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“[Its] fresh perspective [is] a welcome contribution…. Well-presented and instructive…compelling.” - Washington Post “This is a brave, incisive book that smartly challenges much of what we take for granted about the First Amendment.” - Scott Turow, the author of two works of non-fiction about the law and 13 bestselling novels, including Presumed Innocent and The Last Trial “The United States and France are both children of the Enlightenment, born from the Age of Rights. Yet only one, France, believes that the protection of human dignity is an essential freedom.  Thane Rosenbaum's brave and provocative book makes the case that free speech must co-exist with human dignity. It can't override it. They are united in their shared humanity. Rosenbaum's voice on this subject is singular, and profound.”  -  Bernard-Henri Lévy, bestselling author of The Empire and the Five Kings “This book will make you think and re-think your positions on free speech—regardless of what those were.  It may not change your mind; I still disagree with much of it.  But for those of us who value free thought, expression, debate and dissent, Thane Rosenbaum’s thought-provoking challenge to current First Amendment norms should be especially welcome.” - Nadine Strossen, New York Law School Professor, former American Civil Liberties Union National President, and author of HATE:  Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship ABOUT THE BOOK In an era of political correctness, race-baiting, terrorist incitement, the 'Danish' cartoons, the shouting down of speakers, and, of course, 'fake news, ' liberals and conservatives are up in arms both about speech and its excesses, and what the First Amendment means. Speech has been weaponized. Everyone knows it, but no one seems to know how to make sense of the current confusion, and what to do about it. Thane Rosenbaum's provocative and compelling book is what is needed to understand this important issue at the heart of our society and politics. Our nation's founders did not envision speech as a license to trample on the rights of others. And the Supreme Court has decided cases where certain categories of speech are already prohibited without violating the Constitution. Laws banning hate speech are prevalent in other democratic, liberal societies, where speech is not valued above human dignity, and yet in Germany, France, the UK and elsewhere, life continues, freedoms have not rolled to the bottom of the bogeyman of a 'slippery slope, ' and democracies remain vibrant. There is already a great deal of second guessing about the limits of free speech. In 1977, courts permitted neo-Nazis to march in a Chicago suburb populated by Holocaust survivors. Today, many wonder whether the alt-right should have been prevented from marching in Charlottesville in 2017. Even the ACLU, which represented both groups, is having doubts as to whether the First Amendment should override basic notions of equality and citizenship.


Hardcover / 305 Pages

Saving Free Speech … from Itself

SKU: 9781941493267
  • Thane Rosenbaum

    Thane Rosenbaum is an essayist, law professor, and author of the novels, How Sweet It Is!, The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visible, and the nonfiction titles of The Myth of Moral Justice: Why Our Legal System Fails to Do What’s Right and Payback: The Case for Revenge. He is a distinguished University Professor at Touro College and moderator of the 92nd Street Y’s The Talk Show.

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