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Fighting Faiths

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486180
Size: 12.46 MB
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Jacob Abrams et al. v. United States is the landmark Supreme Court case in the definition of free speech. Although the 1918 conviction of four Russian Jewish anarchists—for distributing leaflets protesting America's intervention in the Russian revolution—was upheld, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's dissenting opinion (with Justice Louis Brandeis) concerning "clear and present danger" has proved the touchstone of almost all subsequent First Amendment theory and litigation.In Fighting Faiths, Richard Polenberg explores the causes and characters of this dramatic episode in American history. He traces the Jewish immigrant experience, the lives of the convicted anarchists before and after the trials, the careers of the major players in the court cases—men such as Holmes, defense attorney Harry Weinberger, Southern Judge Henry DeLamar Clayton, Jr., and the young J. Edgar Hoover—and the effects of this important case on present-day First Amendment rights.

Our Rights

Author: David J. Bodenhamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195325672
Size: 27.95 MB
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Designed for high school students and motivated lay readers, this book will be an introduction to the rights held by American citizens under the U.S. Constitution as explored through a series of historical case studies. Each chapter will use dramatic narrative to illustrate a right in action. Most examples, but not all, will use U.S. Supreme Court cases to focus on a time when the right in question received its modern interpretation. The aim, however, will be to use each chapter to discuss how the right applies today and how courts and other interpreters seek to balance this right with important societal concerns, such as the need for order and public safety. The book will begin with a 20-page chapter on how we arrived at our modern concept of rights. The major interpretive thread will be the continual struggle to define limits on the power of the state. The chapter will introduce several key themes: our understanding of rights has emerged from history (experience); our definition and interpretation of rights is always evolving; concepts of rights are always under contention; and various actors-legislatures, executives, and courts-compete to be the final interpreter of our rights. American constitutional rights generally fall into one of three groups-rights of democracy, that is, rights required for American democracy to work effectively; rights of the accused, or due process rights that assure a fair trial for individuals accused of crimes; and other rights of persons, including the right to privacy. A fourth category of rights are not constitutional per se, but often we conceive of them as such even though often they are statutory rights, such as the right to education... A concluding chapter will discuss other rights that may evolve as a result of current political and social movements, such as the right to health care. Along with Our Constitution and Pivotal Supreme Court Cases (working title), this book has the potential to become a core text for the annual observance of Constitution Day on September 17, which is mandated by Congress for all educational institutions receiving federal funds.

The Pursuit Of Justice

Author: Kermit L. Hall
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195311892
Size: 26.52 MB
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Reviews and discusses landmark cases heard by the United States Supreme court from 1803 through 2000.

In The Matter Of J Robert Oppenheimer

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486616
Size: 26.62 MB
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At the end of World War II, J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of America's preeminent physicists. For his work as director of the Manhattan Project, he was awarded the Medal for Merit, the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on a civilian. Yet, in 1953, Oppenheimer was denied security clearance amidst allegations that he was "more probably than not" an "agent of the Soviet Union." Determined to clear his name, he insisted on a hearing before the Atomic Energy Commission's Personnel Security Board.In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer contains an edited and annotated transcript of the 1954 hearing, as well as the various reports resulting from it. Drawing on recently declassified FBI files, Richard Polenberg's introductory and concluding essays situate the hearing in the Cold War period, and his thoughtful analysis helps explain why the hearing was held, why it turned out as it did, and what that result meant, both for Oppenheimer and for the United States.Among the forty witnesses who testified were many who had played vitally important roles in the making of U.S. nuclear policy: Enrico Fermi, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, Vannevar Bush, George F. Kennan, and Oppenheimer himself. The hearing provides valuable insights into the development of the atomic bomb and the postwar debate among scientists over the hydrogen bomb, the conflict between the foreign policy and military establishments over national defense, and the controversy over the proper standards to apply in assessing an individual's loyalty. It reveals as well the fears and anxieties that plagued America during the Cold War era.

The Federal Courts

Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199387907
Size: 46.28 MB
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There are moments in American history when all eyes are focused on a federal court: when its bench speaks for millions of Americans, and when its decision changes the course of history. More often, the story of the federal judiciary is simply a tale of hard work: of finding order in the chaotic system of state and federal law, local custom, and contentious lawyering. The Federal Courts is a story of all of these courts and the judges and justices who served on them, of the case law they made, and of the acts of Congress and the administrative organs that shaped the courts. But, even more importantly, this is a story of the courts' development and their vital part in America's history. Peter Charles Hoffer, Williamjames Hull Hoffer, and N. E. H. Hull's retelling of that history is framed the three key features that shape the federal courts' narrative: the separation of powers; the federal system, in which both the national and state governments are sovereign; and the widest circle: the democratic-republican framework of American self-government. The federal judiciary is not elective and its principal judges serve during good behavior rather than at the pleasure of Congress, the President, or the electorate. But the independence that lifetime tenure theoretically confers did not and does not isolate the judiciary from political currents, partisan quarrels, and public opinion. Many vital political issues came to the federal courts, and the courts' decisions in turn shaped American politics. The federal courts, while the least democratic branch in theory, have proved in some ways and at various times to be the most democratic: open to ordinary people seeking redress, for example. Litigation in the federal courts reflects the changing aspirations and values of America's many peoples. The Federal Courts is an essential account of the branch that provides what Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Judge Oliver Wendell Homes Jr. called "a magic mirror, wherein we see reflected our own lives."

Big Money Crime

Author: Kitty Calavita
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520923232
Size: 34.17 MB
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At a cost of $500 billion to American taxpayers, the savings and loan debacle of the 1980s was the worst financial crisis of the twentieth century as well as a crime unparalleled in American history. Yet the vast majority of its perpetrators will never be prosecuted, and those who were have received minimal sentences. In the first in-depth scrutiny of the ways and means of this disaster, this groundbreaking book comes to disturbing conclusions about the deliberate nature of this financial fraud, the political collusion involved, and the leniency of the criminal justice system in dealing with these "Gucci-clad white-collar criminals." Using material from over one hundred interviews with government officials and industry leaders and recently declassified documents, the authors show how—contrary to previous government and "expert" explanations that chalked the disaster up to business risks gone awry or adverse economic conditions—S&L leaders engaged in deliberate fraud, stealing from their own corporations to speculate on high-risk ventures. Tempted by the insurance net, perpetrators looted their own institutions in a new kind of white-collar crime the authors dub "collective embezzlement." Big Money Crime also demonstrates how systematic political collusion—not just policy errors—was a critical ingredient in this unprecedented series of frauds. Bringing together statistics from a variety of government agencies, the authors provide a close reading of the track record of prosecutions and sentencing and find that "suite crime" receives much more lenient treatment than "street crime," despite its significantly higher price tag. The book concludes with a number of modest, but no less urgent, policy recommendations to counter the current deregulatory trend and to avert a replay of the S&L debacle in other financial sectors. FROM THE BOOK:"We built thick walls; we have cameras; we have time clocks on the vaults . . . all these controls were to protect against somebody stealing the cash. Well, you can steal far more money, and take it out the back door. The best way to rob a bank is to own one."—House Committee on Government Operations, 1988

A Stripe Of Tammany S Tiger

Author: Louis Eisenstein
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801468361
Size: 21.65 MB
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"This book is a highly personal glimpse into the world of precinct, district, and county politics. It deals with several stripes of the Tammany Tiger and brings into close focus some of the most forceful background figures in New York City's political framework. Primarily, it is a forty-year panorama of Tammany practices and personalities."-from A Stripe of Tammany's Tiger In this fascinating book, first published in 1966, Louis Eisenstein, a Tammany precinct captain from Manhattan's Lower East Side, sets out with his coauthor Elliot Rosenberg to chronicle the evolution-or rather devolution-of New York City politics through the first seven decades of the twentieth century. Eisenstein imbues his lively narrative with an overarching theme: that personal interactions and good faith between those at all levels of power are of paramount importance both for sustained political success and for competent municipal administration.

Hear My Sad Story

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501701487
Size: 29.47 MB
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In 2015, Bob Dylan said, "I learned lyrics and how to write them from listening to folk songs. And I played them, and I met other people that played them, back when nobody was doing it. Sang nothing but these folk songs, and they gave me the code for everything that's fair game, that everything belongs to everyone." In Hear My Sad Story, Richard Polenberg describes the historical events that led to the writing of many famous American folk songs that served as touchstones for generations of American musicians, lyricists, and folklorists. Those events, which took place from the early nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries, often involved tragic occurrences: murders, sometimes resulting from love affairs gone wrong; desperate acts borne out of poverty and unbearable working conditions; and calamities such as railroad crashes, shipwrecks, and natural disasters. All of Polenberg's account of the songs in the book are grounded in historical fact and illuminate the social history of the times. Reading these tales of sorrow, misfortune, and regret puts us in touch with the dark but terribly familiar side of American history. On Christmas 1895 in St. Louis, an African American man named Lee Shelton, whose nickname was "Stack Lee," shot and killed William Lyons in a dispute over seventy-five cents and a hat. Shelton was sent to prison until 1911, committed another murder upon his release, and died in a prison hospital in 1912. Even during his lifetime, songs were being written about Shelton, and eventually 450 versions of his story would be recorded. As the song—you may know Shelton as Stagolee or Stagger Lee—was shared and adapted, the emotions of the time were preserved, but the fact that the songs described real people, real lives, often fell by the wayside. Polenberg returns us to the men and women who, in song, became legends. The lyrics serve as valuable historical sources, providing important information about what had happened, why, and what it all meant. More important, they reflect the character of American life and the pathos elicited by the musical memory of these common and troubled lives.

Standing Soldiers Kneeling Slaves

Author: Kirk Savage
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691184526
Size: 70.38 MB
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The United States began as a slave society, holding millions of Africans and their descendants in bondage, and remained so until a civil war took the lives of a half million soldiers, some once slaves themselves. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves explores how the history of slavery and its violent end was told in public spaces—specifically in the sculptural monuments that came to dominate streets, parks, and town squares in nineteenth-century America. Looking at monuments built and unbuilt, Kirk Savage shows how the greatest era of monument building in American history took place amid struggles over race, gender, and collective memory. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves probes a host of fascinating questions and remains the only sustained investigation of post-Civil War monument building as a process of national and racial definition. Featuring a new preface by the author that reflects on recent events surrounding the meaning of these monuments, and new photography and illustrations throughout, this new and expanded edition reveals how monuments exposed the myth of a "united" people, and have only become more controversial with the passage of time.

The Brooklyn Thrill Kill Gang And The Great Comic Book Scare Of The 1950s

Author: Mariah Adin
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440833737
Size: 50.20 MB
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What caused four recently bar mitzvahed middle-class youths to go on a crime spree of assault and murder in 1954? This book provides a compelling narrative retelling of the boys, their crimes, and a U.S. culture obsessed with juvenile delinquency. • Tells a fascinating true crime story involving murder, juvenile delinquency, secret sexualities, and obscene comic books from a time in American history often portrayed as idyllic and innocent • Provides revealing insights into the anxieties of the post-Holocaust Jewish-American community • Supplies a new angle on the Great Comic Book Scare and the anti-comics movement • Based on original, archival research using materials that have never been published