Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia. By Nancy S. Lind and Erik T. Rankin. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2012. 2 vols. acid free $189 (ISBN 978-1-61069-212-0). E-book available (978-1-61069-213-7), call for pricing.

Considering the volatile social and political issues of today, controversies and challenges to the First Amendment will be a continual point of discussion in the United States. First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia is a highly readable, two-volume set geared towards secondary and college students studying government, politics, or public policy. This is not a book for advanced law or graduate students. It provides greater depth than the average encyclopedia, and it is best placed among sources in a subject guide for beginning students working on a paper or project on the First Amendment.

The team of contributors assembled by Lind and Rankin are all experts and scholars in their individual fields and include professors of law, public policy, political science, education, and communication and practicing attorneys. The language is accessible; the research is thorough.

Volume 1: Traditional Issues on the First Amendment begins with a lengthy overview of the First Amendment in the context of the twenty-first century. While the First Amendment is certainly complex, the organization of this volume could be problematic for the novice. For example, the chapter "Issues and Controversies in the First Amendment" is covered in great length. Then the chapters get more specific. …

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