I am pleased to announce that my book, The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in the Age of Rage, is now available for purchase. The book and is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, and other sites for pre-orders. Indeed, there are discounts for Kindle copies for pre-orders.  Simon & Schuster will release the book in June 2024, but it can be purchased now.

As many of you know, I have written about free speech and constitutional rights for decades in law reviews and journals. In that sense, this book has been thirty years in the making in offering a single, comprehensive treatment of a right that Justice Brandeis called “indispensable.” It is the right that guarantees all other rights and defines us as a nation.

“The Indispensable Right” explores the history and meaning of free speech from the ancient Greek states to contemporary America. It lays out the case for free speech as a human right, arguing that free expression is at the very essence of being human. The book looks at how humans are hardwired for free speech, even the physiological need for human expression.

The United States was founded on a new vision of free speech, and the First Amendment remains the single greatest constitutional commitment to the right of free expression in history. Yet we are living in one of the most anti-free speech periods in our history with systemic efforts to bar opposing viewpoints on subjects ranging from racial discrimination to police abuse, from climate change to gender equity. These measures are reinforced by the public’s anger and rage; flash mobs appear today with the slightest provocation. We all lash out against anyone or anything that stands against our preferred certainty.

The Indispensable Right places the current attacks on free speech in their proper historical, legal, and political context. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were not only written for times like these, but in a time like this. This country was born in an age of rage and for 250 years we have periodically lost sight of the value of free expression. The history of the struggle for free speech is the story of extraordinary people—nonconformists who refuse to yield to abusive authority—and here is a mosaic of vivid characters and controversies.

“The Indispensable Right” considers the figures and failures that have shaped our current approach to free speech. It offers a path forward in restoring free speech values. From corporate boardrooms to college campuses, we continue to grapple with the demands of free expression and the limits of our tolerance for the speech of others. It is a crisis of faith not only in our constitutional values but in each other. We are living in what I have called an “age of rage.” However, it is not our first such age of rage and it is not rage that defines us. It is free speech that defines us as a people.

Book companies allow for pre-order since such sales help a great deal with guaranteeing greater visibility at the release on the various best seller listings.

‘The Indispensable Right” is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Books a Million, Bookshop, and other sites


  1. OMG! This IS the problem. No one needs Professor Turley’s book.

    The American Founders gave everyone the only book any citizen anywhere will ever need: The Constitution of the United States, 1789. Read it. Live it. Regarding the freedom of speech:

    1st Amendment

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The Founders and Framers wrote with the understating that the referenced rights, freedoms, privileges, and immunities were natural and God-given. They are universal. The Constitution must be universally implemented.

    The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs, AINOs) must be politically neutralized with extreme prejudice.

    1. You do know that the 1st Amendment you are gurgling about was not in the 1789 Constitution, don’t you?

      Well no, no you don’t (and wouldn’t)

      What does it say about the drafting of the 1789 Constitution that it required no fewer than 10 amendments in 1791, not two years after the original Constitution was ratified?

      1. “What does it say about the drafting of the 1789 . . .”

        Not sure what your point is. But the Constitution was ratified in 1788 (not 89). And a condition of that ratification was support for adding the Bill of Rights. (See the Massachusetts Compromise)

      2. You do know why the Bill of Rights were added, don’t you?

        Well, no you don’t (and wouldn’t).

        The framers (especially Madison) believed that the Constitution was a negative rights document and that, therefore, delineating specific rights was redundant and unnecessary. Eventually, Madison and crew relented and accepted the addition of the Bill of Rights. Not because they didn’t believe in the rights espoused therein, but because they knew that there would be obtuse pedants who would require that things be made explicit.

  2. Age of rage Turley really? Maybe you should read what you have fueled in your own blog. The Trump cult is more unhinged and live in a world of alternative reality more than ever.

    1. Talk about “fishy,” this is outright criminal fraud and deception.

      2020 was rigged!

      “New emails show DHS created Stanford ‘disinfo’ group that censored speech before 2020 election”

      New emails show officials at the Department of Homeland Security created a Stanford University “disinformation” group that censored Americans’ speech before the 2020 election, according to a House Judiciary Committee report exclusively obtained by [Josh Christenson].

      – Josh Christenson

      The Obama Coup D’etat in America continues unabated.

      “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

      – Barack Obama

      “We will stop him.”

      – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour Lisa Page

      “[Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”

      – Lisa Page to FBI paramour Peter Strzok

      “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before 40.”

      – Peter Strzok to FBI parmour Lisa Page

      “People on the 7th floor to include Director are fired up about this [Trump] server.”

      – Bill Priestap

    2. His columns, which I have read for years, consistently reflect civility and reason – and thus are the literal opposite of rageful.
      Anyone with even a junior-high-school- level of reading comprehension understands that Turley has done everything he can to provide a classical-liberal and Constitution-respecting alternate to the Age of Rage.
      When he defends due process, civil liberties and the rule of law (as Alan Dershowitz, Nat Hentoff and other civil libertarians have done for decades) for everyone, that’s not partisan – even when the particular individuals involved in court cases may not be part of our ‘tribe.’
      So please try to resist the Orwellian temptation to indulge in news speak or participate in ritualistic 2-minute hates.

  3. Presume the book covers key Supreme Court and other significant court decisions on Free Speech Clause issues, as well as proper limits on speech? Too many civilians believe that “free speech” means “say whatever you want, at any time, to anyone, under any circumstance, with no legal ramifications.” But there are “reasonable time, place and manner” restrictions (understanding that opinions on “reasonable” might differ), and laws on perjury, false statements to authorities, terroristic threats, other threat laws, harassment (not just sexual), slander and fighting-words. If the book covers these, my order will be in! (And I’m a Democrat.)

  4. Hurrah! My wife and I are both looking forward to it, it is preordered. Congratulations, Professor Turley. 😊

  5. Had to write these congrats on your book from my phone Turls because my laptop is straight up banned on your blog. You speaking on free speech is laughable. What I can use your book for is as a primer on epic levels of hypocrisy…, something you’re truly expert at.

      1. Indeed. I encourage everyone to give Turley recognition for his mastery of hypocrisy. He’s become quite known for his gifts in that respect.

        1. Although I’m not really sure what you’re referring to, I would not that being a hypocrite doesn’t make someone wrong. Suppose a smoker with lung cancer advises youngsters not to smoke, while he himself continues to smoke. Does that mean young people should take up smoking since the guy is a hypocrite?

  6. “[T]his book has been thirty years in the making . . .” (JT)

    The culmination of a life’s work is a great achievement. Congratulations!

  7. it is not rage that defines us. It is free speech that defines us as a people.

    That’s the beauty of America. It is rage that defines us as humans (as well as some other things stemming from the dark side of our nature).

    However, as Americans, we strive to overcome that and, through the force and persuasion of words, reach for a more elevated goal. As humans we pick up the sword to slay those we hate, but as Americans we pick up the pen and put expression to higher aspirations and encourage ourselves to swim against the flow. It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword. America is an experiment testing whether that’s true.

  8. Congratulations Professor! I cynically expect your book’s release to meet a massive Leftist cancel campaign.

  9. just look to the anarchist Leftist of the 1910-20’s…which seemlessly delivered Fascism of the 1930’s and 40’s

    I suggest people read H.G. Wells book “Outline of History” which gives examples throughout all history that shows what happens when Machiavellian Fascists(control of business and government) gain control. Rome was destroyed because the FEW drove civilization into the ground…sure they had beautiful buildings, so did the Egyptians….but the Machiavellian power of the few…RUINED society.

    You have a media for a bizarre reason protecting ALL THE CRIMES of Democrat top leaders….while flyer over country and cities are destroyed by taxes, drugs and stealing of most money by Silicon Valley, DC and NYC Rulers!

    TAKE AWAY Democrat (UniParty) Power
    -Cut 50% of Fed gov spending
    -Move 75% of DC to Heartland
    -Remove entire leadership of DOJ, IRS, DHS and FBI
    -5% tax Gross wall street trans & money goes offshore
    -Tax all non-profits anyone gets $100k: colleges, hospitals, etc
    -End fed aid/loans cities, states & college, make them fund themselves
    -Remove tax credits renewables, affordable housing, etc
    -Jail Russian Hoax, COVID liars & Biden protectors, etc
    -Ban public union/company $ politics, only voters can fund politics
    -voting 1 day, in person, with ID, I don’t care if you vote, I care if you cheat
    – 12 year limit on federal office….judge, president, senate, congress
    – Roundup all illegals to raise wages and give Americans Jobs
    – END all bonuses financial world till every dime of FED money is paid off

    1. “Machiavellian power of the few…RUINED society”

      I have only begun to read Frederick the Great’s Anti-Machiavel. Does it provide an antidote?

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