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Book Review: The Tolerant Society: Freedom of Speech and Extremist Speech in America, 96 Yale Law Journal 1687 (1987)


To give this ambitious book the serious consideration it clearly deserves involves three tasks. One is to evaluate the quality of Bollinger's dissection of the theories of Milton, Mill, and their successors. The second is to ask whether, and how, Bollinger's general theory of tolerance strengthens those theories, unifies them, and extends their compass. The third is to attempt to fit his accomplishment into what is going on in American legal practice, and in academic discussion, both of which are little concerned with the classic paradox of protecting extremist speech, the centerpiece of the Bollinger structure.

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