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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

When Freedom Speaks

The Boundaries and the Boundlessness of Our First Amendment Right

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

When Freedom Speaks

The Boundaries and the Boundlessness of Our First Amendment Right

This book makes first amendment issues immediate and contemporary.

When Freedom Speaks chronicles the stories behind our First Amendment right to speak our minds. Lynn Levine Greenky’s background as a lawyer, rhetorician, and teacher gives her a unique perspective on the protection we have from laws that abridge our right to the freedom of speech. Rhetoricians focus on language and how it influences perception and moves people to action. Powerfully employing that rhetorical approach, this book explores concepts related to free speech as moral narratives that proscribe the boundaries of our constitutionally protected right. Using the characters and drama embedded in legal cases that elucidate First Amendment principles, When Freedom Speaks makes the concepts easier to understand and clearly applicable to our lives. With a wide range of examples and accessible language, this book is the perfect overview of the First Amendment.


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"Greenky’s easy-to-read primer offers general readers and students a telling history and framework for understanding the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodologies courts commonly use to negotiate clashing and competing constitutional values and individual rights to free speech."

Library Journal

"When Freedom Speaks by Lynn Greenky is an excellent introduction and exploration of the contentious field of First Amendment jurisprudence. Both entertaining and educational, it provides the knowledge necessary for an informed electorate. Like a good legal conundrum, it offers opportunities to ask important questions and spark lively arguments."

New York Journal of Books

“Lynn Greenky offers a spirited and engaging examination of the individuals, groups, and movements that have advanced free speech protections by standing up and speaking out. When Freedom Speaks is an accessible guide to the past, present, and future of free speech in the United States.”

David Cole, National Legal Director, ACLU, George Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University

When Freedom Speaks serves as a reminder that the First Amendment is a living, breathing structure that continues to both challenge and reinforce our country’s definition of free speech. Lynn Greenky takes us on a thorough journey through all the trials and tribulations it has faced. Anyone with any opinion will benefit from reading this timely road map on the cornerstone of our Constitution.”

Lauren Tousignant, New York Post

“Lynn Greenky’s new book is a tour de force on the importance of free speech to all individuals and groups in America – right, left, center and anyone who doesn’t conform to the prevailing wisdom of the day. …Greenky reminds us that free speech means tolerating one another – instead of silencing or jailing one another. And that’s worth fighting for.”

Jonathan Collegio, Former Communications Director, American Crossroads

Table of Contents

Chapter One: A History Lesson
Chapter Two: Foundations and Building Blocks
Chapter Three: The Road to the Supreme Court
Chapter Four: Symbolically Speaking
Chapter Five: The Troubling Sound of Silence
Chapter Six: Politically Speaking
Chapter Seven: Warning! Dangerous Speech Ahead
Chapter Eight: Advocacy Vs Incitement?
Chapter Nine: Sticks and Stones and Words That Harm
Chapter Ten: What the #@*%! School Speech, Campus Codes, and Cancel Culture
Chapter Eleven: Public Spaces
Chapter Twelve: The Message and the Medium
Chapter Thirteen: When Speech Offends
Chapter Fourteen: The Language of Money
Chapter Fifteen: When Speech and Faith Collide
Table of Cases
Works Cited
Suggestions for Further Reading

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