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Book review: ‘The Great Dissent’ by Thomas Healy

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, pictured in 1931, influentially changed his mind over the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, pictured in 1931, influentially changed his mind over the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.AP Photo

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For nearly 80 years of his long, influential life, the Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was no advocate of individual rights.

How the court’s lion in winter took “the unfulfilled promise” of the First Amendment and restored its prominence at the heart of the American ideal is the subject of “The Great Dissent,” a skillfully rendered slice of history by first-time author Thomas Healy.

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