Peter E. Kane takes a critical look at the development of the present law through a discussion of seventeen landmark libel cases.
One of the many points Kane clarifies is the important distinction between an error and a lie when judging whether someone is guilty of libel. For example, in the series of events that led to "e;Goldwater vs. Ginzburg, "e;Ralph Ginzburg, publisher of "e;fact "e;magazine, compiled and printed in "e;fact "e;a montage of quotes he had collected from psychiatrists about Barry Goldwater. It took five years of legal sparring for the courts to conclude that Ginzburg had deliberately published a malicious and irresponsible document and to rule in favor of Goldwater. Kane closes with a discussion of current thinking on possible libel reform.