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The boisterous freedom promised by the First Amendment is both the heart of American experiment and the fissure along which it divides itself. Those who would fight freedom's enemies, from political correctness to corporate intimidation to outright censorship, face powerful adversaries. But they also have a potent weapon at their disposal: good, old-fashioned talk--tough talk. And as one of America's leading First Amendment attorneys, Martin Garbus is one of the toughest talkers there is.
Starting with his work on the tam that defended the legendary satirist Lenny Bruce against obscenity charges, Garbus has been a fearless advocate for some of the most important voices of our time, among them union organizer Cesar Chavez, actor Robert Redford, director Spike Lee, writer Samuel Beckett, Russian dissident Andrei Sakharov, and Czech playwright Vaclav Havel, who, as president of his country's revolutionary government, invited Garbus to help write the nation's constitution.
But Garbus is not an ivory-tower theoretician. He is a highly effective defense lawyer who takes on cases with the full intent of winning. In Tough Talk, Garbus goes behind the scenes to show us how our system really works and what he does to make it work for his clients. How does an attorney get controversial cases? What does he do to gain control of a hostile courtroom? How does he work with a defendant whose beliefs are the opposite of his own?
Tough Talk is both the story of one man's battle for freedom and a clear-eyed account of every major First Amendment issue this nation has faced in the last three decades, for the battles Garbus has fought have become the touchstones of America's debate about the limits of freedom. In showing us how he has harnessed his personal idealism to the gritty reality of the courtroom, Garbus gives brilliant testimony to the power of tough talk.