Donald Trump is hardly the first public official to want to get back at his critics using libel laws. If he sues the publisher of “Fire and Fury,” the book on his presidency, he’ll likely fail. It’s worth revisiting why.

By the spring of 1960, the NAACP and its allies had been a thorn in the side of Southern white gentry for too long. When they got their chance, the segregationists struck back.

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