It began nearly a quarter-century ago with the publication of First Amendment Law in a Nutshell. Now, that treasure trove of information appears yet again in “nutshell” form, this in its fifth edition. Compact in size, accessible in style, reliable in substance, and current up to Matal v. Tam (2017), this jem of a book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the First Amendment’s five freedoms.

Jerome Barron & C. Thomas Dienes,
First Amendment Law in a Nutshell
(West Academic Publishing,
5th ed., November 20, 2017)

Sadly, Jerome Barron’s friend and co-author Thomas Dienes died in 2013. “I did not have the joy the joy of working with him in this edition,” wrote Barron, “as I did in the first four editions of this book. I miss the benefit of his knowledge, insight and friendhip but I am grateful for the many years in which we worked on this and other books.”

Abstract: This book provides a short and readable source for individuals interested in constitutional law, First Amendment law, and communications law. It is divided into four parts: the history, methodology, and philosophical foundations of the First Amendment; topics such as First Amendment issues that arise in cable television and in regulating children’s access to the Internet; issues in First Amendment law such as the public forum doctrine, the compelled speech doctrine, and the free expression rights of government employees; and the text, history, and theory of the religion clauses, chronicling the ongoing battle in the Supreme Court between accommodationists and separationists. The Fifth Edition brings the book up to date with modern First Amendment jurisprudence, including a focus on racist and offensive speech, electoral spending, and other topics covered by recent Supreme Court cases and discussions.


Brand New: Fellion & Inglis on Literary Censorship

→ Matthew Fellion & Katherine Inglis, Censored: A Literary History of Subversion and Control (The British Library Publishing Division, September 28, 2017)


Brand New: Fronc on Movie Censorship

→ Jennifer Fronc, Monitoring the Movies: The Fight over Film Censorship in Early Twentieth-Century Urban America (University of Texas Press, November 15, 2017)

Brand New: More on Film Censorship

→ Jememy Geltzer, Film Censorship in America: A State-by-State History (McFarland, November 3, 2017)

Brand New: Free Speech & Hollywood (1907-1927)

→ Jay Douglas Steinmetz, Beyond Free Speech and Propaganda: The Political Development of Hollywood, 1907–1927 (Lexington Books, November 24, 2017)

Coming this January: Easton on the Lawyer for The Masses

→ Eric B. Easton, Defending the Masses: A Progressive Lawyer’s Battles for Free Speech (University of Wisconsin Press, January 9, 2018)

Coming this January: New Life for the Press Clause?

→ Jarer Schroeder, The Press Clause and Digital Technology’s Fourth Wave: Media Law and the Symbiotic Web (Routledge, January 18, 2018)

Coming this January: Charney on a Free Press

→ John Charney, The Illusion of the Free Press (Hart Publishing, January 11, 2018)

Coming this January: Silencing the Salt Lake Tribune

→ James W. Ure, Stop the Press: How the Mormon Church Tried to Silence the Salt Lake Tribune (Prometheus Books, January 9, 2018)

Coming this February: Hamburger on the Taxation of Speech 

→ Philip Hamburger, Liberal Suppression: Section 501(c)(3) and the Taxation of Speech (University Of Chicago Press, February 23, 2018)

Coming this April: Werbel on Comstock 

→ Amy Werbel, Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock (Columbia University Press, April 10, 2018)

Coming this Spring:  Strossen on Hate Speech 

 Nadine Strossen, HATE: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship (Oxford University Press, May 1, 2018)

Coming this SpringRobotica by Collins & Skover 

→ Collins & Skover, Robotica: Speech Rights & Artificial Intelligence (Cambridge University Press, May 31, 2018) (commentaries by Ryan CaloJane BambauerJames GrimmelmannBruce Johnson, and Helen Norton along with a rejoinder by the authors)

Coming in July: Free Speech Advocate & Social Psychologist on “Culture of Safety”

→ Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting up a Generation for Failure (Penguin Press, July 17, 2018)

Coming in August: Gillers on Protecting Journalism 

→ Stephen Gillers, Journalism Under Fire: Protecting the Future of Investigative Reporting (Columbia University Press, August 7, 2018)