New Book Examines Battles over Free Speech and Academic Freedom on American University Campuses: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
February 1, 2005

New Book Examines Battles over Free Speech and Academic Freedom on American University Campuses
Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus, by Donald Alexander Downs

Praise for Restoring Free Speech on Campus:

“At the very core of all our rights and liberties is the First Amendment. One of the places it has been most endangered is the American college and university campus. The story of how Donald Downs restored it so vibrantly against considerable odds is downright inspiring and, I hope, infectious.”
—Nat Hantoff, Author and Columnist, The Village Voice

“Puts coercive political correctness under the microscope as no previous book has done, and discovers not only why it is virulent but how to make antibodies. Real intellectual diversity—and thus the American university itself—has no better friend, anywhere, than Donald Downs.”
—Jonathan Rauch, Columnist, Atlantic Monthly

“An important contribution to the never-ending real-world struggles to maintain free speech on campus. Should be read by anyone interested in status of higher education, the fate of constitutional citizenship, [and] the politics of civil liberty.”
—Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union

“One does not have to agree with all of Down’s characterizations or conclusions to appreciate that this book is an indispensable resource to anyone seriously interested in understanding the campus code controversy or, more importantly, the culture of the contemporary American university.”
--James Weinstein, Professor of Law, Arizona State University, author of Hate Speech and Pornography and the Radical Attack on Free Speech Doctrine

A decline of respect for free speech, academic freedom, and civil liberty has deeply affected higher education in America over the last decade and a half. What must be done to reverse this trend? In Restoring Free Speech and Liberty On Campus (Cambridge University Press/The Independent Institute), Donald Downs, addresses a major problem in contemporary American higher education: deprivations of free speech, due process, and other basic civil liberties in the name of favored political causes. Downs begins by analyzing the nature and evolution of the problem, and discusses how these betrayals of liberty have harmed the truth seeking mission of universities. Rather than promoting equal respect and tolerance of diversity, policies restricting academic freedom and civil liberty have proved divisive, and have compromised the robust exchange of ideas that is a necessary condition of a meaningful education. Drawing on personal experience as well as research, Downs presents four case studies that illustrate the difference that conscientious political resistance and mobilization of faculty and students can make. Such movements have brought about unexpected success in renewing the principles of free speech, academic freedom, and civil liberty at universities where they have been active.

About the Author:

Donald Alexander Downs is a Research Fellow with the Independent Institute and a professor of Political Science, Law and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has written four previous books, including Nazis in Skokie: Freedom, Community, and the First Amendment, winner of the Annisfield-Wolf Book Award, and The New Politics of Pornography, winner of the Gladys M. Kammerer Award of the American Political Science Association. Professor Downs has also published extensively in leading journals, encyclopedias, and professional books; lectured throughout the United States and in England and Scotland; and made numerous media appearances on radio and television to discuss issues of American politics and law.

Title: Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus
Author: Donald Alexander Downs
Price: $28.99
Cambridge University Press/The Independent Institute
Publication Date: January 31, 2005
ISBN: 0-521-83987-4
Pages: 288


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