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: 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: 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: Anthony Lewis
Release Date: 2011-04-20
Genre: Political Science
The First Amendment puts it this way: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Yet, in 1960, a city official in Montgomery, Alabama, sued The New York Times for libel -- and was awarded $500,000 by a local jury -- because the paper had published an ad critical of Montgomery's brutal response to civil rights protests. The centuries of legal precedent behind the Sullivan case and the U.S. Supreme Court's historic reversal of the original verdict are expertly chronicled in this gripping and wonderfully readable book by the Pulitzer Prize -- winning legal journalist Anthony Lewis. It is our best account yet of a case that redefined what newspapers -- and ordinary citizens -- can print or say.
Author: Charles Slack
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release Date: 2015-03-03
When the United States government passed the Bill of Rights in 1791, its uncompromising protection of speech and of the press were unlike anything the world had ever seen before. But by 1798, the once-dazzling young republic of the United States was on the verge of collapse: partisanship gripped the weak federal government, British seizures threatened American goods and men on the high seas, and war with France seemed imminent as its own democratic revolution deteriorated into terror. Suddenly, the First Amendment, which protected harsh commentary of the weak government, no longer seemed as practical. So that July, President John Adams and the Federalists in control of Congress passed an extreme piece of legislation that made criticism of the government and its leaders a crime punishable by heavy fines and jail time. In Liberty’s First Crisis, writer Charles Slack tells the story of the 1798 Sedition Act, the crucial moment when high ideals met real-world politics and the country’s future hung in the balance. From a loudmouth in a bar to a firebrand politician to Benjamin Franklin’s own grandson, those victimized by the Sedition Act were as varied as the country’s citizenry. But Americans refused to let their freedoms be so easily dismissed: they penned fiery editorials, signed petitions, and raised “liberty poles,” while Vice President Thomas Jefferson and James Madison drew up the infamous Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, arguing that the Federalist government had gone one step too far. Liberty’s First Crisis vividly unfolds these pivotal events in the early life of the republic, as the Founding Fathers struggled to define America off the page and preserve the freedoms they had fought so hard to create.
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: Neil Richards
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2014-11-13
"Neil Richards argues that when privacy and free speech truly conflict, free speech should almost always win, but contends that, contrary to conventional wisdom, speech and privacy are only rarely in conflict"--
Author: Bruce Barry
Release Date: 2009-01
Genre: Business & Economics
Pressed to come up with a list of critical issues facing the contemporary American workplace, one thinks quickly of job insecurity, stagnant wages, health care costs, downsizing, off shoring, workplace safety, and retirement worries. Freedom of expression for employees might seem less urgent than these issues, but it is precisely the freedom to speak about these and other issues at the intersection of work, economy, democracy, and society that is at stake. Thirty years ago, David Ewing of the Harvard Business School condemned the U.S. system of employment as a ''black hole'' in our civil liberties universe, ''with rights so compacted, so imploded by the gravitational forces of legal tradition, that, like the giant black stars in the physical universe, light can scarcely escape.'' Today, as we will see in the chapters to come, employers are controlling workers and their lives on and off the job just as much, if not more than, they did thirty years ago. The result for employees is an erosion of freedom to express themselves, an impairment of their ability to participate fully as citizens in our collective social and political enterprise.
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.