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The separation illusion: A lawyer examines the first amendment Paperback – 1977

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Editorial Reviews

Book by Whitehead, John W

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Mott Media (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915134411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915134410
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,182,693 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

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Nyman on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was written many years ago, but it is incredibly timely and applicable to the time we live, and it's like John Whitehead knew where this nation was headed.

He examines the first amendment, and in particular the "establishment clause" and "free expression" clause, and shows in various ways how these have been perverted by the Highest Court of our land, as well as other courts since the turn of the 20th century. With vignettes from history as well as contemporary times, he examines the facts and reveals that the First Amendment to the Constitution allowed the states to build a wall of separation between them and the Federal government, and in such a way, give them the leverage to worship in any way they wanted to.

For the serious student of the Constitution, this is required reading. It's both scholarly and provocative, and it will give many hours of reflection and hopefully, action.

Highly recommended!!!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By steve armstrong on February 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shows how there is no concept of separation of chuch and state by the founding fathers. The first amendment of the constitution was meant to prevent a national church. There was no prohibition of states endorsing and supporting Christianity. This book shows how we started out as a "Christian nation" and how we have drifted away from our original roots.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anson Cassel Mills on January 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
John Whitehead has attempted to analyze the causes of American declension and has failed. Certainly he is correct about the end result of statism. He also provides a few thought provoking discussions, such as that concerning the "wall of separation" controversy, and some nuggets of wisdom--mostly quotations from other authors--among his mish-mash of information and misinformation. Whitehead's confusion over the definitions of terms like "democracy" and "constitution" are only compounded by historical inaccuracies in his attempted explication of them.

The Separation Illusion can be recommended only as an example of a writing style that should be avoided. The book seems to have been hurried into print by an author who had not completely digested his wide (though shallow) reading, and it is the reader who suffers indigestion. Awkward phrases and mixed metaphors abound along with odd quotations from pop stars and rock songs.

Christians certainly need a clear explication of the roots of secularism in American society. In his attempt to provide such a book, Whitehead has produced only a well-intentioned failure.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gregory R. Peterson on April 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
The author thinks that God's natural aristocracy must rule, segregate themselves from those they must rule and perpetuate a continuing supernatural race war for God.

It's essentially pro-slavery antebellum and Jim Crow era delusions and apologetics with white supremacism sotto voice. The intro is by the founder of a pro-slavery and anti-democracy movement, Rousas John Rushdoony.
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