The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Fall and Rise of An American Icon
Collins graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and was a judicial fellow in the United States Supreme Court. He is currently the First Amendment scholar-in-residence at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Virginia. He has written numerous scholarly articles in the Harvard, Stanford and Michigan Law Reviews, and more than 150 newspap ...more
If you are a champion of free speech, you have to know that this ...more
Do you swing with the First Amendment?
This fact did not stop various police officers, District Attorneys, lawyers, and sundry other self-appointed guardians of public decency from trying to stop Lenny Bruce from exercising his First Amendment rights throughout the late 1950s to mid-1960s. Ostensib ...more
Collins and Skover, both lawyers, do not provide a traditional biography of the infamous “sick comic,” but rather a legal lineage of his battles against misdemeanor obscenity charges brought forth as a result of his stand-up acts. The book also includes an audio CD of actual Bruce performances for which he was arrested. The supplementary interview ...more
Where I agree with Skover and Collins is in their view of the fragile balance our society has with the first amendment and how easily that social agreement can be skewed one way or the other if we as a society do not remain vigilant and open to discourse on language and what constitutes obscenity or social commentary.
I also like the inclusion of the linguistic origins of profanity; in wh ...more
A legal history of Lenny Bruce's obscenity trials. This book is far more gripping than the subject matter might indicate. The authors document the series of misdemeanor obscenity trials which Lenny Bruce had to endure and which, arguably, contributed to his untimely death.
Bruce emerges from the book as a complex iconoclast hounded mercilessly by the authorities for daring to break cultural and religious taboos. Recommended.
A CD included with the book contains recordings of Bruce's bits, intervie...more
Here the authors create a fantastic look at one of the most infamous yet legendary stand up comedians of all time in the shape of Lenny Bruce.
Without Bruce there would be no George Carlin, no Bill Hicks and more so click to see the full review and see why.