Ron Collins and David Skover are friends. Ron lives in the East, David in the West. They have been writing together for almost three decades. Their work is a joint effort, with David manning the keys and Ron pacing. They have coauthored four books together, The Death of Discourse (1996, 2005), The Trials of Lenny Bruce (2002, 2012), MANIA (2013), and On Dissent (2013).
Ron, who grew up in Southern California and graduated from
the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, is the Harold S. Shefelman Scholar
at the University of Washington Law School. David, who grew up in
Wisconsin and earned his law degree from Yale, is the Fredric C. Tausend
Professor of Constitutional Law at Seattle University. 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.
Attorney and journalist Amy Bach spent eight years investigating the widespread courtroom failures that each day upend lives across America. What she found was an assembly-line approach to justice: a system that rewards mediocre advocacy, bypasses due process, and shortchanges both defendants and victims to keep the court calendar moving.
Here is the public defender who pleads most of his clients guilty with scant knowledge about their circumstances; the judge who sets outrageous bail for negligible crimes; the prosecutor who habitually declines to pursue significant cases; the court that works together to achieve a wrongful conviction. Going beyond the usual explanations of bad apples and meager funding, Ordinary Injustice reveals a clubby legal culture of compromise, and shows the tragic consequences that result when communities mistake the rules that lawyers play by for the rule of law. It is time, Bach argues, to institute a new method of checks and balances that will make injustice visible—the first and necessary step to reform.