From the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech, and civil rights to jazz, blues and country music, Nat Hentoff has written about American life for decades, in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, the Village Voice, the Wall Street Journal, and JazzTimes, among countless other publications. The New York Times has hailed Hentoff's work as "an invigorating and entertaining reminder of why freedom of expression matters." The Washington Post Book World has called Hentoff "an old-fashioned music lover who likes, as Charlie Parker once put it, 'to listen to the stories' that good music tells." Nat Hentoff is a legend.And now, for the first time, here are his most important writings of the past twenty years--the quintessential Hentoff on everything from Cardinal John O'Connor to Merle Haggard, racism and political correctness in the classroom to Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie to the censorship of Huckleberry Finn. Controversial? You bet. Whatever the topic, The Nat Hentoff Reader shows a man of passion and insight, of streetwise wit and polished eloquence-a true American original.