Blasi's Freedom of Speech in the History of Ideas: Landmark Cases, Historic Essays, and Recent Developments

West Academic Publishing
Primary Subject
First Amendment
Higher Education Coursebook
Publication Date
Softbound - New, softbound print book.
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This accessible and engaging book, with a focus on historical developments, basic principles, landmark cases, and contemporary issues without elaborating on the doctrinal matrix in full lawyerly detail, is well-suited for a political science or journalism school course on the First Amendment.

It is organized around six historic essays about the freedom of speech by James Madison, John Stuart Mill, Judge Learned Hand, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Justice Louis Brandeis, and Alexander Meiklejohn. For the most part, these classic essays advance "instrumental" claims about how free speech serves social goods such as political legitimacy and responsiveness, the development of new knowledge and better understanding, societal adaptation to changing conditions, and the checking of abuses of power.

Both the classic and the contemporary individual-centered arguments can be better understood by applying them to specific issues of First Amendment interpretation. Accordingly, this book includes virtually all of the landmark Supreme Court cases construing the speech and press clauses of the First Amendment, plus several major decisions of the last decade that have the potential to become landmark precedents.