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Potomac Books


Hate Speech, Hate Speech, 080324763X, 0-8032-4763-X, 978-0-8032-4763-5, 9780803247635, Samuel Walker, , Hate Speech, 0803297513, 0-8032-9751-3, 978-0-8032-9751-7, 9780803297517, Samuel Walker

Hate Speech
The History of an American Controversy
Samuel Walker

1994. 217 pp.
Out of Print
1994. 217 pp.
$15.95 s

The First Amendment protects even the most offensive forms of expression: racial slurs, hateful religious propaganda, and cross-burning. No other county in the world offers the same kind of protection to offensive speech.

How did this free speech tradition develop? Hate Speech provides the first comprehensive account of the history of the hate speech controversy in the United States. Samuel Walker examines the issue, from the conflicts over the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and American Nazi groups in the 1930s, tot he famous Skokie episode in 1977-78, and the campus culture wars of the 1990s.

The author argues that the civil rights movement played a central role in developing this country's strong free speech tradition. The courts were very concerned about protecting the provocative and even offensive forms of expression by civil rights forces. Civil rights groups, therefore, preferred to protect rather than restrict offensive speech—even if it meant protecting racist speech.

Samuel Walker is Kiewit Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His previous publications include In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"An original contribution to the literature not just of hate speech but of modern First Amendment issues generally. . . . This is a fine piece of work; it deserves wide attention."—Kermit L. Hall, editor of The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States

1995 Gustavus Myers Book Award, sponsored by Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry & Human Rights, winner

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