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.