President Bollinger's New Book Explores the History of Free Speech
Lee C. Bollinger's new book celebrates the 100th anniversary of the formative free-speech cases and warns of new threats to freedom of expression in the digital age.
Columbia Law School Communications
December 21, 2018
The words drafted in 1789 seem plain enough: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Yet it was not until 1919, in response to the government’s harsh repression of World War I critics, including a candidate for President, that the U.S. Supreme Court began to give practical meaning to the First Amendment.
Progress was halting and the boundaries of legal expression remain contested, yet over the decades that followed the United States became “the most speech protective of any nation on Earth, now or throughout history,” writes Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger ’71, the Seth Low Professor of the University and longtime member of the Law School faculty, in a new book, The Free Speech Century (Oxford University Press).