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By Michael J. LaMonica

Illustrations By Jeff Fallow


Constitutional Law/Civil Rights

ISBN-13: 978-1-939994-74-5
Price: US $15.95
6x9, 232 pp
eBook ISBN: 978-1-939994-75-2
eBook Price: US $15.95
May 3, 2018

B/W Illustrations

Sample Chapter

Are antiwar protesters allowed to burn the flag to express their opinion? Does reciting the Lord’s Prayer in school undermine the religious freedom of non-Christian students? Does a corporation have the same right to free speech, including unlimited political contributions, as a person? Can a newspaper publish secret government documents?


The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution embodies some of the most basic rights and freedoms enjoyed by the American people—to speak our minds, to practice the religion of our choice, to assemble in public places, and to publish our opinions without government interference. And yet, from the early days of the republic to today, First Amendment disputes have been some of the most contentious in the courts and public discourse.  


In First Amendment For Beginners, attorney and historian Michael J. LaMonica presents the history, principles, and court rulings that give practical meaning to the 45 words that make up this bedrock of American democracy. What are the limits of these freedoms? What happens when the First Amendment rights of different citizens collide?


Michael LaMonica is a writer, lawyer, teacher, and historian. He worked for seven years in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office and taught university classes part-time at Quinnipiac University before deciding to return to university himself as a PhD candidate. His interests span the Atlantic World, specifically the intersection of law and history in the colonization of North America and the Caribbean. He currently resides with his partner in Montreal. Michael is also the author of French Revolutions For Beginners.


Jeff Fallow has been illustrating For Beginners books since 1999. Previous books include Stanislavski For Beginners by David Allen, London For Beginners by Nita Clarke and his own titles Scotland For Beginners and Wales For Beginners. Jeff has worked as illustrator for Glasgow Museums and graphic designer for the National Health Service. He is Scottish and lives in the Kingdom of Fife, an ancient part of Scotland and the home of golf (which he doesn’t play).

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