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Fighting Words:
Individuals, Communities, and Liberties of Speech
Kent Greenawalt

Paperback | 1996 | $38.95 | £32.95 | ISBN: 9780691026008
206 pp. | 7 3/4 x 10
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400821679 |
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Reviews | Table of Contents

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Should "hate speech" be made a criminal offense, or does the First Amendment oblige Americans to permit the use of epithets directed against a person's race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, or sexual preference? Does a campus speech code enhance or degrade democratic values? When the American flag is burned in protest, what rights of free speech are involved? In a lucid and balanced analysis of contemporary court cases dealing with these problems, as well as those of obscenity and workplace harassment, acclaimed First Amendment scholar Kent Greenawalt now addresses a broad general audience of readers interested in the most current free speech issues.


"Greenawalt's ... even-handed treatment of the relevant opinions and his reasoned support for a powerful free speech principle is a welcome change from the hectoring tone that often creeps into First Amendment debates.... Fighting Words is a wonderful book. With its publication, the era of serious comparative constitutional jurisprudence has begun."--Burt Neuborne, New York Law Journal

"Everyone interested in contemporary debates about law, free speech, or democratic society should read ... Fighting Words.... [It] is an important book because it breaks a popular American conception that the First Amendment is an absolute.... Greenawalt opens the reader's mind to various legal alternatives regarding free expression."--Archon Fung, The Boston Book Review

"[A] thought-provoking, well-reasoned, and well-balanced analysis of the similarities and contrasts on issues of free speech between the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court of Canada's construction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. . . . Required reading for scholars and laypeople alike."--Choice


"Fighting Words is an outstanding book. It deserves not only all the accolades it undoubtedly will receive, but also the widest possible readership."--Lee C. Bollinger, Provost, Dartmouth College

"At last we have a cogent comparison of the treatment of free speech questions in the United States and Canada. With his demonstrated gift for clarity, Greenawalt provides a detailed account of the contrasting approaches to hate speech, obscenity, workplace harassment, and campaign spending in two liberal democracies. This work will enlighten even those who disagree with the positions it takes on the issue. It will be of use to experts, students, and general readers."--Martha Minow, Harvard Law School

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Table of Contents:

Ch. 1 Introduction: Free Speech Themes 3
Ch. 2 General Principles of Free Speech Adjudication in the United States and Canada 11
Ch. 3 Flag Burning 28
Ch. 4 Insults, Epithets, and "Hate Speech" 47
Ch. 5 Campus Speech Codes and Workplace Harassment 71
Ch. 6 Obscenity 99
Ch. 7 Individuals and Communities 124
Ch. 8 Conclusion: General Lessons 150
Notes 155
Index 183

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Kent Greenawalt:

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Hardcover published in 1995

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