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William Preston, Jr.

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A New Story of Civil Liberty in the United States

This essay reviews the literature on the history of liberty, intolerance, and “rights consciousness.” It concentrates on the development of a free speech constituency in the United States. and on the litigation and constitutional doctrines that affected its course. Also covered is the intolerance and repression experienced by radicals, unionists, and immigrants from before World War I through the Red Scare and McCarthyism, which had nothing to do with the judicial arena. The author’s sobering conclusion is that no battle for civil liberty necessarily stays won.

intolerance, repression, civil liberties

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 25, No. 2 (1998): 184-204