Book Talk: How Rights Went Wrong
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Book Talk: How Rights Went Wrong

A conversation with Jamal Greene about why our obsession with rights is tearing America apart


You have the right to remain silent—and the right to free speech. The right to worship, and to doubt. The right to be free from discrimination, and to hate. The right to life, and the right to own a gun. Rights are a sacred part of American identity. Yet they also are the source of some of our greatest divisions.

In his new book, How Rights Went Wrong, the renowned constitutional scholar Jamal Greene argues that the U.S. legal system’s absolutist approach to rights distorts our law, debases our politics, and exacerbates our differences rather than helping to bridge them. On May 6, the Knight Institute’s Katy Glenn Bass will talk to Prof. Greene—a former Knight Institute Senior Visiting Research Scholar—about his ideas for reconceptualizing the relationship between constitutional rights and justice, and how we can recover America’s original vision of rights while updating them to confront the challenges of the 21st century.

You can watch the full event below.


  • Online

    How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights Is Tearing America Apart

    • Moderated by Katy Glenn Bass, Research Director, Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University
    • Speaker: Jamal Greene, Author, Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, former Knight First Amendment Institute Visiting Research Scholar


  • Katy Glenn Bass

    Katy Glenn Bass

    Research Director, Knight Institute

  • Jamal Greene

    Jamal Greene

    Knight Institute Senior Visiting Research Scholar, 2018-2019; Columbia Law School