School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7 Up-There is a tendency for books on this subject to focus on narrow aspects of the issues. This one is no exception. Four chapters cover "Free Speech in Early American History"; "Balancing Free Speech, Community Order, and National Security"; "Obscenity and Freedom of Expression"; and "Recent and Ongoing Controversies over Free Speech and the First Amendment." Nowhere is a correlation drawn between free speech and the freedom to read, which is unfortunate since book censorship is so prevalent in the United States. Students interested in the evolution of the First Amendment, and arguments on both sides of free-speech challenges such as hate crime, obscenity, and flag burning, will find the book useful. Most of the pieces are available through data sources, and the Supreme Court rulings may be accessed online and in numerous print sources. However, it is helpful to have these articles, speeches, and rulings collected in one concise source. A brief discussion of "The Origins of the American Bill of Rights" and a chronology and a brief description of "Supreme Court Cases Involving Freedom of Speech" since 1919 are appended. Neither the National Coalition against Censorship (NCAC) nor the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association is mentioned as a source for further research; both have high stakes in free-speech court cases and have outstanding Web sites. The information in this book may be helpful in shaping a research project, but students must understand that this book is a beginning and not an end.-Pat Scales, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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