Hotly contested and vigorously defended since it was first written into the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech is a basic right that all Americans hold dear. But what of the freedom "not" to speak? Should, for instance, a special prosecutor be able to compel a mother to testify about, and incriminate, her own daughter? The freedom "not" to speak is an implicit "right" that holds great relevance for all of us-the freedom not to speak when commanded by church and state, not to sign an oath, not to salute a flag, not to assert a belief in God, or not to reveal one's political beliefs and associations.
Bosmajian traces the history of the freedom not to speak from the Middle Ages and Inquisition to the twentieth century and the House Committee on Un-American Activities. His history addresses the Civil War and Reconstruction loyalty oaths by Union Confederate soldiers, and the expulsion of Jehovah's Witnesses from schools for refusing to salute the flag, and includes an analysis of coerced speech in a variety of literary works. Bosmajian also contemplates the future of this right to silence and argues for the importance of a specifically labeled and firmly established freedom not to speak.
"Taken all together, the chapters offer an important, theoretically rich introduction to disability issues."-"Novel", "Davis's work offers creative and challenging examples that may be useful to our discipline and particularly to Disability historians. "Bending Over Backwards" remains an important and useful work for historians as a template for examining the myriad ways disability and Deafness infiltrate vital aspects of our identity, including laws, cultural icons, literature, and citizenship."-"H-Net Reviews", "[Its] uniqueness of thought is this collection's strength as it makes for an interesting and proactive read." -"American Journal of Occupational Therapy", ""Bending Over Backwards" is a welcome dismemberment of all that was unknowingly artificial from the start."-"The Minnesota Review", "Lennard Davis is history in the making; for he is one of the foremost proponents of "disability studies," the newest theoretical kid on the block, noteworthy in part because it brings together scholars from the humanities and the medical sciences."-Stanley Fish, in "Chicago Tribune"
|Heresy, the Inquisition, and Coerced Speech||p. 15|
|Coerced Speech in Early America||p. 40|
|"I Do Solemnly Swear ..." in Mid-Twentieth-Century America||p. 63|
|From "I Pledge Allegiance ..." to "Are You a Member of ...?"||p. 104|
|Coerced Speech and Un-American Activities Committees||p. 142|
|A Freedom Not to Speak||p. 167|
|About the Author||p. 241|
|Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st March 1999
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.48