File Size: 671 KB
Print Length: 217 pages
Publisher: Yale University Press (September 12, 2017)
Publication Date: September 1, 2017
For nearly all of the past century the American college or university campus was considered to be the ultimate “marketplace of ideas”. Undergraduates were motivated to speak their thoughts on an array of matters and lively debates in course were the rule somewhat than the exception. Colleges and universities were not scared to expose their pupil bodies to controversial parts of view. Guest speakers were welcomed. Students might strenuously challenge their views but these speakers were usually not denied the right to speak and rarely yelled down. However, in recent years the environment on college or university campuses has changed dramatically. There is now an alarming lack of tolerance and civility. Professors Erwin Chermerinsky and Howard Gillman have taken note of the deteriorating situation and assume that enough time has come for college or university administrators to reassert the right of free speech on campuses all across the fruited plain. They will make their case in the important new publication “Free Speech on Campus”.
Chermerinsky and Gillman argue that one of the main reasons this generation of college or university students does not seem to be to value free speech is that they know valuable little about it. Rather, from a very young age the priority seems to have been to teach these students to stand with others against hateful, discriminatory, or intolerant speech, especially in an educational environment. While the authors see this aversion to “bullying” as a positive attribute of this generation they also assume that it is imperative that these same students finally learn and fully comprehend the significance of free speech. Balancing these two competing ideas can be very tricky for college or university administrators. Meanwhile, the authors tackle head on the prickly subject of “hate speech” and clarify why the Supreme Court has consistently held their nose and upheld the right of groups and individuals to engage in it with some provisos of course. The authors also have some rather pointed criticism of the U. S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights that i thought was downright exciting.
I found “Free Talk on Campus” to be and extremely interesting, well-written and scholarly work. College administrators would be well suggested to get a copy of this book mainly because these monumentally important issues are not going away anytime soon. Chermerinsky and Gillman present many of potential free speech scenarios administrators might well face in the months and years ahead and suggest what they think to be the appropriate strategies to resolve these conflicts. You will find a boatload of useful information and an great quantity of common sense in this volume. Highly suggested., Very relevant book, the short history of free speech in America serves to remind us that it is not a basic principle we should take for provided.
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