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The author argues that Americans should be able to dissent in the name of free speech, but are restricted by the country's major institutions, including the Supreme Court and the mass media.;The book refers to the implications of dissent with regard to topics like cigarette advertising, racist speech and flag burning, adding that such an approach reveals weaknesses in the approaches to free speech taken by postmodernism, Republicanism, deliberative democratic theory, outsider jurisprudence, and liberal theory.;Social functions of dissent are emphasized throughout the text, in respect of combating injustice and its place in cultural struggles over the meanings of America. The author contends that defamation laws should be less protective of those in power, commercial interests in the media should be loosened and young people ought to be taught the importance of challenging injustice.