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Download Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Anthony Lewis
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (207 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Lewis Narrator: Stow Lovejoy Publisher: Anthony Lewis Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN:
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More than any other people on earth, Americans are free to say and write what they think. The media can air the secrets of the White House, the boardroom, or the bedroom with little fear of punishment or penalty. The reason for this extraordinary freedom is not a superior culture of tolerance, but just 14 words in our most fundamental legal document: the free expression clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

In Lewis' telling, the story of how the right of free expression evolved along with our nation makes a compelling case for the adaptability of our constitution. Although Americans have gleefully and sometimes outrageously exercised their right to free speech since before the nation's founding, the Supreme Court did not begin to recognize this right until 1919. Freedom of speech and the press as we know it today is surprisingly recent.

Anthony Lewis tells us how these rights were created, revealing a story of hard choices, heroic (and some less heroic) judges, and fascinating and eccentric defendants who forced the legal system to come face-to-face with one of America's great founding ideas. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon | 2/6/2014

    " Another great book. This is a good book that covers the basic history of the first amendment, which is at the core of what this country is supposed to be about. I'll need read this again to digest all the details. It abstracts a lot of the details of the legal cases but is very clear and easy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mac | 2/6/2014

    " A book only a First Amendment geek could love. I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 1/26/2014

    " A solid, if unsurprising, history of the First Amendment and the evolution of how it has been understood and applied by the courts, the American public, and the media. Anthony Lewis does a good job of systematically examining this amendment's implications and effects relative to a number of areas of conflict with other rights and some urgent issues. The book is very well organized and its tone is personable and down-to-earth without dumbing down the points being addressed. Excellent, and a good resource for a high school or college civics program, if such a thing still exists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloria | 1/19/2014

    " This is a masterful book that thoroughly examines the First Amendment and all that has gone right and all that has gone wrong with it since its inception. It is moderately advanced reading, but it is objective and historical. Excellent book for anyone writing a paper on this amendment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Mac | 1/14/2014

    " This book is a decent overview of 1st Amendment cases throughout history in the United States. It doesn't go terribly deep into things most of the time but it was interesting to see how things progressed over time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Reed | 12/22/2013

    " A Paideia book. I read this for the research project. I used a little bit of the Marketplace of Ideas information in the book. The paper I wrote is called Equality in the First Amendment: A Argument for Campaign Finance Reform. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles Ellenbogen | 11/30/2013

    " I learned about the evolution of the Court's interpretation of the First Amendment. But I think in his effort to be concise, Lewis did not do enough to tell the stories. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 11/26/2013

    " This isn't well suited as an audiobook...on a long trip it would probably put you to sleep. The narrator was partially to blame but the text didn't do much to liven up the subject. There are some interesting issues at play, but this isn't one of those books that brings the law to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lbryson | 11/25/2013

    " Informative and really interesting historical perspective on First Amendment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Felkins | 11/18/2013

    " Really enjoy reading about the first amendment. This book makes the point that the literal words of the first amendment have little to do with the law at this point -- what we think of as the first amendment is really the collection of supreme court decisions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 8/6/2013

    " A lively history of my favorite Constitutional guarantee! Never dull, Lewis tells the stories behind the cases that shaped policy and law-- and they are engrossing. He ultimately demonstrates that freedom has a cost, and you take the good with the bad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kay | 10/20/2012

    " Cool title -- thank you justice Holmes! Other than that... not a very cool book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn | 9/13/2012

    " More information than I ever wanted on the First Amendment in just under 200 pages. But the history of how it's evolved over time is really interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caleb | 6/7/2012

    " A solid, short, accessible book on the First Amendment. I liked his historical perspective but his opinion at the end of chapters took a bit away from the book- they were not well fleshed out and did not mesh with how the book was as a whole. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 zltg | 5/14/2012

    " A dry and brief treatise on the evolution and various aspects of freedom of speech. "Bold judicial decisions have made the country what it is." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacob | 6/13/2011

    " Not a bad background book on the first amendment. The author could have injected a little more of his thoughts around some of the decisions, rather than it being almost entirely factual, but it certainly had some thought-provoking sections. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 4/28/2011

    " I found this book to be a thoughtful legal and historical investigation to the nuances of the 1st Amendment and its relationship to the rest of the Constitution. Not too wrapped up in legal jargon, very readable fairly quickly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 1/27/2011

    " I expected this to add to my existing knowledge of the First Amendment, but it just served as a refresher course. Skip this book if you have a working knowledge of the subject. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 12/7/2010

    " A great little book that reminds us that we do indeed have a unique approach to free speech. Though my journalist friends might be surprised at how much disdain Lewis has for his colleagues' claims of press privileges. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 11/22/2010

    " Really solid overview of the historical perspective of freedom of speech/press. It's what I read instead of the assigned reading for my First Amendment class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 7/15/2010

    " I learned about the evolution of the Court's interpretation of the First Amendment. But I think in his effort to be concise, Lewis did not do enough to tell the stories. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 7/3/2010

    " This isn't well suited as an audiobook...on a long trip it would probably put you to sleep. The narrator was partially to blame but the text didn't do much to liven up the subject. There are some interesting issues at play, but this isn't one of those books that brings the law to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lbryson | 6/15/2010

    " Informative and really interesting historical perspective on First Amendment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caleb | 1/3/2009

    " A solid, short, accessible book on the First Amendment. I liked his historical perspective but his opinion at the end of chapters took a bit away from the book- they were not well fleshed out and did not mesh with how the book was as a whole. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Mac | 12/20/2008

    " This book is a decent overview of 1st Amendment cases throughout history in the United States. It doesn't go terribly deep into things most of the time but it was interesting to see how things progressed over time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloria | 9/6/2008

    " This is a masterful book that thoroughly examines the First Amendment and all that has gone right and all that has gone wrong with it since its inception. It is moderately advanced reading, but it is objective and historical. Excellent book for anyone writing a paper on this amendment. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kay | 2/26/2008

    " Cool title -- thank you justice Holmes! Other than that... not a very cool book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 2/12/2008

    " I found this book to be a thoughtful legal and historical investigation to the nuances of the 1st Amendment and its relationship to the rest of the Constitution. Not too wrapped up in legal jargon, very readable fairly quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 2/10/2008

    " A lively history of my favorite Constitutional guarantee! Never dull, Lewis tells the stories behind the cases that shaped policy and law-- and they are engrossing. He ultimately demonstrates that freedom has a cost, and you take the good with the bad.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mac | 2/8/2008

    " A book only a First Amendment geek could love. I loved it. "

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About the Author

Anthony Lewis was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who transformed American legal journalism. He is the author of Gideon’s Trumpet which concerned Gideon v. Wainwright, the 1963 decision that guaranteed lawyers to poor defendants charged with serious crimes. Lewis was a New York Times reporter at the Supreme Court from 1957 to 1964 and wrote an Op-Ed column for thirty years called “At Home Abroad” or “Abroad at Home” depending on where he was writing from. He also taught at the Harvard Law School where he was a Lecturer on Law from 1974 to 1989. He has also been the James Madison Visiting Professor at Columbia University. Anthony Lewis died in 2013 at the age of eighty-five.