Anthony Lewis Freedom For The Thought That We Hate Analysis

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Americans admire the United States Constitution, yet many have not even read one word of the document which allows us to live our lives the way we do today, and say what it is we want to say without any consequence. As Anthony Lewis, puts it, “we are the most outspoken society on earth” (pg ix). We would not be entitled to this freedom if it were for the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In his book Freedom for the Thought That We Hate, Anthony Lewis, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, a columnist for the New York Times op-ed page, as well as a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and a visiting …show more content…
We need to realize that we would not be able to think whatever it is we want and say what we think if it were not for the courageous judges, political leaders as well as the citizens who shaped the meaning of the First Amendment. Lewis takes his readers back in time to 1791 when the amendment was first created and provides us with the struggles that many had to go through in order for Americans today to have the freedom in which we have. Freedom of speech was not always as “straight forward” as it may seem to be today, although it is still up for debate in some instances. From seditious libel stating that institutions had to have respect for their country in order to avoid danger or social chaos, to the Sedition Act making it a crime to write or publish anything “false, scandalous and malicious against the government…with intent to defame… or to bring them…into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States” (pg 11). The Sedition Act was put in place to protect the government from ‘wicked’