Indelible ink: the trials of John Peter Zenger and the birth of America's free press

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The liberty of written and spoken expression has been fixed in the firmament of our social values since our nation's beginning--the government of the United States was the first to legalize free speech and a free press as fundamental rights. But when the British began colonizing the New World, strict censorship was the iron rule of the realm; any words, true or false, that were thought to disparage the government were judged a criminally subversive--and duly punishable--threat to law and order. Even after Parliament lifted press censorship late in the seventeenth century, printers published what they wished at their peril.So when in 1733 a small newspaper, the New-York Weekly Journal, printed scathing articles assailing the new British governor, William Cosby, as corrupt and abusive, colonial New York was scandalized. The paper's publisher, an impoverished printer named John Peter Zenger with a wife and six children, in fact had no hand in the paper's vitriolic editorial content--he was only a front man for Cosby's adversaries, New York Supreme Court Chief Justice Lewis Morris and the shrewd attorney James Alexander. Zenger nevertheless became the endeavor's courageous fall guy when Cosby brought the full force of his high office down upon it. Jailed for the better part of a year, Zenger faced a jury on August 4, 1735, in a proceeding matched in importance during the colonial period only by the Salem Witch Trials.In Indelible Ink, acclaimed social historian Richard Kluger re-creates in rich detail this dramatic clash of powerful antagonists that marked the beginning of press freedom in America and its role in vanquishing colonial tyranny. Here is an enduring lesson that resounds to this day on the vital importance of free public expression as the underpinning of democracy.
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ISBN:
9780393245462
9781681682419
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Grouped Work ID 08bae7bd-0daa-a1f8-3d4b-b7bc44b80e4e
Grouping Title indelible ink the trials of john peter zenger and the birth of americas free press
Grouping Author kluger richard
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-15 22:54:23PM
Last Indexed 2018-10-16 00:49:03AM

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author Kluger, Richard,
author_display Kluger, Richard
available_at_catalog Goodlettsville, Main Kids, Main Library
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Goodlettsville - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description In 1733, struggling printer John Peter Zenger scandalized colonial New York by launching the New-York Weekly Journal, which assailed the British governor as corrupt and arrogant -- a direct challenge to the prevailing law against "seditious libel", which criminalized any criticism of the government. Fronting for a group of powerful antiroyalist politicians, Zenger was jailed for nine months before his landmark trial in August 1735, when he was brilliantly defended by Philadelphia lawyer Alexander Hamilton. In this book, Richard Kluger recreates this dramatic clash that marked the birth of press freedom in America and its role in vanquishing colonial tyranny. Here is an enduring lesson that redounds to this day on the vital importance of free public expression as the underpinning of democracy. --
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local_callnumber_catalog 686.209 K667i
owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Goodlettsville, Main Kids, Main Library
primary_isbn 9780393245462
publishDate 2016
record_details ils:CARL0000493291|Book|Books|First edition.|English|W.W. Norton & Company,|[2016]|xxi, 346 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm., overdrive:44e45803-148b-4d11-9f2e-86e19570a994|eAudiobook|Audio Books||English|HighBridge|2016|
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subject_facet Biographies, Freedom of the press -- United States -- History -- 18th century, Printers -- United States -- Biography, Printing -- New York (State) -- History -- 18th century, Trials (Seditious libel) -- New York (State), Zenger, John Peter, -- 1697-1746, Zenger, John Peter, -- 1697-1746 -- Trials, litigation, etc
title_display Indelible ink : the trials of John Peter Zenger and the birth of America's free press
title_full Indelible Ink The Trials of John Peter Zenger and the Birth of America's Free Press, Indelible ink : the trials of John Peter Zenger and the birth of America's free press / Richard Kluger
title_short Indelible ink :
title_sub the trials of John Peter Zenger and the birth of America's free press
topic_facet Freedom of the press, History, Nonfiction, Printers, Printing, Trials (Seditious libel), Trials, litigation, etc, Zenger, John Peter