Emergence of a Free Press
What did "freedom of the press" really mean to the framers of the First Amendment and their contemporaries? Pulitzer Prize–winning constitutional historian Leonard Levy scrupulously examines that question in this revised and enlarged edition of his Legacy of Suppression. Levy argues that the First Amendment was not designed to be the bulwark of a free press that many thought, nor had the framers intended to overturn the common law of seditious libel that was the principal means of stifling political dissent. Yet Levy notes how robust and rambunctious the early press was, and he takes that paradox into account in tracing the succession of cases and reforms that figured in the genesis of the free press we recognize today.