First Amendment Freedoms
A Reference Handbook
by Michael C. LeMay
March 2021, 372pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6929-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6930-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Thomas Jefferson considered his authorship of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom more important than his service as U.S. President.

First Amendment Freedoms: A Reference Handbook offers a comprehensive examination of the discourse on First Amendment freedom issues in an objective and unbiased manner and provides valuable data and documents to guide readers to further research on the subject.

First Amendment Freedoms: A Reference Handbook provides a comprehensive, objective, and accessible source of critically important information on the First Amendment freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly, and the post-Civil War Fourteenth Amendment. Geared for high school and college readers, it covers relevant historical events from the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to the array of Supreme Court cases that further defined the scope and limits of First Amendment freedoms.

Composed of seven chapters, plus a glossary and index, the volume will present the background and history of the First Amendment; problems, controversies, and solutions; a perspectives chapter with nine original essay contributions; profiles of the leading actors and organizations involved in First Amendment politics; governmental data and excerpts of primary documents on the topic; and a resources chapter comprising an annotated list of the key books, scholarly journals, and nonprint sources on the topic. It closes with a detailed chronology of major events concerning First Amendment freedoms.


  • Provides readers with a better understanding of the complexity of First Amendment freedoms and how those freedoms have clashed over time
  • Discusses attempts to "solve" problems concerning the fundamental freedoms defined by the First Amendment and how those attempts have changed and expanded over time
  • Arms readers with a detailed list and analysis of all of the major or "landmark" Supreme Court cases pertaining to each of the fundamental First Amendment freedoms
  • Makes a comprehensive but objective review of more than 50 scholarly books on the topic
Michael C. LeMay, PhD, is professor emeritus of political science at California State University, San Bernardino. He is author of thirty academic books, including more than a dozen on the topic of U.S. immigration history and policy. He has written a dozen library reference books and most recently coauthored with Al Mariam First Amendment Freedoms: A Reference Handbook, and authored The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965: Remaking America.


Top 10 Reference List of 2022—Booklist, May 15, 2022


"The excellent scholarly essays and the information consolidated here will be valuable to students of U.S. history and the Constitution."—Library Journal, June 1, 2021

"Its timely publication offers an exhaustive and reasoned examination of this seminal amendment, one that is stridently front and center today."—Booklist, August 13, 2021

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.