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A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State 1st Edition

203 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590799758
ISBN-10: 1590799755
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Using a handful of movies as metaphors– not to mention a healthy dose of George Orwell – attorney John W. Whitehead's book is an overzealous investigation of the increasingly invasive methods various surveillance agencies are using under the guise of protecting citizens. He offers example after example of the erosion of civil liberties. The Patriot Act, Whitehead says, has given government agencies like the NSA and even local police departments the ability to use electronic surveillance via GPS, cell phones, and cameras to monitor our activities, often without our knowledge. His increasingly strident tone as he describes mobile scanners that can monitor your every movement, even in your own home, and a society in which pharmaceuticals are used to keep the populace anaesthetized and obedient cranks up the melodrama. With photos clippings, diagrams, bullet points, full page graphics, the execution of this book may come off as a riled-up rant but his multiple examples, backed up with copious footnotes and references, are enough to give even the most optimistically obedient citizen cause for concern. Whitehead is a concerned citizen bursting at the seams to get his point across. (June)

About the Author

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, VA. Whitehead serves as the Institute's president and spokesperson.

Nathan Irving Nat Hentoff is an American historian, novelist, jazz and country music critic, and syndicated columnist for United Media and writes regularly on jazz and country music for The Wall Street Journal.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: SelectBooks; 1 edition (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590799755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590799758
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him, in 1982, to establish The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Deeply committed to protecting the constitutional freedoms of every American and the integral human rights of all people, The Rutherford Institute has emerged as a prominent leader in the national dialogue on civil liberties and human rights and a formidable champion of the Constitution. Whitehead serves as the Institute's president and spokesperson.

Widely recognized as one of the nation's most vocal and involved civil liberties attorneys, Whitehead's approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades and accomplishments, including the Hungarian Medal of Freedom and the 2010 Milner S. Ball Lifetime Achievement Award for "[his] decades of difficult and important work, as well as [his] impeccable integrity in defending civil liberties for all."

As nationally syndicated columnist Nat Hentoff observed about Whitehead: "John Whitehead is not only one of the nation's most consistent and persistent civil libertarians. He is also a remarkably perceptive illustrator of our popular culture, its insights and dangers. I often believe that John Whitehead is channeling the principles of James Madison, who would be very proud of him."

Born in 1946 in Tennessee, John W. Whitehead earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas in 1969 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1974. He served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Thomas S. Neuberger on June 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished John W. Whitehead's important book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. It was chilling, Orwellian and correct about our emerging police state. In a week when we learned that our government admits that it has has been collecting trillions of our telephone calls, emails, videos, facebook posts, etc. and the Supreme Court oks government collecting our DNA if we ever should be arrested for any alleged crime, the author tells us that all this has been happening quitely behind our backs for years.

Fully documented to the end, this book is well written and an easy read. Whitehead puts all the pieces together about the bleak future of liberty in our country in a compelling narrative. He engages the reader and his Orwellian conclusions are frightening.

It appears that the point of no return has passed and I have little hope in an uprising of civil disobedience as Whitehead urges or a second American Revolution which would restore normalcy to the public and revitalize our lost constitutional liberties.

This book can certainly be a manifesto for a movement to that end. I pray it inspires the present generation to the task at hand. But I fear that nothing less than a social upheaval akin to that of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, or the opposition to the war in Vietnam in the late 60s, will do it.

Thomas S. Neuberger, attorney
Wilmington, Delaware
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Name on August 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Whitehead does a good job making a case against the oncoming- and unapologetic- police state. I note 'unapologetic' as there once was a time in this country when government had to do its creeping in the shadows. Public knowledge of such shenanigans would've engendered too much opposition. It would've been a fight. Now, because of apathy, stupidity, television, god only knows why, its done openly, notoriously- perhaps even arrogantly- with very little fear of political consequence.

I don't even know what kind of people we are, anymore.

I won't bother reviewing the minutiae of the book but its basically what you'd expect- not in a 'predictable' way but more in a timely, relevant way. It is very much worth reading, but there's still that nagging reality; the people who are apt to seek out books like this and intellectually engage themselves with the issue of personal freedom are the same people who already understand that there's a severe problem- 'the choir' - and not the people we need to inspire to action.

There are quite a few other books on this topic, some real barn-burners in the field of criminology if you're interested in the 'stick' part of the governments carrot/stick equation ('One Nation Under Arrest', 'Go Directly To Jail', 'Three Felonies a Day' are required reading) but few- if any- propose is a politically workable solution to actually fix this nightmare.

There is no rolling back bureaucratic inertia. Since the 18th century, we've assembled an untold number of Congressmen and Senators at the state and federal levels whose only job was to pass more and more laws.
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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What I am describing within these pages has not come about as an overnight change. Rather, the emerging American police state can be seen in subtle trends introduced by those in leadership--government, media, education--towards greater control and manipulation of the individual. With the advent of electronic media and the increasing computerization of American society, the mechanisms for manipulation have arrived"
-p. 5

For those who are paying attention, the red flags are everywhere around us. Slowly but surely, like Chinese water torture, the American people are losing their freedoms. The Founding Fathers would be appalled. The United States of America is slowly but surely exhibiting all of the characteristics of a police state. According to author John W. Whitehead the slow but deliberate march towards authoritarianism began about two decades ago and has only accelerated since the unfortunate events of 9/11. We are witnessing first-hand the dismantling of our institutions, due process, the rule of law and the American Constitution, all in the name of security. Mesmerized by fear and the bread and circuses offered by the government and corporate America the majority of the American people have no idea what is happening to them and really don't seem to care. John W. Whitehead is an author and attorney who is an expert in the area of constitutional law. Whitehead believes that time is running out for the American people to rise up and clamp down on the military-industrial complex that is running roughshod over them. He has assembled a cornucopia of eye-opening facts and observations about all of this in his compelling new book "A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State". Trust me, the more you read the more concerned you are going to be.
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Urania on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who doubts Whitehead's conclusions only has to go to the website of the Institute he founded and read some of the cases the nonprofit deals with yearly.

Or, go to YouTube and watch the videos of police brutalizing citizens who have not committed any crimes, only failed to "submit" quickly or completely enough to suit their oppressors. Or, read your local alternate newspaper and find out what is happening to ordinary people in your community. Mainsteam media are not covering the increasing tide of police predation. Perhaps some people still think that overkill and abuse by law enforcement is the price of security; but, when abuse happens to them, they'll quickly change their minds.

In my small city of 100,000, in one year there were three incidences of SWAT assaults (all of them mistaken or obvious overkill) on the homes of citizens just like you and me. Apologies from the police? Never.

No one is safe in our current militarized, paranoid, "law and order" milieu. Whitehead is sounding an important clarion call and god help us if we as a society don't respond.
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