Marjorie Heins -- Priests of Our Democracy
02/24/2013, 06:00 pm
Coral Gables, FL
Marjorie Heins -- Priests of Our Democracy -- Gables Start: 6:00 pm In the early 1950s, New York City's teachers and professors became the targets of massive investigations into their political beliefs and associations. Those who refused to cooperate in the questioning were fired. Priests of Our Democracy (NYU Press, $42) by Marjorie Heins tells of the teachers and professors who resisted the witch hunt, those who collaborated, and those whose battles led to landmark Supreme Court decisions. Combining political and legal history with wrenching personal stories, the book details how the anti-communist excesses of the 1950s inspired the Supreme Court to recognize the vital role of teachers and professors in American democracy. The crushing of dissent in the 1950s impoverished political discourse in ways that are still being felt, and First Amendment academic freedom, a product of that period, is in peril today.