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Fighting Faiths

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486180
Size: 54.45 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.

Hear My Sad Story

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501701487
Size: 57.18 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.

Gibbons V Ogden Law And Society In The Early Republic

Author: Thomas H. Cox
Publisher: Ohio University Press
ISBN: 082144333X
Size: 53.92 MB
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Gibbons v. Ogden, Law, and Society in the Early Republic examines a landmark decision in American jurisprudence, the first Supreme Court case to deal with the thorny legal issue of interstate commerce. Decided in 1824, Gibbons v. Ogden arose out of litigation between owners of rival steamboat lines over passenger and freight routes between the neighboring states of New York and New Jersey. But what began as a local dispute over the right to ferry the paying public from the New Jersey shore to New York City soon found its way into John Marshall’s court and constitutional history. The case is consistently ranked as one of the twenty most significant Supreme Court decisions and is still taught in constitutional law courses, cited in state and federal cases, and quoted in articles on constitutional, business, and technological history. Gibbons v. Ogden initially attracted enormous public attention because it involved the development of a new and sensational form of technology. To early Americans, steamboats were floating symbols of progress—cheaper and quicker transportation that could bring goods to market and refinement to the backcountry. A product of the rough-and-tumble world of nascent capitalism and legal innovation, the case became a landmark decision that established the supremacy of federal regulation of interstate trade, curtailed states’ rights, and promoted a national market economy. The case has been invoked by prohibitionists, New Dealers, civil rights activists, and social conservatives alike in debates over federal regulation of issues ranging from labor standards to gun control. This lively study fills in the social and political context in which the case was decided—the colorful and fascinating personalities, the entrepreneurial spirit of the early republic, and the technological breakthroughs that brought modernity to the masses.

In The Matter Of J Robert Oppenheimer

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486616
Size: 42.22 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.

Rebel And A Cause

Author: Theodore Hamm
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520925236
Size: 11.66 MB
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Theodore Hamm uses the 1960 execution of Caryl Chessman as a lens for examining how politics and debates about criminal justice became a volatile mix that ignited postwar California. The effects of those years continue to be felt as the state's three-strikes law and expanding prison-construction program spark heated arguments over rehabilitation and punishment. Known as the Red Light Bandit, Chessman allegedly stalked lovers' lanes in Los Angeles. Eventually convicted of rape and kidnapping, he was sentenced to death in 1948. In prison he gained significant notoriety as a writer, beginning with his autobiographical Cell 2455 Death Row (1954). In the following years Chessman presented himself not only as an innocent man but also as one rehabilitated from his prior life of crime. He acquired an enthusiastic audience among leading criminologists, liberal intellectuals, and ordinary citizens, many of whom engaged in protests to halt Chessman's execution. Hamm analyzes how Chessman convinced thousands of Californians to support him, and why Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, who opposed the death penalty, allowed the execution to go forward. He also demonstrates the intrinsic limits of the popular commitment to the rehabilitative ideal. Rebel and a Cause places the Chessman case in a broad cultural and historical context, relating it to histories of prison reform, the anti-death penalty movement, the popularization of psychology, and the successive rise and decline of the New Left and the more enduring rise of the New Right.

Yamashita S Ghost

Author: Allan A. Ryan
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780700620142
Size: 29.42 MB
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The dramatic story of the 1945 war crimes trial of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, who was charged with atrocities he neither committed nor ordered and of which he likely had no knowledge. Even so, he was convicted and, following a Supreme Court review, executed for having failed to control his troops."

Our Rights

Author: David J. Bodenhamer
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195325672
Size: 47.92 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 World Of Benjamin Cardozo

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674960527
Size: 78.12 MB
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"The sordid controversies of litigants," Benjamin Cardozo once said, are "the stuff from which great and shining truths will ultimately be shaped." As one of America's most influential judges, first on New York State's Court of Appeals and then on the United States Supreme Court, Cardozo (1870-1938) oversaw this transformation daily. How he arrived at his rulings, with their far-reaching consequences, becomes clear in this book, the first to explore the connections between Benjamin Cardozo's life and his jurisprudence. An intensely private man whose friends destroyed much of his correspondence, Cardozo has long eluded scrutiny. But through extraordinary effort Richard Polenberg has uncovered letters, briefs, transcripts, and biographical details to give us a complex living picture of this man whose judicial opinions continue to affect us. Polenberg describes the shaping experiences of Cardozo's youth, among them the death of his mother when he was nine years old; religious training in the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue; two years of private tutoring by Horatio Alger, Jr.; and his reaction to the scandal that prompted his father to resign from the New York Supreme Court. Then, in light of certain cases that were brought before the Court of Appeals, we see how Cardozo's rulings reflected a system of beliefs rooted in these early experiences; how, despite his famous detachment, Cardozo read evidence and precedents selectively and based his decisions regarding issues from rape and divorce to the insanity plea on his own views about morality, scholarship, and sexuality. Here too is the truth behind Cardozo's renowned liberalism, explored through his rulings on New Deal measures such as the Social Security Act and his more conservative decisions in cases involving conscientious objectors and the rights of criminal defendants. The Benjamin Cardozo who emerges from these pages, a complicated and intriguing figure, points to a new understanding of the shaping of American law.

In The Matter Of J Robert Oppenheimer

Author: Richard Polenberg
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801486616
Size: 27.83 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.

Wings Of Judgment

Author: Ronald Schaffer
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019505640X
Size: 45.98 MB
Format: PDF
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World War II--"the good war"--is here viewed from a new angle of vision, one that sheds fresh light on how major decisions were reached.More than just a book on the strategy and outcome of American bombing in World War II, Wings of Judgment tells about choices in war, decisions that determined whether hundreds of thousands of people lived or died and whether famous cities and great monuments of civilization survived or were destroyed. It is about the bombing of Dresden and Berlin and of dozens of cities and towns all over Germany and about the preservation of Rome and Florence. It is about the incineration of Tokyo, the bombing of Hiroshima, and the sparing of one of Japan's most beautiful and holy places, the city of Kyoto. Describing U.S. air raids that terrified inhabitants of enemy nations and citizens of enemy-occupied countries, it raises serious questions about the military and moral effects of American bombing. It also tells of American efforts to avoid killing civilians needlessly.Taking us behind the scenes at military headquarters, Schaffer shows that even the toughest warriors occasionally found themselves offering moral arguments for their actions, arguing that they were made right by enemy atrocities, by the justness of the Allied cause, and by the numbers of lives of American servicemen that Allied bombing might save.