Episode 120: Stuart N. Brotman

AWM Author Talks
AWM Author Talks
Episode 120: Stuart N. Brotman

This week, Stuart N. Brotman and John Palfrey discuss Brotman’s new book The First Amendment Lives On, a collection of conversations with free speech scholars and advocates. This conversation originally took place November 7th, 2022 at the American Writers Museum and was recorded live.


More about The First Amendment Lives On:

Hugh M. Hefner’s legacy of enduring free speech and free press values is embodied in the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards, established in 1979, which honor leading First Amendment scholars and advocates. Hefner also had a lifelong interest in film censorship issues and supported teaching about them at the University of Southern California for 20 years. His deep commitment to these values was confirmed when the author was granted unrestricted access to over 3,000 personal scrapbooks, which Hefner had kept in order to track free speech and press issues during his lifetime.

The format of the book is an homage to the in-depth conversational interviews Hefner pioneered as the editor and publisher of Playboy magazine. Stuart Brotman conducted in-person conversations with eight persons who in their lifetimes have come to represent a “greatest generation” of free speech and free press scholars and advocates. Notably, these conversations include Geoffrey R. Stone, Floyd Abrams, Nadine Strossen, Burt Neuborne, David D. Cole, Lucy A. Dalglish, Bob Corn-Revere, and Rick Jewell.

STUART N. BROTMAN is an American government policymaker; tenured university professor; management consultant; lawyer; author and editorial adviser; and non-profit organization executive. He has served in four Presidential Administrations on a bipartisan basis and has taught students from 42 countries in six separate disciplines–Communications, Journalism, Business, Law, International Relations, and Public Policy.

JOHN PALFREY is President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies with assets of approximately $7 billion, and offices in Chicago, New Delhi, and Abuja, Nigeria. Palfrey is a well-respected educator, author, legal scholar, and innovator with expertise in how new media is changing learning, education, and other institutions. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a commitment to rigorous thinking, disruption, and creative solutions often made possible by technology, accessibility of information, and diversity and inclusion. Palfrey has extensive experience in social change spanning the education, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education. A revised and expanded version of his book Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age, which he co-authored with Urs Gasser, was issued in 2016. Palfrey serves on the board of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Palfrey holds a JD from Harvard Law School, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an AB from Harvard College.

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