Finding, Framing, and Hanging Jefferson: A Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery, and Freedom of Speech in an Age of Terrorism

Finding, Framing, and Hanging Jefferson: A Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery, and Freedom of Speech in an Age of Terrorism

by Alan Dershowitz

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Finding, Framing, and Hanging Jefferson: A Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery, and Freedom of Speech in an Age of Terrorism by Alan Dershowitz

The #1 New York Times bestselling author, Harvard Law School professor, and tireless defender of civil liberties unearths a little-known letter by his hero, Thomas Jefferson, and shares its secrets. The letter illuminates Jefferson’s views on freedom of speech in a way that has important implications for the country today, particularly in the struggle against terrorism. This book is about the remarkable letter Dershowitz found, how he found it, and why it matters not only to him, but to us today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470167113
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/09/2007
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.72(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

Harold Ramis, film director,screenwriter, and actor

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, is one of the country's foremost appellate lawyers and a distinguished defender of individual liberties. His many books include the #1 New York Times bestseller Chutzpah, Preemption: A Knife That Cuts Both Ways, and the Wiley books The Case for Israel, also a New York Times bestseller; The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved; What Israel Means to Me; and Blasphemy. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents



Part I: The Collector and His Passions.

Chapter I: My Passion for Collecting.

Chapter II: My Passions for Freedom of Speech, Criminal Law and Thomas Jefferson.

Part 2: The Letter.

Chapter III: Finding the Jefferson Letter.

Chapter IV: The Provenance of the Jefferson-Broadman Letter.

Part 3: My Letter to Jefferson.

Chapter V: Where we have come since 1826.

Chapter VI: Jefferson's First Argument: An Expressed Opinion Can Never Constitute An Overt Act.

Chapter VII: Jefferson's Second Argument: If Conscience Is the Umpire Then Each Judge's Conscience Will Govern.

Chapter VIII: Jefferson's Third Argument: "We Have Nothing To Fear From The Demoralizing Reasonings Of Some, If Others Are Left Free To Demonstrate Their Errors".

Chapter IX: Jefferson's Fourth Argument: "The law stands ready to punish the first criminal act produced by the false reasoning".

Chapter X: Jefferson's Fifth Argument.

Part 4: What Would Jefferson Say About Terrorism And Speech Today?

Chapter XI: Jefferson's Views On The "Terrorism" Of His Era.

Chapter XII: Jefferson's Actions in the Burr Case.

Chapter XIII: Jefferson's Views on Torture, Habeus Corpus and Other Issues Currently Debated in the Context of Terrorism.

Chapter XIV: How Would Jefferson Strike the Balance Between Freedom of Speech and Prevention of Terrorism?

Chapter XV: My View, as Influenced by Jefferson and the Experiences of Our Time.Notes.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"What a treasure this book is, just like the stuff Dershowitz scours the old archives for. It is unexpected, revealing and resonant with a central fact of our Republic -- we are still stitched together by words, and their complicated progeny, idea. From a simple, fortuitous discovery, Dershowitz has fashioned an elaborate and engaging argument, one we will be thinking about for ages."
--Ken Burns, director and producer of Thomas Jefferson

"Alan Dershowitz lives and breathes history. With the gleeful purchase of a relatively obscure letter from Jefferson, he time-travels back 200 years to write a reply to his hero that brings the debate over free speech from the imperfect past to the deeply troubled present. The book is both a warm personal insight into Dershowitz, the grown-up whiz kid still fuming because his mother threw out his comic books and baseball cards, and a great lesson on democracy from one of its wisest and most articulate advocates."
--Harold Ramis, film director, screenwriter, and actor

"The 1801 letter of Thomas Jefferson to Elijah Boardman is of tremendous interest and importance as is the remarkable story of its discovery by Alan Dershowitz."
--David McCullough, Pulitzer prize-winning author

"Finding Jefferson is terrific on every level - as a memoir of a passionate collector it is delightful; as an account of an important historical discovery it is riveting; as a defense of free speech it is brilliant."
--Doris Kearns Goodwin

"Alan Dershowitz found an important letter from his hero that relates to freedom of speech, incitement, and terrorism -- subjects about which Alan has thought and taught for decades. This book is a wonderful adventure story that uses Jefferson's arguments and Dershowitz's counters to illuminate issues that were important and difficult when the U.S. was a new nation and that remain so today. I recommend it to every citizen concerned with preserving our liberties and combating terrorism."
--President William Jefferson Clinton

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