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The Printer's Trial: The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press [Hardcover]

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Item Number 418279  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   102
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 7.5" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   0.92 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Calkins Creek Books
Age  10-18
ISBN  1590784324  
EAN  9781590784327  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Covers the trial of printer John Peter Zenger in New York in 1735 who was charged with libel against the British governor for his political criticisms, a case that led to a precedent that helped inspire the creation of the Bill of Rights more than five decades later.

Publishers Description
Original documents and primary sources tell of the trial that helped establish freedom of the press in the United States. The foundation was laid on an August day in 1735 in colonial New York. In a hot, crowded courtroom, a jury found printer John Peter Zenger innocent of the charge of seditious libel against the British royal governor. Combining narrative with voices from primary sources, the book shows the conflict between characters that led to this momentous trial in American history. The jury's verdict established the political precedent for the right of people to criticize their government in print and helped shape the Bill of Rights more than fifty years later.

Buy The Printer's Trial: The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press by Gail Jarrow from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781590784327 & 1590784324

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More About Gail Jarrow

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gail Jarrow's nonfiction books have received numerous awards and distinctions, including a YALSA Award Nomination, Orbis Pictus Recommended Book, National Science Teachers Association Recommended Book, Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and a VOYA Honor Book. Fatal Fever is her sixth book for Calkins Creek.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Ages 9-12 > General   [21670  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Children's Books > History & Historical Fiction > United States > Colonial & Revolutionary   [336  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Children's Books > People & Places > Social Science > General   [1507  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Reference & Nonfiction > Law & Crime   [284  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Reference & Nonfiction > Politics & Government   [587  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Zenger Case in Words and Images  Jun 18, 2007
Children's writer Gail Jarrow provides an informative and entertaining account of the 1735 trial of printer Peter Zenger, which laid the groundwork for the Bill of Rights' provision for the freedom of the press. While nominally aimed at young adults, Jarrow's book narrates the history of the case in a way that would appeal to historians of all ages.

The narrative itself is based on careful historical scholarship and Jarrow's analysis of primary documents. The book excels at outlining the tense political environment of New York City that led to Zenger being charged for printing seditious statements. Jarrow sheds light on a complicated political fracas involving the colonial governor and a host of regional lawyers and political playmakers. The clarity of the narrative here is a testament to Jarrow's skill as a historical writer.

The book is also beautifully illustrated, with each left-facing page featuring portraits of major figures in the narrative, maps and photographs of historical landmarks, and even reproductions of Zenger's newspaper. These images are accompanied by brief but informative captions that lend texture to the narrative being laid out on the right-facing page. The book's design thus contributes greatly to Jarrow's ability to bring Zenger's case to life for the modern reader.

A fine read throughout. Highly recommended to young adults, college students, and the general reader alike.
Courtesy of Teens Read Too  Apr 1, 2007
Words are powerful things.

On August 4, 1735, John Peter Zenger was declared "Not Guilty" of seditious libel, therefore setting the groundwork for freedom of the press in what would become the United States. But, the story truly starts much earlier, and there is a lot more to it than I ever imagined.

The most obvious and immediate event that would lead to the trial of Mr. Zenger was the arrival of a new British Governor, William Cosby. Cosby had earned his position through marriage, and a reputation of being difficult. He was also greedy. He demanded money for things he couldn't prove he'd done, for time not working for the people, raised taxes and fees and took the extra money for himself, and demanded that his salary be increased. He insulted and offended not only politicians, but the people he was supposed to be governing. When he decided to sue a well known and liked colonist he abused the court system, hand-picking a jury that was guaranteed to rule in his favor. The Governor hadn't counted on the honesty and integrity of one of the jury members. Governor Cosby lost his case and was furious. The damage was done with the colonists as well. Having seen the true colors of the governor, they resolved to fight back. The New York Weekly Journal was born.

The New York Weekly Journal was created by a group of men who wanted to strike back at the Governor. They wanted to be able to respond to what the Governor said about them, and tell the truth to the people. John Peter Zenger's only involvement was as the printer of the paper. The articles were all written anonymously, but Mr. Zenger didn't have the education or knowledge to have written them. He was the one who set the type in the printing press and put the pages together for distribution.

Insults flew back and forth between Cosby and the Journal for quite some time before Cosby decided to attempt to put a stop to things. Since he couldn't prove who wrote the articles, Cosby had the printer, Mr. Zenger, arrested and charged with seditious libel. And so began the printer's trial, and the beginning of the battle for freedom of the press.

I learned so much from this book.

To begin with, I never really separated the ideas of sedition and libel. Sedition is basically promoting discontent, usually against the government or ruling authority. Libel is intentionally misrepresenting things, in print, in a negative way. So, seditious libel is intentionally printing things in a false and negative way, in order to make people unhappy with their leaders. Obviously not a good thing.

It's also an interesting look at the early politics in our country. People in power who use the system to their advantage. Groups who let unknowing people become scapegoats in order to prove their point. Using a public forum to present your views as the truth, regardless of whether or not they are. Interestingly it's all stuff you can find in politics today. But, thanks to the freedom of the press we get to see all sorts of different viewpoints and ideas, and make up our own minds.

This is the kind of book I wish I'd had to learn about history. It doesn't just give you dates and occurrences, it tells you the story of what happened, and why, and how.

Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman

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