Protecting the Best Men: An Interpretive History of the Law of Libel

By Norman L. Rosenberg | Go to book overview

Contents
Acknowledgmentsxi
Introduction. Toward an Understanding of Defamation Law3
The "New" Legal Histories6
1. The Politics of Reputation in Seventeenth-Century America12
Free Expression in Colonial America: The Scholarly Debate12
The Dynamics of Political Expression in Seventeenth- Century America15
The Politics--Large and Small--of Reputation19
From Defamation to Political Libel25
2. Publishers Beware! Libel Law in Eighteenth-Century America29
The "Peculiar Unhappiness" of Colonial Printers30
Factional Politics and Seditious Libel, 1700-175033
The Limits on Political Communication in Eighteenth- Century America40
Political Communication and Seditious Libel during the Revolutionary Era, 1750-177644
Freedom of Expression during the American Revolution51
Political Libel in Eighteenth-Century America53
3. Framing an American Law of Libel, 1781-179756
The System of Political Communication in Post- Revolutionary America56
Libel and Politics during the 1780s: The State Background of the First Amendment61
Toward the Sedition Act: Political Debate during the 1790s71
4. The Era of the Sedition Act and First-Amendment Thought79
The Sedition Act of 179879
A Firmness of Faith: Federalists and the Law of Libel82
The "New Libertarianism": The Jeffersonian Response89
The Era of the Sedition Act and First-Amendment Thought99

-vii-

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