Press And Speech Freedoms In America, 1619-1995

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Tracing the battles between the repressors and proponents of free speech, this chronology overviews press and speech freedoms in the United States from 1619 through 1995. Beginning with the American Colonies, the volume covers the religious refugees and political dissidents who settled the Colonies and the press that heated up the struggle to rid America of the Crown. Although freedom of speech and the press became constitutional rights 15 years after the Declaration of Independence, these rights fared poorly until after World War II. This book traces the struggles, the press, and the contending views from 1760 to 1960 and the 35 years of commitment to freedom from 1960 to 1995.

Arranged by year, the entries in the chronology include the views and comments of persons in favor of or opposed to freedom of speech, events that affected press freedoms, and technological changes that have had an impact.

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Editorial Reviews

Outlines the history and development of the concept of free expression in the US by recounting nearly 2,400 events such as comments by people supporting or opposing freedom, landmark publications, suppression of material, court cases, and technological changes and applications. Within each year the entries are arranged alphabetically by what seems the best personal or agency name. Separate chapters discuss selected US Supreme Court cases 1812-1995 and projections for the next century. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
David England
As the United States prepares to enter the Third Millennium, deeply held and contrasting views on allowable expression are still with us in debates on V-chips, television and recording ratings systems, access to Internet pornography/obscenity, political speech via campaign contributions and speech codes. Professor Ingelhart has compiled an extensive chronological catalogue free from editorial comment of almost 2400 quotations, events, court cases, and technological innovations from colonial times to 1995 that illustrates that this lack of consensus is nothing new. In fact, that forced realization is one of the strengths of this book. While adequately covering the earlier periods in the country=s history, roughly two-thirds of the work focuses on the 20th century and includes a separate chapter relating episodes occurring in 1995. Additionally, the author, in a good editorial decision, saves Supreme Court cases and quotations from the justices for a separate chapter. Each extensively documented chapter of the work deals with a separate period of the nation=s history. Starting with a summary of general events and perspectives impacting on freedom of expression that occurred within each chapter=s time frame, the author then provides a year-by-year recounting of events, opinions, and developments affecting freedom of expression within that time frame. The scope is very wide including technological episodes (e.g., the 1690 opening of a paper mill in Germantown, PA), quotations from people in all walks of life from the political world (President Hoover linking the existence of free expression to free enterprise in 1928), the business of publishing (the slave Jupiter Hammond=s publication of several poems in 1761), the entertainment world (Judy Garland in 1947 urging Americans to speak up to preserve their freedom of conscience) and even the world of sports (Charles Barkley, the professional basketball player, complaining in 1995 that all the media tries to do is to create controversy). In compiling the various items, the author attempts successfully to present episodes from all sides of the freedom of expression debate and no overt bias in selection is found (although the author is most assuredly a proponent of the freedom). Additionally, the presentation of each episode contains enough contextual information to make the episode understandable standing on its own. Professor Ingelhart is to be especially commended for his lucid presentation of the tests relating to freedom of expression developed by the Supreme Court. This is not a work that will be read cover-to-cover at one sitting although it is fascinating to read in small bites. Nor is it a work that would be assigned for classroom instruction although it does quite strongly make the point that there is and always has been a lack of consensus on what freedom of expression really means in this country. By its very nature, the strength of the work is, of course, as a source book for research and teaching. To that end, the author has supplied excellent footnotes and indices of Supreme Court decisions, subjects and persons. Because of those strengths, the book should find its way into the university library and the collections of those scholars focusing on freedom of expression. It would also be valuable to the expression activist, either pro or con, as a source of polemical material.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313301742
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 382
  • Sales rank: 1,547,512
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

LOUIS EDWARD INGELHART is Professor Emeritus of Journalism at Ball State University and has been a champion of press freedom for at least fifty years. He presently serves as vice-president of the First Amendment Congress.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Freedom of Expression in the Twentieth Century 1
Ch. 2 The Colonial Beginnings: 1661 Through 1699 4
Ch. 3 Agitation for Press Freedom: 1700 Through 1759 13
Ch. 4 The Patriots and Their Revolution: 1760 Through 1786 25
Ch. 5 The First Amendment Tangles With Sedition: 1787 Through 1799 40
Ch. 6 Re-emergence of Free Expression: 1800 Through 1824 61
Ch. 7 The Bitter Causes and Bitter War: 1825 Through 1867 75
Ch. 8 The Fourteenth Amendment: 1868 Through 1899 89
Ch. 9 World War I and Censorship: 1900 Through 1924 98
Ch. 10 Achieving New Concepts of Free Expression: 1925 Through 1949 119
Ch. 11 Freedom of Expression at Mid-Century: 1950 Through 1959 143
Ch. 12 The Decade of the 1960s: 1960 Through 1969 154
Ch. 13 The Decade of the 1970s: 1970 Through 1979 174
Ch. 14 The Decade of the 1980s: 1980 Through 1989 197
Ch. 15 The Beginnings of the 1990s: 1990 Through 1994 215
Ch. 16 The Turbulent Year of 1995 236
Ch. 17 Supreme Court Selected Cases 1812 Through 1995 244
Ch. 18 The Promise of the Twenty-first Century 291
Notes 295
Selected Bibliography 337
Index of Supreme Court Selected Cases 343
Index of Subjects 347
Index of Persons 355
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