Freedom of speech is one of our greatest legal rights and Cass Sunstein is one of our greatest legal theorists. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to think seriously about the free speech issues facing this generation.
Akhil Amar, Southmayd Professor, Yale Law School
This is an important book. Beautifully clear and carefully argued, Sunstein's contribution reaches well beyond the confines of academic debate. It will be of interest to any citizen concerned about freedom of speech and the current state of American democracy.
Joshua Cohen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
How can our constitutional protection of free speech serve to strengthen democracy? Cass Sunstein challenges conventional answers with a remarkable array of lucid arguments and legal examples. There is no better book on the subject.
Amy Gutmann, Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor, Princeton University
Calling for a "large-scale reassessment of the appropriate role of the First Amendment," University of Chicago law professor Sunstein here offers nuanced and provocative proposals for reform. After providing a primer on the contrasting developments in First Amendment law, he argues that the notion of free expression should be connected to the goal of creating a Madisonian "deliberative democracy." Thus, he criticizes "market theology" and calls for free media time for political candidates, and for federal guidelines--but not mandates--for coverage of public issues. Drawing on precedents regarding commercial speech, Sunstein proposes a lesser degree of protection for nonpolitical speech like advertising. He suggests allowing "deliberative" racist or sexist political speech, but not hateful epithets, which he compares to obscene phone calls. Convinced that there is a causal connection between pornography and violence against women, he endorses the proposal, advanced by legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon and feminist author Andrea Dworkin, for civil action against violent pornography. Sunstein is fuzzy on finding principles to govern taxpayer support for the arts. Still, his worthy book should stimulate valuable argument.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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January 31, 1995
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