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Censorship is and has always has been a very important issue in America Bradley Steffens book Censorship discusses the history and many of the issues that pertain to censorship In the introduction Steffens establishes that the power of words is often used to influence and shape the lives of people and events He cites many of historys most important people who have made a lasting and inspiring mark on our society He then goes on to show how words can be used to destroy lives and used in propaganda promoting hatred and fear This is the beginning to understanding some of the main issues behind censorship Should people be able to say what they want or should the government be able to take that freedom away for its safety The first chapter outlines the history of censorship throughout the world and tells why it has become such an issue in todays society He starts as early as Biblical times and moves through Ancient Greece the Inquisition the start of the press and censorship in Britain This leads to the British rule in America and eventually to the Revolution which happened partly because of British censorship The next five chapters basically outline different issues today involving censorship whether it is constitutional when it is constitutional and what constitutes as legal censorship Steffens talks about time place and manner incitement fighting words obscenity and other issues Many court cases are cited in each chapter in order to show the real controversy At the end of the book numerous censorship related organizations are listed with contact information and a comprehensive works cited section with suggestions for further reading Steffens does a wonderful job of showing all the sides of the issue As early as the introduction he show how words can be used by different people for different purposes For example the way and purpose Shakespeare and Jefferson used words differed greatly from the
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