Indelible Ink (Paperback)
The Trials of John Peter Zenger and the Birth of America's Free Press
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393354850, 384pp.
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
In 1735, struggling printer John Peter Zenger scandalized colonial New York by launching a small newspaper, the New-York Weekly Journal. The newspaper was assailed by the new British governor as corrupt and arrogant, and as being a direct challenge against the prevailing law that criminalized any criticism of the royal government. Zenger was thrown in jail for nine months before his landmark one-day trial on August 4, 1735, in which he was brilliantly defended by Andrew Hamilton. In Indelible Ink, Pulitzer Prize-winning social historian Richard Kluger has fashioned the first book-length narrative of the Zenger case, rendering with colorful detail its setting in old New York and the vibrant personalities of its leading participants, whose virtues and shortcomings are assessed with fresh scrutiny often at variance with earlier accounts.