An eye-opening, relevant and cautionary book.

A lawyerly look at what threatens journalistic free speech liberties.

As a former journalist, Gajda (Law/Tulane Univ.; The Trials of Academe: The New Era of Campus Litigation, 2009) critiques and advises on matters of privacy and free speech with a keen journalistic eye. She explores the ways public scrutiny by news media (while protected under the guise of “newsworthiness”) tarnishes the notion of public privacy. As First Amendment constitutional protections for the press continue to expand, the “balance between privacy rights and public interests” becomes increasingly skewed. The author cites the current wave of ubiquitous social media, where personal information is willingly and willfully disseminated, as a prime instigator fueling the privacy rights debate. But at what point do First Amendment rights trump personal privacy rights? Her thoughtful discussion includes chapters juxtaposing journalism’s former golden age with the lax media standards of today’s paparazzi and shock reporters, where “push-the-envelope behavior has elevated privacy concerns to new levels.” Writing in concise, authoritative language, Gajda reiterates the significance of free speech, freedom of the press and the preservation of personal liberties within a complex debate that has become frustratingly blurred by legal ambiguities and loopholes. Fully utilizing (if overly reliant upon) pivotal court cases, she also highlights ruthless vigilante programs like To Catch a Predator and stories of misbehaving celebrities who have been scrutinized for wrongdoings by exploitative websites infamous for straddling ethical boundaries. Ultimately, Gajda writes, this is subject matter that will fester for decades as digital and social media erode the protective facade of personal privacy and evaporate the guidelines of what is considered newsworthy. She concludes with an appeal for change in how the law appropriates the First Amendment framework in both the private sector and within news media circles.

An eye-opening, relevant and cautionary book.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0674368323

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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