cover image The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner’s Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values

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

Stuart N. Brotman. Univ. of Missouri, $25 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-8262-226

Brotman (Communications Law and Practice), a law and journalism professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, presents a series of enlightening interviews with “nominators, judges, and recipients” of the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards. Established in 1979, the awards “recogniz[e] individuals whose efforts help to protect and enhance First Amendment rights for all Americans.” Interview subjects—including former ACLU president Nadine Strossen; Burt Neuborne, founding legal director of the Brennan Center for Justice; and attorney Bob Corn-Revere, who represented CBS in the infamous Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” case—weigh in on such hot-button issues as the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., the tension between free speech and triggering speech on college campuses, and the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2010. Though Facebook and other social media platforms are discussed, there’s little light shed on how the spread of misinformation might affect future interpretations of the First Amendment. Still, 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. (Apr.)