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You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression Paperback – July 16, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matthew Rothschild has been editor of The Progressive since 1993. Previously the editor of Multinational Monitor, a magazine founded by Ralph Nader, he is the host of Progressive Radio. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (July 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595581642
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595581648
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,291,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading Matthew Rothchild's book, "You Have No Rights: Stories of America In an Age of Repression." I found it terrifically informative and well written. It is a well researched piece of work, based on the author's twenty years of experience as the editor
of "The Progressive" magazine.

As a student activist and progressive throughout my life, I found the incidents in the book to be important information for those of us who
truly value our first ammendment rights. The range of incidents from subuarban mall goers at a Rick Santorum book reading to a student teacher in a St. Louis high school point out how our rights to speak freely have been eviscerated by Bush and Cheney in the last seven years. After reading this book, one feels the need to do something.

It is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the future of our society.
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Format: Paperback
I was lucky to hear Matt Rothschild discuss this book at the Madison Book Festival this year. It is composed of many, many straight forward reports of Americans' rights being curtailed in small ways across the country. From air travel, to colleges, to public schools, to the workplace these vignettes have rolled in. Rothschild stated there were many more which he didn't report. Some of them are small affronts which have little consequence but the telling thing is the sheer number and wide spectrum of people and place.

The most chilling stories for me were the ones of students, some of whom have been frightened by their encounter with the FBI or Secret Service and are unsure where the boundaries and might be watching over their shoulders for a long time to come.

"According to the FBI statement the questioning took about twenty minutes, and at the end the agents decided not to pursue the matter further. 'The issues brought forth by the complainant were resolved, and no further action has been taken,' the statement says.

Rashed, who did not return my phone calls, has reportedly suffered adverse reactions. 'The entire experience left the student badly shaken,' says the December 2005 joint statement from the Lawyers Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. 'He has since been hesitant about expressing his political views in any context.'"

I also wonder who the people are that are "the complainants". There seems to be a lot of people calling the police about other people's actions. What kind of country are we becoming?
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The author has captured chilling examples of government intimidation of citizens expressing their views. As Americans we face new threats to our freedom of thought and expression. Rothschild cites many examples of government repression that are hard to read. There is good reason to be afraid of your own government and Rothschild adeptly points out why. I encourage any doubters in the crowd to read his book and check out the facts for themselves. You will want to read a little at a time...take it in small doses. Too much of the book at one time could overwhelm your concept of democracy and whether or not your government means you well.
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More and more people are finding this out however, the eroding of our liberties in the so called 'land of the free'. This book illuminates the fallacy of the USA being a land of non-censorship, where freedom and justice are defended in everyday life. It just isn't so. Personal experiences have showed me that we really are not so free as we think, and the police are not our 'friends'... don't call them if someone breaks into your house because they don't care.

The book clearly shows via personal experiences that today our government and the police (who are government workers) are for the most part only interested in having people obey them. They are not too worried about 'right' or 'wrong'. There is absolutely NO accountability for law 'enforcement' officials and officers as the book reveals in the numerous stories included. A cop hits you or tasers you for no good reason? Unless it's caught on video (and even if it is), nothing is done.

Some of the behavior of the police is so crazy that you wonder if they really have enough to do with their time. Like the guy who was harassed for having an 'anti Bush' bumper sticker on his car. Or the woman in the story who had FBI agents show up at her dorm room for no real reason. The one about the guy who dared say something negative to Dick Cheney was amazing, yet doesn't surprise me anymore. These stories are not enigmas or rarities, they happen more than we think (or are told). No wonder stuff gets posted on youtube, you don't hear often about the 'real story' in the print media.

I thank the author and those who agreed to have their experiences published, so that the mass of American's can have a birds eye view of what is really going down behind the scenes of the good ol' US of A.

I don't think it's a coincidence that most police departments have removed the slogan "To Serve and Protect" from their squad cars, do you?
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