Chris Finan is executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of 59 national non-profits that defends free speech. The former president of American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, has been involved in the fight against censorship for over 40 years.
A native of Cleveland, Chris is a graduate of Antioch College. After working as a newspaper reporter, he studied American history at Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1992. He is the author of How Free Speech Saved Democracy: The Untold History of How the First Amendment Became an Effective Tool for Securing Liberty and Social Justice (Steerforth Press), Drunks: An American History (in paperback, Drunks: The Story of Alcoholism and the Birth of Recovery) (Beacon Press) and Alfred E. Smith: The Happy Warrior” (Hill and Wang), a biography of the New York governor who was the first Catholic to run for President.
His book, From the Palmer Raids to the PATRIOT Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America (Beacon Press), won the American Library Association’s Eli M. Oboler Award for the best work on intellectual freedom published in 2006 and 2007.
Chris is married to Pat Willard, a writer whose most recent book is “America Eats! On the Road with the WPA – the Fish Fries, Box Supper Socials and Chitlin Feasts that Define Real American Food” (Bloomsbury). They have two sons and live in Brooklyn, New York.