Book Review — ‘Soul of the First Amendment’

Floyd Abrams’ latest book compares free speech laws in United States and elsewhere

Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin


Attorney Floyd Abrams, who represented The New York Times in the 1971 Pentagon Papers case and is described by the Columbia Journalism Review “as the country’s leading First Amendment litigator,” has published a new book: “The Soul of the First Amendment.”

In 2013, Abrams, senior counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindell LLP in New York, published “Friend of the Court: On the Front Lines with the First Amendment.”  In 2006, Abrams wrote “Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment,” which focused on cases with which he’d been involved.

“The Soul of the First Amendment,” a 150-page book  published April 25, 2017, may be Abrams’ most significant yet. Abrams focuses on why freedom of speech matters and compares U.S, First Amendment laws with laws governing free speech in other democratic nations. Abrams also looks at “how very much more protective of freedom of speech we are than other democratic nations by insisting on what they view as our rather manic devotion to it.”

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