The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Fall and Rise of An American Icon

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9781570719868: The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Fall and Rise of An American Icon

Lenny Bruce’s words had the power to provoke laughter and debate-as well as shock and outrage. It was the force of his voice that would place him on the wrong side of the law in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Lenny committed his life to telling the truth. But the truth he told infuriated those in power, and authorities in the largest, most progressive cities in the country worked relentlessly to put him in jail. To them, Lenny’s words were filthy, depraved. But to his fans-the hip, the discontented, the fringe-his words were not only sharp and hilarious, they were a light in the dark to the repressed society of the early 1960s.

Lenny’s battles were fought on stage and in the courtroom-against cops in San Francisco and L.A. who took notes at his performances, against judges in Chicago and against a prosecutor in New York with a zeal to bring the comedian down.

Lenny also fought his addiction to heroin and, at times, his own lawyers. And there were those who never stopped fighting for Lenny-people like Steve Allen, Phil Spector and William Kunstler.
To better understand the power of Lenny’s performances, the authors have compiled an audio CD of the routines that got him in trouble, as well as interviews with his defenders and prosecutors, and his friends and followers, including George Carlin, Hugh Hefner and Margaret Cho.

The first carefully documented account of Lenny Bruce’s career and free speech struggles, The Trials of Lenny Bruce paints a vivid, shocking, hilarious and tragic portrait of a man too honest for his time.

The Trials of Lenny Bruce includes a one-hour audio CD narrated by Nat Hentoff that features:
--Lenny Bruce performances (including ones for which he was busted)
--Notorious routines, including “Religions, Inc.,” “Blah Blah Blah,” “Thank You Mask Man” and “Las Vegas Tits and Ass”
--Interviews with George Carlin, Hugh Hefner, Margaret Cho and others

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From the Author:

Ronald K.L. Collins graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and was a judicial fellow in the United States Supreme Court. He is currently the First Amendment scholar-in-residence at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Virginia. He has written numerous scholarly articles in the Harvard, Stanford and Michigan Law Reviews, and more than 150 newspaper op-ed pieces. He edited The Death of Contract and Constitutional Government in America.

David M. Skover graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Judge Jon O. Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. He now teaches as a law professor at Seattle University Law School. Skover has written numerous scholarly articles in the Harvard, Stanford and Michigan Law Reviews, and coauthored (with Pierre Schlag) Tactics of Legal Reasoning.

Collins and Skover were the founding coeditors of Books-on-Law, a monthly online journal dedicated to book reviews and have written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and The Nation. Their first book together was The Death of Discourse.

Nat Hentoff writes weekly articles for The Village Voice and has written numerous articles, essays and books about politics, human rights and jazz. He has received numerous awards, including the National Press Foundation Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism and the American Bar Association Certificate of Merit for Coverage of the Criminal Justice System.

From Publishers Weekly:

The shelf is full of books about "outlaw social critic" Lenny Bruce (1925-1966). But now comes a different approach, as two legal scholars provide an in-depth survey of "comedy on trial"-the five years of censorship, arrests, obscenity trials, convictions and appeals as prosecutors sought to bust Bruce for "word crimes." Skover and Collins (coauthors of The Death of Discourse) meticulously document both litigation and the literary scene of the 1960s, crosscutting between clubs and courtrooms to show how Bruce's career crumbled in a nightmarish fashion as he broke taboos and struggled for free speech in the years before his death from a morphine overdose. Looking for a lawyer in 1964, Bruce requested, "Get me somebody who swings with the First Amendment," and that year noted performers and writers (such as William Styron, John Updike, James Baldwin) signed a petition to support Bruce, while others (Jules Feiffer, Jason Epstein, even the "prim and proper" Dorothy Kilgallen) served as defense witnesses. Granted access to Bruce's papers, Collins and Skover have done exhaustive research, also interviewing Bruce's lawyers, club owners, cohorts and comic talents, including Orson Bean, George Carlin, Margaret Cho and Paul Krassner. The voice of Bruce springs to life with his memorable comedy routines heard on the accompanying CD, narrated by Nat Hentoff and also featuring interviews with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Hugh Hefner and others who reflect on Bruce's legacy. Generating a gamut of emotions, the entire package is an important documentation of a revolution in American culture. B&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Collins, Ronald K. L.; Skover, David M.
Verlag: Sourcebooks Media Fusion, Naperville, IL (2002)
ISBN 10: 1570719861 ISBN 13: 9781570719868
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Buchbeschreibung Sourcebooks Media Fusion, Naperville, IL, 2002. Softcover. Buchzustand: Sehr gut. 563 p. w/ index, some photographs and an audio CD. Gutes Leseexemplar. Artikel-Nr. 040609

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