Synopses & Reviews
If an organizing symbol makes sense in First Amendment jurisprudence, it is not the image of a content-neutral government, argues Steven Shiffrin, nor is it a town-hall meeting or even a robust marketplace of ideas. If the First Amendment is to have an organizing symbol, let it be an Emersonian symbol: let it be the image of the dissenter.
Originally published in 1993.
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"[Surprises] are in store for readers of [this book]. The biggest one is that [Shiffrin's] First Amendment exemplars aren't such history-making United States Supreme Court justices as Oliver Wendell Holmes and William J. Brennan but Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson."--Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times
"[Shiffrin] masterfully makes the best case for an enduring constitutional and cultural love affair with the First Amendment."--Ronald Collins, ABA Journal
"A lucid and original contribution to the literature of free speech. [Shiffrin's] work should be read by every serious student of our culture and of the First Amendment's role in American life."--Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School