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School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up
Bauder offers opposing arguments on contemporary issues like hate speech, protesting at funerals, desecration of the American flag, speech codes at universities, restriction of access to controversial books and materials in schools, pornography and the Internet, and speech that endangers national security. The articles are signed, but the arguments are problematic because in some cases it is unclear that the authors are debating the same issues. For example, in Chapter 1, the inclusion of Steven Lubet's article "Banning the Desecration of the American Flag Would Not Be Censorship" skews this portion of the book to one viewpoint because there is no opposing argument on this issue. Chapters one, two, and four have unsigned prefaces, while chapter three has no preface, but a signed article gives an overview of the content that focuses on pornographic and violent material. The viewpoints are written by people like Phyllis Schlafly, a pro-family conservative activist; Daniel H. Bromberg, a lawyer for the Online Policy Group; young adult fiction author Chris Crutcher; and Mike Masterson, staff writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette . In some cases, the writers are more passionate than they are convincing. Most of the topics discussed here have been covered more thoroughly in the "Opposing Viewpoints" series (Gale). There are simply too many inconsistencies in organization and content for this to be a valuable tool.
—Pat ScalesCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.