The Trials of Lenny Bruce (Enhanced)

Top Five Books LLC
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“The book is indispensable.” —Booklist

“Detailed, objective, and valuable.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Generating a gamut of emotions, the entire package is an important documentation of a revolution in American culture.” —Publishers Weekly

10th Anniversary Edition—Includes a New Preface by the Authors

When 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.

Originally packaged with an audio CD, this 10th Anniversary Enhanced eBook edition includes audio from Lenny Bruce’s most controversial performances, as well as exclusive author interviews with George Carlin, Hugh Hefner, Paul Krassner, Margaret Cho, and the lawyers who defended and prosecuted him. Also included are archival audio clips secretly recorded during Lenny’s New York obscenity trial.

The Trials of Lenny Bruce is an important document of the free speech struggles of an icon of American comedy who, by speaking his mind and fighting the good fight, paved the way for every standup comedian, satirist, and social critic who followed him.

Not 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.
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About the author

Ron Collins and David Skover have been writing together for almost three decades. In addition to The Trials of Lenny Bruce, they have also coauthored three other books together—The Death of Discourse (1996), On Dissent (2013), and MANIA (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.

 

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Additional Information

Publisher
Top Five Books LLC
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Published on
Oct 31, 2012
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Pages
576
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ISBN
9781938938016
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Features
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Best For
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“A brilliant discussion of campaign finance in America…a must for all who care about the American political system.” —Erwin Chemerinsky

“Thorough, dispassionate, and immensely readable.” —Floyd Abrams

On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down aggregate limits on how much money individuals could contribute to political candidates, parties, and committees. The McCutcheon v. FEC decision fundamentally changes how people (and corporations, thanks to Citizens United) can fund campaigns, opening the floodgates for millions of dollars in new spending, which had been curtailed by campaign finance laws going back to the early 1970s.

When Money Speaks is the definitive—and the first—book to explain and dissect the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in McCutcheon, including analysis of the tumultuous history of campaign finance law in the U.S. and the new legal and political repercussions likely to be felt from the Court’s decision.

McCutcheon has been billed as “the sequel to Citizens United,” the decision giving corporations the same rights as individuals to contribute to political campaigns. Lauded by the Right as a victory for free speech, and condemned by the Left as handing the keys of our government to the rich and powerful, the Court’s ruling has inflamed a debate that is not going to go away anytime soon, with demands for new laws and even a constitutional amendment on the Left—while many on the Right (including Justice Clarence Thomas in his concurring opinion) call for an end to all contribution limits. Two of the nation’s top First Amendment scholars—Ronald Collins and David Skover—have produced a highly engaging, incisive account of the case, including exclusive interviews with petitioner Shaun McCutcheon and other key players, as well as an eye-opening history of campaign finance law in the U.S.
There is no book of political strategy more canonical than Niccolò 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.
There is no book of political strategy more canonical than Niccolò 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.
In a stinging dissent to a 1961 Supreme Court decision that allowed the Illinois state bar to deny admission to prospective lawyers if they refused to answer political questions, Justice Hugo Black closed with the memorable line, "We must not be afraid to be free." Black saw the First Amendment as the foundation of American freedom--the guarantor of all other Constitutional rights. Yet since free speech is by nature unruly, people fear it. The impulse to curb or limit it has been a constant danger throughout American history. In We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free, Ron Collins and Sam Chaltain, two noted free speech scholars and activists, provide authoritative and vivid portraits of free speech in modern America. The authors offer a series of engaging accounts of landmark First Amendment cases, including bitterly contested cases concerning loyalty oaths, hate speech, flag burning, student anti-war protests, and McCarthy-era prosecutions. The book also describes the colorful people involved in each case--the judges, attorneys, and defendants--and the issues at stake. Tracing the development of free speech rights from a more restrictive era--the early twentieth century--through the Warren Court revolution of the 1960s and beyond, Collins and Chaltain not only cover the history of a cherished ideal, but also explain in accessible language how the law surrounding this ideal has changed over time. Essential for anyone interested in this most fundamental of our rights, We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free provides a definitive and lively account of our First Amendment and the price courageous Americans have paid to secure them.
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