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Eloquence and ReasonCreating a First Amendment Culture$
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Robert L. Tsai

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300117233

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300117233.001.0001

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Metaphor and Community

Metaphor and Community

(p.23) 2 Metaphor and Community
Eloquence and Reason

Robert L. Tsai

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the evocative metaphors that abound in First Amendment thought. Some are fashioned to remind citizens of cherished ideals; others are calculated to stoke their deepest fears of democratic excess. Expressive liberty means “free trade in ideas,” Oliver Wendell Holmes pronounced in the 1919 decision Abrams v. United States, creating the imagery of an integrated and efficient economy to promote a legal order in which ideas move easily from willing creators to interested recipients. When a party proposes a more restrictive reading of text, he might caution, as Holmes did in another case decided the same year, that expression should not be tolerated “in quarters where a little breath would be enough to kindle a flame.”

Keywords:   evocative metaphors, cherished ideals, democratic excess, expressive liberty, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Abrams v. United States, Holmes

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