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Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The rights guaranteed in the First Amendment--including freedom of expression--are among the fundamental touchstones of our democracy. In Speaking Freely, Floyd Abrams, who for over thirty years has been our most eloquent and respected advocate for uncensored expression, recounts some of the major cases of his remarkable career--landmark trials and Supreme Court arguments ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published April 7th 2005)
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Ethan Cramer-Flood
If you're a nerd about freedom of speech and the press, especially since the Nixon era, this book is for you. Floyd Abrams litigated a disproportionate number of the most important first amendment cases to come before the Supreme Court in the last 40 years. He's a stud, to be sure.

He's a competent, if not mind blowing, storyteller. He tries to give even handed accounts of the debates at hand, but largely fails. However, since he's almost always on the right side of my personal beliefs, I let it
...more
Moody
Mar 13, 2008 Moody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An inciteful examination of key modern cases that have shaped First Amendment jurisprudence.

I took a three week break from this book, and at my return, I discovered no way for me to proceed without rereading (skimming) the first sixty pages. Additionally, I imagine the casual reader might not find the same satisfaction at the sweet, nuanced legal triumphs, as others. That being said, it flowed surprisingly well.

The discussion of First Amendment principles significantly broadened my understanding
...more
Ariane
Mar 08, 2010 Ariane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a brilliant book. I find the part about the Pentagon Papers most compelling. The release of the Pentagon Papers failed to end the war in Vietnam and it did little to reinvigorate the moribund anti-war movement. We are 35 years away from the end of Vietnam, and yet we seem to have learned nothing from the lessons of the Pentagon Papers, or from that war.

What do we have now? JSOC secret prisons. Political assassinations. Wars whose purpose to change the forms of government in other countri
...more
Josh
Jul 08, 2013 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting behind-the-scenes memoir of a die-hard first amendment defender that is a worthwhile read for anyone who would like to know how some of the most important free speech cases were argued and decided.
Cathy
Oct 22, 2007 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating!!
Vaughn
Aug 01, 2007 Vaughn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lawandpolitics
A very important book that points out the flaws of the system and makes me want to get into law even more.
Jackie
Apr 03, 2008 Jackie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book that describes a few of the trials dealing with the first amendment that the author has been a part of.
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Michelle
Sep 25, 2007 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally amazing, but for First Amendment Law junkies only.
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Floyd Abrams is a partner at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel in New York City. Described by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan as the “most significant First Amendment lawyer of our age,” Abrams is currently the William J. Brennan Visiting Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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