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Lenny Bruce: The Myth of Free Speech


Lenny Bruce: The Myth of Free Speech


In 1964, Lenny Bruce was riding high. His underdog, idealistic humor took on every American icon and sacred cow, from capitalism to organized religion to sexual mores.

College kids adored him.

Unknown to him, the New York City Police Department had planted undercover vice squad detectives in his audience.

After both performances, Lenny Bruce was handcuffed, led away from the stage, and taken into police custody.

The charge:  Using obscene words during his act.

Overnight, Bruce found himself in professional exile, with almost every nightclub in the country blacklisting him.

On August 3, 1966, police and press surrounded his Hollywood Hills home. 

Lenny Bruce was found lying naked on his tiled bathroom floor, trousers below his knees, dead of a drug overdose. 

Through a brief series of no-nonsense vignettes and snapshots, Philip Dossick provides a first-rate account of this tragic chapter in Bruce’s life, and of the brilliant comic that changed the face of comedy forever.

PHILIP DOSSICK is the New York Times critically acclaimed writer and director of the motion picture The P.O.W.
He has written for television, including the outstanding drama, Transplant, produced by David Susskind for CBS.
His most recent books include Aztecs: Epoch Of Social Revolution, Sex And Dreams, Mark Twain In Seattle, The Naked Citizen: Notes On Privacy In The Twenty-First Century, Raymond Chowder And Bob Skloot Must Die, The Deposition, Vincent Van Gogh: Madness And Magic, Oscar Wilde: Sodomy and Heresy, Abraham Lincoln: 5 Speeches that Changed America, Lenny Bruce: The Myth of Free Speech, Times That try Men's Souls: Henry David Thoreau and Thomas Paine on Slavery and Civil Disobedience, Master and Protégé: Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, Ghost Dance Prophets: Wovoka, Lincoln, and Franz Boas, and Voces de Libertad.


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