The Great Dissent

How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind--and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

Author: Thomas Healy

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1429949090

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 3363

A gripping intellectual history reveals how Oliver Wendell Holmes became a free-speech advocate and established the modern understanding of the First Amendment No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Constitutional Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one's political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States. Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes's journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, The Great Dissent is intellectual history at its best, revealing how free debate can alter the life of a man and the legal landscape of an entire nation. A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

The Great Dissent

How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind--and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

Author: Thomas Healy

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0805094563

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 322

View: 8689

Based on newly discovered letters and memos, this riveting scholarly history of the conservative justice who became a free-speech advocate and established the modern understanding of the First Amendment reconstructs his journey from free-speech skeptic to First Amendment hero. (This book was previously featured in Forecast.)

The Great Dissent

How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind--and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

Author: Thomas Healy

Publisher: Picador

ISBN: 9781250058690

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 7591

No right seems more fundamental to American life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States. Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends. Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, The Great Dissent is intellectual history at its best, revealing how free debate can alter the life of a man and the legal landscape of an entire nation.

The Essential Holmes

Selections from the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes,Richard A. Posner

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226675541

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 374

View: 513

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., has been called the greatest jurist and legal scholar in the history of the English-speaking world. In this collection of his speeches, opinions, and letters, Richard Posner reveals the fullness of Holmes' achievements as judge, historian, philosopher, and master of English style. Thematically arranged, the volume covers a rich variety of subjects from aging and death to themes in politics, personalities, and law. Posner's substantial introduction firmly places this wealth of material in its proper biographical and historical context. "A first-rate prose stylist, [Holmes] was perhaps the most quotable of all judges, as this ably edited volume shows."—Washington Post Book World "Brilliantly edited, lucidly organized, and equipped with a compelling introduction by Judge Posner, [this book] is one of the finest single-volume samplers of any author's work I have seen. . . . Posner has fully captured the acrid tang of him in this masterly anthology."—Terry Teachout, National Review "Excellent. . . . A worthwhile contribution to current American political/legal discussions."—Library Journal "The best source for the reader who wants a first serious acquaintance with Holmes."—Thomas C. Grey, New York Review of Books

Law Without Values

The Life, Work, and Legacy of Justice Holmes

Author: Albert W. Alschuler

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226015217

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 325

View: 7602

Albert Alschuler's study of Holmes is very different from other books about him, in that it is an exercise in debunking him.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Law and the Inner Self

Author: G. Edward White

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199880212

Category: History

Page: 648

View: 6292

By any measure, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., led a full and remarkable life. He was tall and exceptionally attractive, especially as he aged, with piercing eyes, a shock of white hair, and prominent moustache. He was the son of a famous father (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., renowned for "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"), a thrice-wounded veteran of the Civil War, a Harvard-educated member of Brahmin Boston, the acquaintance of Longfellow, Lowell, and Emerson, and for a time a close friend of William James. He wrote one of the classic works of American legal scholarship, The Common Law, and he served with distinction on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was actively involved in the Court's work into his nineties. In Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, G. Edward White, the acclaimed biographer of Earl Warren and one of America's most esteemed legal scholars, provides a rounded portrait of this remarkable jurist. We see Holmes's early life in Boston and at Harvard, his ambivalent relationship with his father, and his harrowing service during the Civil War (he was wounded three times, twice nearly fatally, shot in the chest in his first action, and later shot through the neck at Antietam). White examines Holmes's curious, childless marriage (his diary for 1872 noted on June 17th that he had married Fanny Bowditch Dixwell, and the next sentence indicated that he had become the sole editor of the American Law Review) and he includes new information on Holmes's relationship with Clare Castletown. White not only provides a vivid portrait of Holmes's life, but examines in depth the inner life and thought of this preeminent legal figure. There is a full chapter devoted to The Common Law, for instance, and throughout the book, there is astute commentary on Holmes's legal writings. Indeed, White reveals that some of the themes that have dominated 20th-century American jurisprudence--including protection for free speech and the belief that "judges make the law"--originated in Holmes's work. Perhaps most important, White suggests that understanding Holmes's life is crucial to understanding his work, and he continually stresses the connections between Holmes's legal career and his personal life. For instance, his desire to distinguish himself from his father and from the "soft" literary culture of his father's generation drove him to legal scholarship of a particularly demanding kind. White's biography of Earl Warren was hailed by Anthony Lewis on the cover of The New York Times Book Review as "serious and fascinating," and The Los Angeles Times noted that "White has gone beyond the labels and given us the man." In Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, White has produced an equally serious and fascinating biography, one that again goes beyond the labels and gives us the man himself.

Freedom for the Thought That We Hate

A Biography of the First Amendment

Author: Anthony Lewis

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465012930

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 4988

More than any other people on earth, we Americans are free to say and write what we think. The press can air the secrets of government, the corporate boardroom, or the bedroom with little fear of punishment or penalty. This extraordinary freedom results not from America's culture of tolerance, but from fourteen words in the constitution: the free expression clauses of the First Amendment. In Freedom for the Thought That We Hate, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Anthony Lewis describes how our free-speech rights were created in five distinct areas—political speech, artistic expression, libel, commercial speech, and unusual forms of expression such as T-shirts and campaign spending. It is a story of hard choices, heroic judges, and the fascinating and eccentric defendants who forced the legal system to come face to face with one of America's great founding ideas.

Revolutionary Dissent

How the Founding Generation Created the Freedom of Speech

Author: Stephen D. Solomon

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466879394

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 9383

When members of the founding generation protested against British authority, debated separation, and then ratified the Constitution, they formed the American political character we know today-raucous, intemperate, and often mean-spirited. Revolutionary Dissent brings alive a world of colorful and stormy protests that included effigies, pamphlets, songs, sermons, cartoons, letters and liberty trees. Solomon explores through a series of chronological narratives how Americans of the Revolutionary period employed robust speech against the British and against each other. Uninhibited dissent provided a distinctly American meaning to the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech and press at a time when the legal doctrine inherited from England allowed prosecutions of those who criticized government. Solomon discovers the wellspring in our revolutionary past for today's satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann, and protests like flag burning and street demonstrations. From the inflammatory engravings of Paul Revere, the political theater of Alexander McDougall, the liberty tree protests of Ebenezer McIntosh and the oratory of Patrick Henry, Solomon shares the stories of the dissenters who created the American idea of the liberty of thought. This is truly a revelatory work on the history of free expression in America.

Honorable Justice

The Life of Oliver Wendell Holmes

Author: Sheldon M. Novick

Publisher: Laurel

ISBN: 9780440503255

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 522

View: 9953

Traces the life of America's most influential Supreme Court Justice, and describes the forces that shaped his career

Judging Free Speech

First Amendment Jurisprudence of US Supreme Court Justices

Author: H. Knowles,S. Lichtman

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137412623

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 663

Judging Free Speech contains nine original essays by political scientists and law professors, each providing a comprehensive, yet concise and accessible overview of the free speech jurisprudence of a United States Supreme Court Justice.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Pragmatism, and the Jurisprudence of Agon

Aesthetic Dissent and the Common Law

Author: Allen Mendenhall

Publisher: Bucknell University Press

ISBN: 1611487927

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 202

View: 7146

This book argues that Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., helps us see the law through an Emersonian lens by the way in which he wrote his judicial dissents. Holmes’s literary style mimics and enacts two characteristics of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s thought: “superfluity” and the “poetics of transition,” concepts ascribed to Emerson and developed by literary critic Richard Poirier. Using this aesthetic style borrowed from Emerson and carried out by later pragmatists, Holmes not only made it more likely that his dissents would remain alive for future judges or justices (because how they were written was itself memorable, whatever the value of their content), but also shaped our understanding of dissents and, in this, our understanding of law. By opening constitutional precedent to potential change, Holmes’s dissents made room for future thought, moving our understanding of legal concepts in a more pragmatic direction and away from formalistic understandings of law. Included in this new understanding is the idea that the “canon” of judicial cases involves oppositional positions that must be sustained if the law is to serve pragmatic purposes. This process of precedent-making in a common-law system resembles the construction of the literary canon as it is conceived by Harold Bloom and Richard Posner.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and Legal Logic

Author: Frederic R. Kellogg

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022652406X

Category: Law

Page: 224

View: 4559

With Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Legal Logic, Frederic R. Kellogg examines the early diaries, reading, and writings of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) to assess his contribution to both legal logic and general logical theory. Through discussions with his mentor Chauncey Wright and others, Holmes derived his theory from Francis Bacon’s empiricism, influenced by recent English debates over logic and scientific method, and Holmes’s critical response to John Stuart Mill’s 1843 A System of Logic. Conventional legal logic tends to focus on the role of judges in deciding cases. Holmes recognized input from outside the law—the importance of the social dimension of legal and logical induction: how opposing views of “many minds” may converge. Drawing on analogies from the natural sciences, Holmes came to understand law as an extended process of inquiry into recurring problems. Rather than vagueness or contradiction in the meaning or application of rules, Holmes focused on the relation of novel or unanticipated facts to an underlying and emergent social problem. Where the meaning and extension of legal terms are disputed by opposing views and practices, it is not strictly a legal uncertainty, and it is a mistake to expect that judges alone can immediately resolve the larger issue.

Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity

Author: Torin Monahan

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 0813547644

Category: Political Science

Page: 211

View: 962

Threats of terrorism, natural disaster, identity theft, job loss, illegal immigration, and even biblical apocalypse--all are perils that trigger alarm in people today. Although there may be a factual basis for many of these fears, they do not simply represent objective conditions. Feelings of insecurity are instilled by politicians and the media, and sustained by urban fortification, technological surveillance, and economic vulnerability. Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity fuses advanced theoretical accounts of state power and neoliberalism with original research from the social settings in which insecurity dynamics play out in the new century. Torin Monahan explores the counterterrorism-themed show 24, Rapture fiction, traffic control centers, security conferences, public housing, and gated communities, and examines how each manifests complex relationships of inequality, insecurity, and surveillance. Alleviating insecurity requires that we confront its mythic dimensions, the politics inherent in new configurations of security provision, and the structural obstacles to achieving equality in societies.

The Judge

26 Machiavellian Lessons

Author: Ronald K. L. Collins,David M. Skover

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190490144

Category: Law

Page: 296

View: 2182

There is no book of political strategy more canonical than Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince, but few ethicists would advise policymakers to treat it as a bible. The lofty ideals of the law, especially, seem distant from the values that the word "Machiavellian" connotes, and judges are supposed to work above the realm of politics. In The Judge, however, Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that Machiavelli can indeed speak to judges, and model their book after The Prince. As it turns out, the number of people who think that judges in the U.S. are apolitical has been shrinking for decades. Both liberals and conservatives routinely criticize their ideological opponents on the bench for acting politically. Some authorities even posit the impossibility of apolitical judges, and indeed, in many states, judicial elections are partisan. Others advocate appointing judges who are committed to being dispassionate referees adhering to the letter of the law. However, most legal experts, regardless of their leanings, seem to agree that despite widespread popular support for the ideal of the apolitical judge, this ideal is mere fantasy. This debate about judges and politics has been a perennial in American history, but it intensified in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration sought to place originalists in the Supreme Court. It has not let up since. Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that the debate has become both stale and circular, and instead tackle the issue in a boldly imaginative way. In The Judge, they ask us to assume that judges are political, and that they need advice on how to be effective political actors. Their twenty-six chapters track the structure of The Prince, and each provides pointers to judges on how to cleverly and subtly advance their political goals. In this Machiavellian vision, law is inseparable from realpolitik. However, the authors' point isn't to advocate for this coldly realistic vision of judging. Their ultimate goal is identify both legal realists and originalists as what they are: explicitly political (though on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum). Taking its cues from Machiavelli, The Judge describes what judges actually do, not what they ought to do.

Oliver Wendell Holmes and Fixations of Manliness

Author: John M. Kang

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315438119

Category: Law

Page: 160

View: 2367

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. has been, and continues to be, praised as America’s greatest judge and he is widely considered to have done more than anyone else to breathe life into the Constitution’s right of free speech, probably the most crucial right for democracy. One indeed finds among professors of constitutional law and federal judges the widespread belief that the scope of the First Amendment owes much of its incredible expansion over the last sixty years to Holmes’s judicial dissents in Abrams and Gitlow. In this book, John M. Kang offers the novel thesis that Holmes’s dissenting opinions in Abrams and Gitlow drew in part from a normative worldview structured by an idiosyncratic manliness, a manliness which was itself rooted in physical courage. In making this argument, Kang seeks to show how Holmes’s justification for the right of speech was a bid to proffer a philosophical commentary about the demands of democracy.

Torture and State Violence in the United States

A Short Documentary History

Author: Robert M. Pallitto

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421403439

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 681

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Jim Crow's Children

The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision

Author: Peter Irons

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1440626502

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 3181

Peter Irons, acclaimed historian and author of A People History of the Supreme Court, explores of one of the supreme court's most important decisions and its disappointing aftermath In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court sounded the death knell for school segregation with its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. So goes the conventional wisdom. Weaving together vivid portraits of lawyers and such judges as Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren, sketches of numerous black children throughout history whose parents joined lawsuits against Jim Crow schools, and gripping courtroom drama scenes, Irons shows how the erosion of the Brown decision—especially by the Court’s rulings over the past three decades—has led to the “resegregation” of public education in America.

Intellectual Privacy

Rethinking Civil Liberties in the Digital Age

Author: Neil Richards

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199946140

Category: Law

Page: 220

View: 6796

"Neil Richards argues that when privacy and free speech truly conflict, free speech should almost always win, but contends that, contrary to conventional wisdom, speech and privacy are only rarely in conflict"--

The Most Democratic Branch

How the Courts Serve America

Author: Jeffrey Rosen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195346602

Category: Law

Page: 256

View: 1632

Many critics attack federal judges as anti-democratic elitists, activists out of step with the mainstream of American thought. But others argue that judges should stand alone as the ultimate guardians of American values, placing principle before the views of the people. In The Most Democratic Branch, Jeffrey Rosen disagrees with both assertions. Contrary to what interest groups may claim, he contends that, from the days of John Marshall right up to the present, the federal courts by and large have reflected the opinions of the mainstream. More important, he argues that the Supreme Court is most successful when it defers to the constitutional views of the American people, as represented most notably by Congress and the Presidency. And on the rare occasion when they departed from the consensus, the result has often been a disaster. To illustrate, Rosen provides a penetrating look at some of the most important Supreme Court cases in American history--cases involving racial equality, affirmative action, abortion, gay rights and gay marriage, the right to die, electoral disputes, and civil liberties in wartime. Rosen shows that the most notorious constitutional decisions in American history--the ones that have been most strenuously criticized, such as Dred Scott or Roe v. Wade--have gone against mainstream opinion. By contrast, the most successful decisions--from Marbury v. Madison to Brown v. Board of Education--have avoided imposing constitutional principles over the wishes of the people. Rosen concludes that the judiciary works best when it identifies the constitutional principles accepted by a majority of Americans, and enforces them unequivocally as fundamental law. Jeffrey Rosen is one of the most respected legal experts writing today, a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine and the Legal Affairs Editor of The New Republic. The provocative arguments that he puts forth here are bound to fuel heated debate at a time when the federal judiciary is already the focus of fierce criticism.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Civil War Soldier, Supreme Court Justice

Author: Susan-Mary Grant

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135133387

Category: History

Page: 216

View: 1671

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was one of the most influential jurists of his time. From the antebellum era and the Civil War through the First World War and into the New Deal years, Holmes' long life and career as a Supreme Court Justice spanned an eventful period of American history, as the country went from an agrarian republic to an industrialized world power. In this concise, engaging book, Susan-Mary Grant puts Holmes' life in national context, exploring how he both shaped and reflected his changing country. She examines the impact of the Civil War on his life and his thinking, his role in key cases ranging from the issue of free speech in Schenck v. United States to the infamous ruling in favor of eugenics in Buck v. Bell, showing how behind Holmes’ reputation as a liberal justice lay a more complex approach to law that did not neatly align with political divisions. Including a selection of key primary documents, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. introduces students of U.S., Civil War, and legal history to a game-changing figure and his times.