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The Trials of Lenny Bruce


(10th Anniversary Edition)

Barnes and Noble Apple iBookstore Google Play Kobo Books
October 2012 | Biography-History
Enhanced eBook | 470 pages | $9.99
Featuring Audio from Lenny Bruce's Performances
and Exclusive Interviews with George Carlin and Others
Includes a New Preface by the Authors
ISBN 978-1-938938-01-6
eBook (ISBN: 978-1-938938-00-9) | $8.99

"Had he lived, Bruce would have had a lot to talk about with Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover....Their descriptions of nightclub life in the early '60s are fascinating." —Washington Post

"There have been other books, but The Trials of Lenny Bruce, written by a pair of diligent attorneys, Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover, is the first fully recorded history of Bruce's relationship with the First Amendment....The Trials of Lenny Bruce serves as the missing link between two of Bruce's statements: 'In the Halls of Justice, the only justice is in the halls.' And 'I love the law.'" —Los Angeles Times

"Collins and Skover write with clarity and energy that utterly belie common impressions of lawyers' language as prolix and impenetrable....For many years as a reporter, I covered courts....I have seldom, if ever, read better—more precise, evocative, set-in-perspective—court reporting than that in this book. It is entertaining, often exciting—but above all it is an immensely important record of a vital chapter in our ever-evolving democracy's eternal groping toward liberty." —Baltimore Sun

"The authors set the record straight from the first arrest in San Francisco in 1961....Detailed, objective, and valuable." —Kirkus Reviews

"Generating a gamut of emotions, the entire package is an important documentation of a revolution in American culture." —Publishers Weekly

"The book is indispensable." —Booklist

"I thought I new this story pretty well, but I learned a lot from this book....A major contribution toward understanding the threat perceived by the 'powers' from simple artistic honesty." —George Carlin

When it first came out in 2002, The Trials of Lenny Bruce not only established itself as the definitive work on Lenny Bruce's free speech trials, it led to the late comedian's posthumous pardon for his conviction on obscenity charges in New York by then-governor George Pataki.

Originally packaged in hardcover with an audio CD, this 10th Anniversary enhanced eBook edition includes embedded audio from Lenny Bruce's most controversial performances, as well as exclusive author interviews with the colleagues, friends, and lawyers who defended him—including George Carlin, Hugh Hefner, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Albert Bendich. Also included in the enhanced eBook edition are archival audio clips secretly recorded during Lenny's New York obscenity trial.

The Trials of Lenny Bruce is an important document of the free speech battles of an icon of American comedy who, by speaking his mind and fighting the good fight, paved the way for every standup comedian, satirist, and social critic who followed him.



Ron Collins and David Skover are friends. Ron lives in the East, David in the West. They have been writing together for almost three decades. Their work is a joint effort, with David manning the keys and Ron pacing.

They have coauthored four books together, The Death of Discourse (1996, 2005), The Trials of Lenny Bruce (2002, 2012), Mania (2013), and On Dissent (2013).

Ron, who grew up in Southern California and graduated from the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, is the Harold S. Shefelman Scholar at the University of Washington Law School. David, who grew up in Wisconsin and earned his law degree from Yale, is the Frederic C. Tausend Professor of Constitutional Law at Seattle University. Both have written numerous scholarly articles (often together) in journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, and in the Supreme Court Review.