Fighting for the Press by James Goodale
The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles

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Legal and political wonks who want facts might be satisfied, but general readers looking for captivating prose or true suspense won't be.
-Publishers Weekly


Best Book of 2013 says Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief of The Guardian, in "Books of the Year 2013" New Statesman (U.K.): "Goodale is a passionate defender of First Amendment rights and his insider account of this crucial struggle is surprisingly racy - and extremely important." 

R. Alan Clanton, editor of the on-line Thursday Review, names it as one of "The 12 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013."  

The New York Review of Books calls it "fascinating" (see "The Three Leakers and What to do About Them" by David Cole, Feb. 6, 2014).

"The onslaught of government prosecutions of leakers, the continued controversy of WikiLeaks, and the explosion of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance scandal and the Edward Snowden saga propelled Goodale's memoir "Fighting for the Press" to not only instantly relevant but also prescient." Roy Gutterman © Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Dec. 2013.

"Goodale gives a fascinating blow-by-blow account of the legal arguments, personal rivalries, and inspired teamwork behind that famous defense, which started from the principle that there is nothing inherently illegal about publishing classified information." - © The Paris Review

"An engaging work which underlines the importance of fighting for a free press. Without press freedom, informed public debate is curtailed and democratic accountability diminished." -Kofi Annan

"The most detailed and honest inside account yet of the successful judicial fight to publish the Pentagon Papers by the uncompromising lawyer in the middle of it. Goodale and his colleagues won the right to tell the American people that their government - and their President - had lied, manipulated and cheated their way into a disastrous war . . . while the war was still being waged. This history could not come at a more important time." -Seymour M. Hersh

"James Goodale is an American treasure and so is Fighting for the Press. This is a story worthy of John Grisham, except this one actually happened; it is fact, not fiction - and it's still unfolding." -Dan Rather

On June 13, 1971, the New York Times published on its front page a series of confidential documents outlining U.S. government policy on the war in Vietnam. These documents had been secretly leaked from the Department of Defense to reporters at the New York Times.

There followed a period of intense debate, carried out in the board rooms of the newspaper, the offices of its legal counsel, and ultimately the law courts of the nation over whether or not publishing these documents would be in the country's interest. The June 30, 1971 Supreme Court decision was a landmark in the history of press freedom.

James Goodale, chief counsel for the Times during the Pentagon Papers, tells the behind-the-scenes stories of the internal debates - legal, political, economic and corporate - and the reasoning behind the strategy that emerged. Goodale narrative follows those weeks in June when the press's freedom of speech came under its most sustained assault since the Second World War.

This is the story of a constitutional victory whose lessons are as essential today as they were in the 1970s - and of the personalities involved, including a disillusioned intellectual, aggressive reporters, meticulous editors, a cautious publisher, a vengeful attorney general, a beleaguered president and, in the middle of it all, the lawyer who urged his clients to fight for the First Amendment.

About James Goodale

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A former vice chairman of The New York Times, James C. Goodale is the founder of Debevoise & Plimpton's LLP's communications law practice in New York and Washington, D.C. Mr. Goodale, who received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, has taught communications law at Yale, New York University and Fordham Law Schools. He is also a past chairman of the New York State Bar Special Committee on Access and the Communications Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Published March 8, 2013 by CUNY Journalism Press. 260 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences.
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Publishers Weekly

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on Jun 03 2013

Legal and political wonks who want facts might be satisfied, but general readers looking for captivating prose or true suspense won't be.

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