The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values (Paperback)

The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values By Stuart N. Brotman Cover Image

The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values (Paperback)


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Hugh M. Hefner’s legacy of enduring free speech and free press values is embodied in the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards, established in 1979, which honor leading First Amendment scholars and advocates. Hefner also had a lifelong interest in film censorship issues and supported teaching about them at the University of Southern California for 20 years. His deep commitment to these values was confirmed when the author was granted unrestricted access to over 3,000 personal scrapbooks, which Hefner had kept in order to track free speech and press issues during his lifetime.
The format of the book is an homage to the in-depth conversational interviews Hefner pioneered as the editor and publisher of Playboy magazine. Stuart Brotman conducted in-person conversations with eight persons who in their lifetimes have come to represent a “greatest generation” of free speech and free press scholars and advocates. Notably, these conversations include:

Geoffrey R. Stone
Floyd Abrams
Nadine Strossen
Burt Neuborne
David D. Cole
Lucy A. Dalglish
Bob Corn-Revere
Rick Jewell

Stuart N. Brotman is the inaugural Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and Beaman Professor of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has served in four presidential administrations on a bipartisan basis and is a frequent analyst for leading newspapers and magazines. He is the author of Communications Law and Practice.
Product Details ISBN: 9780826222602
ISBN-10: 0826222609
Publisher: University of Missouri
Publication Date: April 9th, 2022
Pages: 264
Language: English

“Brotman is an effective interviewer adept at untangling complex legal principles, and his subjects are eloquent advocates for the amendment’s vital role in protecting the 'marketplace of ideas.' Free speech advocates will find this a valuable resource.”—Publishers Weekly

“A timely must-read for all who are committed to preserving our nation’s cherished constitutional protections.”—Fabio Bertoni, General Counsel, The New Yorker

“Anyone who cares about the First Amendment should read this book, and anyone who doesn’t should read it twice. It’s definitive, scholarly, gossipy and fun!”—Victor S. Navasky, National Book Award-winning author of Naming Names

“An inspirational and informative book that is a joy to read! Whether it is a breathless moment like the fate of the Pentagon Papers or a hard look at the current attitudes of university students or the power of social media, readers will be absolutely intrigued.”—Rikki Klieman,CBS News Legal Analyst

“A vitally important book to read as our nation continues the process of debate and dissent that forms the foundation of our ongoing great experiment in democracy.”—Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU

“How do we know if the First Amendment is working? If it makes us uncomfortable—and more importantly, if it makes us think. This extraordinary book makes us realize why the founders of our country put this one at the top of the Bill of Rights.”—Karen Tumulty, Deputy Editorial Page Editor and Columnist, The Washington Post

“No one really knows where America's ongoing Free Speech crisis will take us, but The First Amendment Lives On provides us with many wise words from clear thinkers on the issue.”—Sanford J. Ungar, Director, The Free Speech Project, Georgetown University

“Free speech and a free press are more fragile today than at any time since the drafting of the First Amendment. The book’s conversations are an urgent reminder if we want to protect American democracy. Read them to celebrate the people who have been in the trenches to preserve our freedom to say what we want.”—Kyle Pope, Editor and Publisher, The Columbia Journalism Review

“Hopefully this book will help confer the importance of free expression to a new generation and generations yet to come.”—Greg Lukianoff, President and CEO, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

“For over forty years, the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation has honored more than 150 unsung American heroes with its First Amendment Awards. So it is long past time to pay tribute to the Foundation’s contribution to the fight for freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In The First Amendment Lives On, eight of our most prominent scholars and activists do just that—in eloquent conversations that explore the enduring importance of these bedrock democratic values.”—Christopher Finan, Executive Director, National Coalition Against Censorship

“At a time when the American press is facing unprecedented and existential threats, The First Amendment Lives On provides an invaluable resource, reminding us of what Hugh M. Hefner, a champion of press freedom, knew—that American democracy cannot function without aggressive journalism that holds the powerful to account.”—James Risen, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter and Director, First Look Press Freedom Defense Fund

“The First Amendment nurtures our creative spirit, and The First Amendment Lives On provides a rich understanding of why free speech and free press are so essential to our American way of life.”—Ruth Vitale, Founder of Paramount Classics and CEO, CreativeFuture

“Pivotal First Amendment and free speech advocates illuminate fascinating past developments and timely questions about new social media challenges.”—Martha Minow, author, Saving the News: Why the Constitution Calls for Government Action to Preserve Freedom of Speech; 300th Anniversary University Professor, Harvard University

“This is a book like no other—straight from the heads and hearts of the ‘greatest generation’ of First Amendment advocates. At a time when free speech and free press are threatened as never before, the skillful and incisive conversations give fresh perspective and cause for hope.”—Richard T. Kaplar, President, The Media Institute

“These conversations with legendary advocates for First Amendment freedoms are lively and fascinating. This wonderful book is a fitting tribute to Hugh M. Hefner’s legacy of fighting for and fostering the flourishing of these freedoms in our country.”—Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Steering Committee Member, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

“This wonderful collection of conversations with the top experts on the First Amendment is a terrific exploration of some of the hardest and most important legal issues of our day.”—Erwin Chemerinsky, co-author, Free Speech on Campus; Dean, Berkeley Law

"The First Amendment is as alive and relevant today as ever, and this thoughtful book illuminates the real-world implications of what is at stake.”—Adonis Hoffman, Chairman, American Social Impact Foundation

“A compelling collection of conversations with prominent leading defenders of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. While men may not have purchased Playboy solely for the interviews and creative writing, Hugh Hefner’s magazine indisputably provided a platform for iconoclastic voices, a quality in all too short supply in today’s polarized American society.”—Allison Stanger, Leng Professor of International Politics and Economics, Middlebury College