Monday, June 2, 2014

Charlotte Native Healy Wins R.F. Kennedy Award for 'The Great Dissent'

Thomas Healy
Thomas Healy
If Ethel Kennedy's name pops up on caller i.d., you don't hesitate.

Neither did Charlotte native Thomas Healy last month when Kennedy called to tell him he would be receiving the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award on a Thursday and the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award on a Tuesday, both ceremonies taking place in late May in Washington, D.C.

Healy's award-winning book is "The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind -- and Changed the History of Free Speech in America" (Henry Holt, $28). Celebrated criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, reviewing the book in the New York Times last year, said, "Thomas Healy's informative and readable account of how and why Holmes changed his mind deserves an honored place in the intellectual history of the Supreme Court."

The book was also selected as a New York Times Book Review editor’s choice and named one of the fifteen best non-fiction books of 2013 by the Christian Science Monitor.

Healy, a UNC Chapel Hill journalism graduate, is a law professor at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, N.J.