Catalogue


The American Revolution within America /
by Merrill Jensen.
imprint
New York : New York University Press, 1974.
description
v, 224 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0814741451
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : New York University Press, 1974.
isbn
0814741451
catalogue key
2737532
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-09-01:
Saunders (Michigan State Univ. College of Law) seeks to synthesize the development of obscenity as a concept throughout human history with the modern notion that democratic governments can legitimately ban speech that is intended to malign someone based on their identity. The first half of the book is an ambitious multicultural history tracing the legality of sexually explicit material all the way back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the second half of the book, Saunders develops his thesis that the basic principles underlying the taboo nature of obscenity can be applied to hate speech. While the book covers much ground that is familiar to even casual scholars of this subject, it does so in an innovative fashion, interweaving diverse topics such as global religion, the theory of evolution, and contemporary critical race and legal theory. Ultimately structured as an attempt to influence contemporary debates on speech, the book is a truly original work of scholarship, and a valuable addition to the academic literature in its field. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate and research collections. S. B. Lichtman Shippensburg University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Kevin Saunders puts forward a striking thesis, namely that hate speech deserves regulation under the First Amendment because it degrades the human personality of those whom it targets. In likening hate speech to pornography and obscenity, Saunders provides a novel and arresting approach that avoids entanglement in the thought-ending clich s that have marked much previous scholarship on this subject." - Richard Delgado, co-author of Understanding Words That Wound
"Saunders' scholarship is characterized by painstaking research, often delving deeply into the historic antecedents to the legal doctrines and policies he is addressing. His intellectual courage, particularly his willingness to espouse with passion and persuasive intensity positions that are often controversial, marks him as one of the most significant champions for re-thinking the direction of modern American constitutional law dealing with freedom of speech." - Rodney Smolla, author of Free Speech in an Open Society
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Summaries
Main Description
Throughout history obscenity has not really been about sex but about degradation. Sexual depictions have been suppressed when they were seen as lowering the status of humans, furthering our distance from the gods or God and moving us toward the animals. In the current era, when we recognize ourselves and both humans and animals, sexual depiction has lost some of its sting. Its degrading role has been replaced by hate speech that distances groups, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, not only from God but from humanity to a subhuman level. In this original study of the relationship between obscenity and hate speech, First Amendment specialist Kevin W. Saunders traces the legal trajectory of degradation as it moved from sexual depiction to hateful speech. Looking closely at hate speech in several arenas, including racist, homophobic, and sexist speech in the workplace, classroom, and other real-life scenarios, Saunders posits that if hate speech is today's conceptual equivalent of obscenity, then the body of law that dictated obscenity might shed some much-needed light on what may or may not qualify as punishable hate speech.
Main Description
Throughout history obscenity has not really been about sex but about degradation. Sexual depictions have been suppressed when they were seen as lowering the status of humans, furthering our distance from the gods or God and moving us toward the animals. In the current era, when we recognize ourselves and both humans and animals, sexual depiction has lost some of its sting. Its degrading role has been replaced by hate speech that distances groups, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, not only from God but from humanity to a subhuman level.In this original study of the relationship between obscenity and hate speech, First Amendment specialist Kevin W. Saunders traces the legal trajectory of degradation as it moved from sexual depiction to hateful speech. Looking closely at hate speech in several arenas, including racist, homophobic, and sexist speech in the workplace, classroom, and other real-life scenarios, Saunders posits that if hate speech is today's conceptual equivalent of obscenity, then the body of law that dictated obscenity might shed some much-needed light on what may or may not qualify as punishable hate speech.

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