Freedom of speech, historically one of our most cherished rights, faces new challenges today. From the Internet to campaign finance reform and the Patriot Act, new technology and social issues raise difficult First Amendment questions. This award-winning text offers a clear, thorough, and fascinating introduction to the complex history and current interpretations of our free speech principles. Beginning with the roots of Western free speech concepts in classical Greek thought and British common law, it traces the development of contemporary freedoms and controls from colonial times to the present, through significant legislation and Supreme Court cases. It explores questions arising from political heresy and dissent, defamation and privacy, blasphemy and obscenity, fighting words and hate speech, media access and regulation, reporter's privilege and shield laws, copyright, file sharing, student speech rights, and other controversial issues. Important reading for students of the First Amendment, Freedom of Speech in the United States guides readers to an understanding of complex concepts with clear explanations, brief abstracts of major court cases, and numerous study aids. Thoroughly updated, the sixth edition shows how historical challenges to freedom of speech arise anew with the emergence of new technologies, political issues, and social concerns. FEATURES Clear, engaging writing, providing an excellent introduction for readers with no legal background. Historical perspective, showing evolution of current freedoms and limitations. Boxed summaries of major cases. Succinct explanations of major theorists (Chapter 15). Abundant internal summaries and study aids. More than 30 photos and illustrations. FEATURES OF THE NEW EDITION Reflects recent case law and Supreme Court decisions. Reflects current developments on ongoing issues. Updated discussion of current social and political issues, such as the Patriot Act, SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation), teaching "intelligent design," reporters' privilege and shield laws, FCC rules on media ownership and broadcast indecency, others.