members of the founding generation protested against British authority, debated separation, and then ratified the Constitution, they formed the American political character we know today-raucous, intemperate, and often mean-spirited. Revolutionary Dissent brings alive a world of colorful and stormy protests that included effigies, pamphlets, songs, sermons, cartoons, letters and liberty trees. Solomon explores through a series of chronological narratives how Americans of the Revolutionary period employed robust speech against the British and against each other. Uninhibited dissent provided a distinctly American meaning to the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech and press at a time when the legal doctrine inherited from England allowed prosecutions of those who criticized government. Solomon discovers the wellspring in our revolutionary past for today's satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann, and protests like flag burning and street demonstrations. From the inflammatory engravings of Paul Revere, the political theater of Alexander McDougall, the liberty tree protests of Ebenezer McIntosh and the oratory of Patrick Henry, Solomon shares the stories of the dissenters who created the American idea of the liberty of thought. This is truly a revelatory work on the history of free expression in America.
Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 2008-01
A distinguished Supreme Court scholar introduces and explains sixteen influential cases from throughout the Court's history and offers a sense of what could have developed if the dissents were instead the majority opinions, looking at each case in terms of its political, social, economic, and cultural context. Original.
Author: Allen Mendenhall
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Release Date: 2016-12-14
Genre: Literary Criticism
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.’s dissents are influential because of their literary qualities of superfluity and energy he inherited from Emerson. The aesthetic style of his dissents reflects his theory of the common law that rejected depictions of fixed and unchanging rules in favor of an evolutionary view.
Author: Ronald K. L. Collins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017
There is no book of political strategy more canonical than Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince, but few ethicists would advise policymakers to treat it as a bible. The lofty ideals of the law, especially, seem distant from the values that the word "Machiavellian" connotes, and judges are supposed to work above the realm of politics. In The Judge, however, Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that Machiavelli can indeed speak to judges, and model their book after The Prince. As it turns out, the number of people who think that judges in the U.S. are apolitical has been shrinking for decades. Both liberals and conservatives routinely criticize their ideological opponents on the bench for acting politically. Some authorities even posit the impossibility of apolitical judges, and indeed, in many states, judicial elections are partisan. Others advocate appointing judges who are committed to being dispassionate referees adhering to the letter of the law. However, most legal experts, regardless of their leanings, seem to agree that despite widespread popular support for the ideal of the apolitical judge, this ideal is mere fantasy. This debate about judges and politics has been a perennial in American history, but it intensified in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration sought to place originalists in the Supreme Court. It has not let up since. Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that the debate has become both stale and circular, and instead tackle the issue in a boldly imaginative way. In The Judge, they ask us to assume that judges are political, and that they need advice on how to be effective political actors. Their twenty-six chapters track the structure of The Prince, and each provides pointers to judges on how to cleverly and subtly advance their political goals. In this Machiavellian vision, law is inseparable from realpolitik. However, the authors' point isn't to advocate for this coldly realistic vision of judging. Their ultimate goal is identify both legal realists and originalists as what they are: explicitly political (though on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum). Taking its cues from Machiavelli, The Judge describes what judges actually do, not what they ought to do.
Author: Robert M. Pallitto
Publisher: JHU Press
Release Date: 2011-10-03
"Organized around five broad thematic periods in American history--colonial America and the early republic; slavery and the frontier; imperialism, Jim Crow, and World Wars I and II; the Cold War, Vietnam, and police torture; and the war on terror--this annotated documentary history traces the low and high points of official attitudes toward state violence."--Page 4 of cover.
Author: Torin Monahan
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Political Science
Threats of terrorism, natural disaster, identity theft, job loss, illegal immigration, and even biblical apocalypse--all are perils that trigger alarm in people today. Although there may be a factual basis for many of these fears, they do not simply represent objective conditions. Feelings of insecurity are instilled by politicians and the media, and sustained by urban fortification, technological surveillance, and economic vulnerability. Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity fuses advanced theoretical accounts of state power and neoliberalism with original research from the social settings in which insecurity dynamics play out in the new century. Torin Monahan explores the counterterrorism-themed show 24, Rapture fiction, traffic control centers, security conferences, public housing, and gated communities, and examines how each manifests complex relationships of inequality, insecurity, and surveillance. Alleviating insecurity requires that we confront its mythic dimensions, the politics inherent in new configurations of security provision, and the structural obstacles to achieving equality in societies.
A bestselling author and legendary photographer present an illuminating look at a pivotal moment in our nation's history: The March on Washington Despite the heat and humidity, people came in droves from across the country and around the world, heading for the towering spire of the Washington Monument in our nation's capital. All of the marchers—black, white, Christian, and Jew—shared the same dream: freedom and equality for 19 million African Americans. Almost 300,000 strong, the marchers poured into Washington, D.C., to bear witness, to hear the immortal words of Martin Luther King, Jr., and to petition Congress to pass the President's Civil Rights bill. Stanley Tretick, a seasoned photojournalist best known for his iconic images of President Kennedy and his family, was also in the crowd, drawing inspiration from the historic scenes unfolding before him. In this magnificent book, his stirring photographs of that day are published for the first time. Accompanied by an insightful essay and captions from bestselling author Kitty Kelley, as well as a moving foreword by Marian Wright Edelman, Let Freedom Ring commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington and celebrates the crescendo of the Civil Rights movement in America.
Author: Peter Irons
Release Date: 2004-01-27
Peter Irons, acclaimed historian and author of A People History of the Supreme Court, explores of one of the supreme court's most important decisions and its disappointing aftermath In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court sounded the death knell for school segregation with its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. So goes the conventional wisdom. Weaving together vivid portraits of lawyers and such judges as Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren, sketches of numerous black children throughout history whose parents joined lawsuits against Jim Crow schools, and gripping courtroom drama scenes, Irons shows how the erosion of the Brown decision—especially by the Court’s rulings over the past three decades—has led to the “resegregation” of public education in America.