Nat(han Irving) Hentoff John A. Nelson - Essay

John A. Nelson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Hentoff's ability to speak both passionately and objectively makes The First Freedom a success. Readers are left with two valuable insights, each essential to a healthy tolerance for the role of free expression in our society. The first is that the First Amendment has never been static. The wording seems simple enough ("Congress shall make no law …") but the interpretation and application of those words to changing circumstances has been one of the great challenges to our society. It follows, then, that there will never be a time when answers to questions involving the First Amendment are easy. It is, rather, as Thomas Paine suggested over two hundred years ago, "… those who expect to reap the blessings of...

(The entire section is 955 words.)