Figures of Speech by William Bennett Turner
First Amendment Heroes and Villains

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Recounting controversial First Amendment cases from the Red Scare era to Citizens United, William Bennett Turner—a Berkeley law professor who has argued three cases before the Supreme Court—shows how we’ve arrived at our contemporary understanding of free speech. His strange cast of heroes and villains, some drawn from cases he has litigated, includes Communists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ku Klux Klansmen, the world’s leading pornographer, prison wardens, dogged reporters, federal judges, a computer whiz, and a countercultural comedian. This is a fascinating look at how the scope of our First Amendment freedoms has evolved and the colorful characters behind some of the most important legal decisions of modern times.

“Turner tells fascinating stories of unlikely heroes and explains difficult legal issues clearly and concisely, educating and entertaining at the same time.”—Elizabeth Farnsworth, The PBS News Hour

About William Bennett Turner

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For the past quarter century, William Bennett Turner has taught "The First Amendment and the Press" at UC Berkeley. He also teaches First Amendment courses at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco. As a San Francisco lawyer, Turner specialized in unusual litigation, including constitutional law, and has argued three cases (including two First Amendment cases) before the U.S. Supreme Court. He founded his own law firm in San Francisco in 1978 and served as its senior partner until 1992. Turner has published dozens of articles in magazines, newspapers, and law reviews. He also has served as legal affairs correspondent for KQED television, winning numerous awards for news and documentaries on legal subjects. He has appeared on Nightline, CBS Morning News, PBS News Hour, CNN, the Spanish equivalent of 60 Minutes, and radio talk shows around the country.
Published March 1, 2011 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 230 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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