Can we fight terrorism without destroying our freedom? Is censorship of child pornography un-American? Is the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional? The hottest points of contention in American politics all spring from a single misunderstood sentence &%8212; the First Amendment. In a timely and iconoclastic reassessment of the cornerstone of American liberty, David Lowenthal reaches unorthodox yet compelling conclusions about free speech and religion under the Constitution. Revisiting the internal logic of the Amendment’s language and the legal culture from which it emerged, he shows how the courts have twisted it beyond recognition, exposing the nation to moral and cultural upheaval as well as physical violence.
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