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The Sullivan Case and the First Amendment

Written by Anthony LewisAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Anthony Lewis


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On Sale: April 20, 2011
Pages: 368 | ISBN: 978-0-307-78782-8
Published by : Vintage Knopf
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Synopsis|Table of Contents


The First Amendment puts it this way: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Yet, in 1960, a city official in Montgomery, Alabama, sued The New York Times for libel -- and was awarded $500,000 by a local jury -- because the paper had published an ad critical of Montgomery's brutal response to civil rights protests. The centuries of legal precedent behind the Sullivan case and the U.S. Supreme Court's historic reversal of the original verdict are expertly chronicled in this gripping and wonderfully readable book by the Pulitzer Prize -- winning legal journalist Anthony Lewis. It is our best account yet of a case that redefined what newspapers -- and ordinary citizens -- can print or say.

Table of Contents

1. Heed Their Rising Voices
2. Reaction in Montgomery
3. Separate and Unequal
4. The Trial
5. Silencing the Press
6. The Meaning of Freedom
7. The Sedition Act
8. World War I
9. Holmes and Brandeis, Dissenting
10. “The Vitalizing Liberties”
11. To the Supreme Court
12. “There Never Is a Time”
13. May It Please the Court
14. “The Central Meaning of the First Amendment”
15. What It Meant
16. Inside the Court
17. Public and Private
18. “The Dancing Has Stopped”
19. Back to the Drawing Board
20. Envoi

Appendix 1: First Draft of Justice Brennan’s Opinion in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

Appendix 2: Opinions in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan by Justices Brennan, Black, and Goldberg


“A riveting detailed account...[Make No Law] is nothing less than a comprehensive history of free speech in America.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

“Superbly written... a compelling drama that clearly places the Sullivan decision in the context of the court's still evolving notions of free speech and fully illuminates the constitutional principles at stake...an essential guide.” —Boston Globe

  • Make No Law by Anthony Lewis
  • September 01, 1992
  • Law; Law - Constitutional
  • Vintage
  • $17.95
  • 9780679739395

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