In this Book

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In the personal and frank Confessions of a Free Speech Lawyer, Rodney A. Smolla offers an insider's view on the violent confrontations in Charlottesville during the "summer of hate." Blending memoir, courtroom drama, and a consideration of the unhealed wound of racism in our society, he shines a light on the conflict between the value of free speech and the protection of civil rights.

Smolla has spent his career in the thick of these tempestuous and fraught issues, from acting as lead counsel in a famous Supreme Court decision challenging Virginia's law against burning crosses, to serving as co-counsel in a libel suit brought by a fraternity against Rolling Stone magazine for publishing an article alleging that one of the fraternity's initiation rituals included gang rape. Smolla has also been active as a university leader, serving as dean of three law schools and president of one and railing against hate speech and sexual assault on US campuses.

Well before the tiki torches cast their ominous shadows across the nation, the city of Charlottesville sought to relocate the Unite the Right rally; Smolla was approached to represent the alt-right groups. Though he declined, he came to wonder what his history of advocacy had wrought. Feeling unsettlingly complicit, he joined the Charlottesville Task Force, and he realized that the events that transpired there had meaning and resonance far beyond a singular time and place. Why, he wonders, has one of our foundational rights created a land in which such tragic clashes happen all too frequently?

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. 1. A Call from the Task Force
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. 2. The Charleston Massacre
  2. pp. 9-13
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  1. 3. Becoming Richard Spencer
  2. pp. 14-19
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  1. 4. Reverend Edwards
  2. pp. 20-22
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  1. 5. The Charlottesville Monuments
  2. pp. 23-25
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  1. 6. Blut und Boden
  2. pp. 26-38
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  1. 7. Mr. Jefferson's University
  2. pp. 39-48
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  1. 8. Kessler v. Bellamy
  2. pp. 49-52
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  1. 9. The Monuments Debate
  2. pp. 53-60
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  1. 10. Competing Conceptions of Free Speech
  2. pp. 61-74
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  1. 11. May Days
  2. pp. 75-83
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  1. 12. Cue the Klan--Stage Right
  2. pp. 84-89
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  1. 13. The Rise of the Marketplace
  2. pp. 90-103
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  1. 14. Cue the Counterprotesters--Stage Left
  2. pp. 104-111
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  1. 15. A Rolling Stone Gathers No Facts
  2. pp. 112-114
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  1. 16. The Marketplace Doubles Down
  2. pp. 115-128
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  1. 17. The Day of the Klan
  2. pp. 129-134
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  1. 18. When Speech Advances Civil Rights
  2. pp. 135-143
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  1. 19. Duke and the Disciples
  2. pp. 144-163
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  1. 20. The Russian Connection
  2. pp. 164-169
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  1. 21. A Call to Conscience
  2. pp. 170-173
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  1. 22. Preparations
  2. pp. 174-182
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  1. 23. The Day of the Cross
  2. pp. 183-212
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  1. 24. The Idea of the University
  2. pp. 213-219
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  1. 25. Heckler's Veto
  2. pp. 220-232
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  1. 26. Channels of Communication
  2. pp. 233-242
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  1. 27. Rednecks and Saint Paul
  2. pp. 243-246
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  1. 28. The Lawn and the Rotunda
  2. pp. 247-256
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  1. 29. Bloodshed
  2. pp. 257-268
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  1. 30. Aftermath
  2. pp. 269-302
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 303-330
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 331-351
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501749674
Related ISBN
9781501749650
MARC Record
OCLC
1126349379
Pages
360
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-18
Language
English
Open Access
No
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