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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?

My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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Other titles in the Landmark Law Cases & American Society series:

When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for Speech We Hate (Landmark Law Cases and American Society)


When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for Speech We Hate (Landmark Law Cases and American Society) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the Chicago suburb of Skokie, one out of every six Jewish citizens in the late 1970s was a survivor—or was directly related to a survivor—of the Holocaust. These victims of terror had resettled in America expecting to lead peaceful lives free from persecution. But their safe haven was shattered when a neo-Nazi group announced its intention to parade there in 1977. Philippa Strum's dramatic retelling of the events in Skokie (and in the courts) shows why the case ignited such enormous controversy and challenged our understanding of and commitment to First Amendment values.

The debate was clear-cut: American Nazis claimed the right of free speech while their Jewish "targets" claimed the right to live without intimidation. The town, arguing that the march would assault the sensibilities of its citizens and spark violence, managed to win a court injunction against the marchers. In response, the American Civil Liberties Union took the case and successfully defended the Nazis' right to free speech.

Skokie had all the elements of a difficult case: a clash of absolutes, prior restraint of speech, and heated public sentiment. In recreating it, Strum presents a detailed account and analysis of the legal proceedings as well as finely delineated portraits of the protagonists: Frank Collin, National Socialist Party of America leader and the son of a Jewish Holocaust survivor; Skokie community leader Sol Goldstein, a Holocaust survivor who planned a counterdemonstration against the Nazis; Skokie mayor Albert Smith, who wanted only to protect his townspeople; and ACLU attorney David Goldberger, caught in the ironic position of being a Jew defending the rights of Nazis against fellow Jews. While the ACLU did win the case, it was a costly victory-30,000 of its members left the organization. And in the end, ironically, the Nazis never did march in Skokie.

Forcefully argued, Strum's book shows that freedom of speech must be defended even when the beneficiaries of that defense are far from admirable individuals. It raises both constitutional and moral issues critical to our understanding of free speech and carries important lessons for current controversies over hate speech on college campuses, inviting readers to think more carefully about what the First Amendment really means.

Book News Annotation:

Strum (political science, City U. of New York-Brooklyn) describes the events when a neo-Nazi group announced it would parade in the Chicago suburb in 1977, and the ensuing court case that tested the devotion of many to the principles of free speech.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Table of Contents

Editors' Preface



1. "We Are Coming"

2. The ACLU, the Supreme Court and the First Amendment

3. Why Free Speech Is Not Always Free

4. Judges, Lawyers, and Legislatures

5. Speech, Symbols, and Suffering

6. The Price of Battle

7. Verbal Cacophony

8. The Critics

9. The View from Abroad

10. "Freedom for the Thought That We Hate"


Relevant Cases

Bibliographical Essay


Product Details

Freedom for the Speech We Hate
Strum, Philippa
University Press of Kansas
Lawrence, Kan. :
Civil Rights
Freedom of speech
Trials, litigation, etc.
Constitutional - First Amendment
Assembly, right of
Jews -- Illinois -- Skokie.
Neo-Nazis -- Illinois -- Skokie.
Freedom of speech -- United States -- Cases.
Assembly, Right of -- United States -- Cases.
Law | Constitutional Law
Legal History
Law : General
Edition Description:
Landmark Law Cases & American Society
Publication Date:
8.49x5.59x.54 in. .58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » Civil Liberties and Human Rights
History and Social Science » Law » Constitutional Law
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Fascism and Far Right
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

When the Nazis Came to Skokie: Freedom for Speech We Hate (Landmark Law Cases and American Society) Used Trade Paper
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