Industry Voices - Chris Finan

07 Jul

Joyce Meskis and the Fight for First Amendment Rights: A Look Back

As Tattered Cover Book Store owner Joyce Meskis enters retirement, ABFE Director Chris Finan reflects on how she has defended the First Amendment rights of readers and booksellers over the decades.

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21 Feb

Trump Appointees Will Shape Free Speech

ABFE Director Chris Finan offers his thoughts on how two of President Trump’s appointees — Jeff Sessions and Neil M. Gorsuch — could significantly affect the exercise of First Amendment freedoms.

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04 Jan

Hope for the New Year

In the face of growing ideological polarization, bookstores offer hope for the future, writes ABFE Director Chris Finan.

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02 Nov

Progress in the Debate Over Free Speech on Campus

Though a recent report found there is no free speech crisis on campus, there is a real need for more education for students about the importance of free expression, writes ABFE Director Chris Finan.

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24 Aug

Banned in Boston: The Sad Case of the Dunster House Bookshop

In his latest column on the history of the fight for free speech, ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at the case against a bookseller that finally led the Massachusetts legislature to change the state’s obscenity law.

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12 Jul

Banned in Boston: Mrs. Dennett Arrested

ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at an event that turned the tide against widespread book banning in late 1920s Boston.

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01 Jun

Rhett Jackson, the Happy Bookseller

ABFE Director Chris Finan looks back at the life of Rhett Jackson, a much-honored Southern gentleman who confounded people's expectations and always stood up for civil rights and First Amendment issues.

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25 Apr

Banned in Boston: The Battle Begins

This article, part of an occasional series on the history of free speech by ABFE Director Chris Finan, looks at efforts to ban H.L. Mencken's magazine, American Mercury, in 1920s Boston, which marked the start of a critical battle for free speech in books.

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22 Mar

Reader Privacy and the Apple Case

In his monthly personal opinion column, ABFE Director Chris Finan discusses the similarities he finds in the government’s attempts to force Apple to unlock the contents of an iPhone and its past maneuvers to infringe on the reader privacy rights of bookstore customers.

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09 Feb

The Dangers of Self-Censorship

ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at the implications for the freedom to write, publish, and sell books, when authors and publishers respond to controversies over their works by pulling them from the marketplace.

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16 Dec

Mount Horeb Says “No” to Censorship

A plan to read a children’s book about a transgender girl to a Wisconsin elementary school class was cancelled in late November, when school officials were threatened with legal action. However, the attempted censorship appears to have backfired, writes ABFE Director Chris Finan.

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24 Nov

The Free Speech Controversy on Campus

Some of the students involved in campus protests over racial discrimination have demonstrated hostility toward the free speech rights of others. Should booksellers side with a minority that is trying to make itself heard or condemn those who violate the very rights that make protest possible? asks ABFE Director Chris Finan.

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22 Oct

How Booksellers Joined the Fight for Free Speech

In 1915, Boston booksellers were part of an anti-vice group that reviewed books with sexual content and dictated whether they were to be removed from bookstore shelves. In this first article in a series, ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at how booksellers moved from banning books to today’s celebration of Banned Books Week.

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24 Sep

A New Frontier in the Fight for Reader Privacy

In his latest column, ABFE Director Chris Finan discusses why ABA has filed an amicus brief in the latest ACLU challenge to an NSA surveillance program. Reader privacy is at stake.

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20 Aug

What the Polls Say About Free Speech in the United States

In his monthly opinion column, ABFE Director Chris Finan looks at troubling results from recent polls on Americans’ understanding of their First Amendment rights as well as their feelings towards censorship.

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The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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