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It is often observed that Americans passionately believe in their own right to free speech but can be quick to demand censure of anyone else's speech that they don't agree with or are offended by. This goes straight to the thorny heart of the free speech debate—how far should society and government go to protect a citizen's right to utter all kinds of free speech, including profane, unpopular, revolutionary, or blasphemous. Who gets to decide what is acceptable and unacceptable, popular or unpopular speech—and are wordless actions and symbolic gestures considered types of speech to be protected as well? This book tackles complicated questions and reveals the wide ranges of answers that have been provided by politicians, thinkers, courts, and average citizens over the nation's history. Historically rich and up-to-the-minute, thought-provoking and conscience stirring, this book illuminates free speech issues. Includes complete text of the Constitution Preamble and the Bill of Rights.