Read A Worthy Tradition: Freedom of Speech in America by Harry Kalven Jr. Jamie Kalven Online

a-worthy-tradition-freedom-of-speech-in-america

[An Edward Burlingame Book]"University of Chicago law professor Kalven was at work on this massive study of free expression under the Constitution when he died in 1974. Kalven's son, Jamie, a free-lance writer, edited the manuscript, collaborating with Owen Fiss of Yale Law School. The work analyzes Supreme Court decisions affecting First Amendment rights between World War[An Edward Burlingame Book]"University of Chicago law professor Kalven was at work on this massive study of free expression under the Constitution when he died in 1974. Kalven's son, Jamie, a free-lance writer, edited the manuscript, collaborating with Owen Fiss of Yale Law School. The work analyzes Supreme Court decisions affecting First Amendment rights between World War I and the early 1970s, particularly in the areas of political speech and association. Kalven covered every landmark case (obscenity, libel, sedition) and added his own commentary. For serious students of constitutional law." —Library Journal"This juggernaut of a book is introduced movingly by its editor as the product of 12 years' work, after his father's death in 1974 while working on this study. Completed by the son, it is a nonpareil examination of the "American constitutional experience under the First Amendment," an assessment of the ways in which the American tradition of free speech has been defined, refined and elucidated by the Supreme Court through our history. "Explored in case-by-case detail are the Court's decisions on censorship and Civil Rights cases; the 1952 Dennis v. United States "great confrontation" on the issue of the right to advocate the violent overthrow of the Government; on sanctions against groups, chiefly the U.S. Communist Party and its individual members, which brought on the heyday of the House Un-American Activities Committee that, in effect, according to the book, made a de facto attempt to outlaw the Party. "The sophistication, subtlety and depth of the discussion of this era of the loyalty oath and McCarthyism, as Justices Frankfurter, Douglas, Black, Harlan et al. weighed First Amendment issues, is impressive scholarship that makes the reader keenly aware of how imperiled free speech in America is at all times." -Publishers Weekly"Considered in light of the recent Senate hearings on Judge Bork's fitness for the Supreme Court, this exhaustive historical examination of the First Amendment to the Constitution by legal expert Kalven (also the author of The Negro & The First Amendment) pursues an exceptionally timely and thought-provoking agenda. "Unfinished at Kalven's death in 1974, the book has been completed by his son, Jamie, whose afterword outlines his father's research and writing style and the editorial choices he faced in finishing his father's magnum opus. Kalven's approach is to trace what he terms a Socratic dialogue between the Supreme Court and American society as the questions and limits of freedom of speech have been legislated, debated, and defined throughout the country's history. "Documenting this ongoing process through analysis of the major cases involving First Amendment rights, Kalven considers the constitutional experience in action as it has determined such momentous topics as obscenity, civil rights, and political sanctions." —Booklist...

Title : A Worthy Tradition: Freedom of Speech in America
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060158101
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 730 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Worthy Tradition: Freedom of Speech in America Reviews

  • Eric_W
    2019-06-08 03:44

    The best book I've read on freedom of speech. Klavern actually never finished the work. It was compiled by his son following the elder Klavern's untimely death. Klavern argues that the function of the Supreme Court is not to create a liberal and tolerant people, but rather to nurture and enrich a tradition which leads to that end. He rejects Hugo Black's absolutist view of free speech; i.e. that 100% of speech is protected, because the issue becomes moot if it can be shown that any form of speech can be regulated. The debate itself becomes critical. The principle must be constantly tested in order to. clarify and fortify the tradition. The court is limited in what it can do as it can only answer or discuss law in the context of the cases it hears. Thus the court expands law in the framework of real problems of society in a partnership with society which must bring the cases in the first place. It is interesting to note that more than 50% of all First Amendment cases since 1791 have been decided since 1959. Klavern argues the seminal case to be New York Times v Sullivan in which the court ruled that seditious libel; i.e. criticism of the government, cannot be made a crime in the United States thus effectively ruling unconstitutional the Sedition Act of 1798, not to mention the sedition laws used to imprison Abrams and his cohorts in 1919. Ironically, it was this latter case which provided Justice Holmes the opportunity to lay the groundwork for later free speech decisions in his famous defense of free speech in his dissent to Abrams v United States. In one of the more fascinating sections, Klavern discusses blasphemy and free speech. He observes that sacrilege, heresy and blasphemy are incompatible with the First Amendment, for as soon as the state decides what constitutes heresy it has essentially inserted itself in the religious debate and defined what is "correct" religion.Epperson v Arkansas, a case overturning an anti-evolution statute in Arkansas in 1968, vividly made this point. The court based its decision not on whether evolution was correct or not. It simply stated that by denying that evolutionary theory be taught on the grounds that it was contrary to Biblical teaching, Arkansas was deciding what was false religious doctrine placing it squarely in opposition to the First Amendment. The state must not become the arbiter of falsity or truth in doctrinal matters. In fact government is forbidden by the First Amendment from preferring religion to non-religion, a position that most churches recognize as absolutely essential to the freepractice of religion. I cannot do justice to the clarity and insights of this book. Its organization is such that it can be easily used as a reference in addition to simply good reading cover to cover. But have pencil and paper ready; you'll want to take notes.