Ron Collins and David Skover have been writing together for almost three decades. In addition to MANIA, they have also coauthored three other books together—The Death of Discourse (1996), The Trials of Lenny Bruce (2002), and On Dissent (2013).
Ron, who grew up in Southern California and teaches at the University of Washington Law School, lives in Bethesda, Maryland. David, who grew up in Wisconsin and teaches at Seattle University Law School, lives in Seattle. Both have written numerous scholarly articles (often together) in journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and in the Supreme Court Review.
“Detailed, objective, and valuable.” —Kirkus Reviews
“I thought I knew his story pretty well, but I learned a great deal from this book. It is a major contribution…” —George Carlin
10th Anniversary Edition—Includes a New Preface by the Authors
it first came out in 2002, The Trials of Lenny Bruce quickly
established itself as the definitive work on Lenny Bruce’s free speech
battles over his provocative comedy.
The Trials of Lenny Bruce
takes the reader on a wild and tragicomic ride, as the renegade comedian
is tried for obscenity in city after city—San Francisco, L.A., Chicago,
and New York. This book is an essential documentation of the free
speech struggles of an icon of American comedy who, by speaking his mind
and fighting for the right to speak his mind, paved the way for every
standup comedian, satirist, and social critic who followed him.
only did The Trials of Lenny Bruce set the record straight on
Lenny—being named one of the best books of the year by the L.A.
Times—the authors led the successful push for the late comedian’s posthumous pardon
in 2003 for his 1964 conviction on obscenity charges in New York.
In this inventive and lucid essay, Lerner takes the hatred of poetry as the starting point of his defense of the art. He examines poetry's greatest haters (beginning with Plato's famous claim that an ideal city had no place for poets, who would only corrupt and mislead the young) and both its greatest and worst practitioners, providing inspired close readings of Keats, Dickinson, McGonagall, Whitman, and others. Throughout, he attempts to explain the noble failure at the heart of every truly great and truly horrible poem: the impulse to launch the experience of an individual into a timeless communal existence. In The Hatred of Poetry, Lerner has crafted an entertaining, personal, and entirely original examination of a vocation no less essential for being impossible.