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It's a Free Country: Personal Freedom in America After September 11 (Nation Books) Paperback – August 28, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The dozens of contributors to this volume range from journalists and writers (Michael Moore, Michael Isikoff) to members of Congress (Maxine Waters, Jerrold Nadler) to current and former ACLU leaders (Nadine Strossen, Ira Glasser) to cartoonists Matt Groening and David Rees. But perhaps most original here are the personal testimonies of civil rights violations, such as the tale of the Mustafas, a Palestinian-American father and son, both American citizens, detained (the son for 67 days) on the baseless suspicion of having "altered" their passports.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

9/11 The attacks of September 11 precipitated a range of governmental actions in the name of national security that, while supported by most Americans, alarmed a significant vocal minority: those people who worry about civil liberties. These dissenting voices are collected in their many and varied forms in this book edited by three publishers at RDV Books who have connections to the ACLU. It should not be surprising that many of the articles are by past and present leaders of or lawyers for the ACLU. But this eclectic mix of rather short (mostly two- to three-page) pieces essays, interviews, cartoons, a poem, congressional testimony, monologs, and personal accounts from historians, lawyers, representatives, a movie director, a singer-songwriter, and others demonstrate the complexity and fragility of civil liberties in a crisis environment. While the quality of the pieces is uneven, the book's greatest weakness is that, with the exception of an entry by Rep. Bob Barr, all the writing comes from thinkers on the Left. There should have been greater attention paid to balancing the opinions. Despite this shortcoming, this lively book should be added to the collections of larger public libraries. With a foreword by Cornell West. Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Nation Books
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books (August 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560255226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560255222
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,809,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
...... is what this country is supposed to stand for. This book clearly shows how these ideals as well as the democracy which made this country great have all been swept under the carpet in the name of 'safety". This book contains numerous articles written by liberals AND conservatives alike, many which review what terrors have resulted in the name of 'tyranny over democracy' throughout history, in this country and in other countries. Terror is a fitting word because there we can see a more subtle yet ultimately just as dangerous form of 'terrorism'. Not only does it effect the thousands of people who have their lives destroyed by injustice, it also jeopardizes all our lives, since we have relinquished our power as Americans to one individual. America IS Americans (remember "by the people, for the people"?), and this book beautifully encompasses this theme. It isn't a question of left-wing or right-wing. Over three thousand people of all political persuasions, all religions, and all ethnic backgrounds died together in the terrible incident on 9/11. Most but not all were Americans. This book enables us to see the myriad ways in which the terror of 9/11 is still continuing. If the America of 'liberty freedom and justice for all' is destroyed, then Bin Laden and his followers have won. What we stand for means nothing if we sweep it under the carpet when it is most needed.
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Format: Paperback
Every dictator recognises the power of fear. It's the chief rationale for controlling dissent. Justice for minorities can be shelved. The most blatant acts of government can be excused in the name of "security". This collection of essays by a wide spectrum of lawyers, writers, observers demonstrates how the Bush regime is using fear to consolidate power and undermine the democratic traditions of the United States. It has happened in the past, several of the writers note - the Alien and Sedition Acts of John Adams' administration, the Palmer Raids of World War I and the Japanese herded into concentration camps under the Roosevelt administration. While these events set a precedent, none reached the intensity nor had the far-reaching social impact the current regime has instituted since 2001-09-11.
The various authors examine the historical roots of stifling dissent in the USA. They explain what prompted governmental repressive acts and how these were implemented. Public reaction was usually swift and expressive, if not originally successful. Ultimately, protest and legal action led to disavowal or rejection of the acts or policies. With the Bush regime having declared the "war on terror" to be long-term, if not indefinite, note several authors, the new repression will endure and likely intensify. This presents the public with a new challenge. Even the normal, traditional mechanisms of countering repression have been curtailed, almost without the public noticing. This book, incorporating a variety of political orientations, points up the fact that democracy is more fundamental than party. Rights, the authors stress, are an issue of law, not campaigns. In particular, these essayists note, restricting freedoms to improve security is a false idea.
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Format: Hardcover
A wide variety of contributors make this book a useful counter to the rush towards war abroad and away from civil liberties in this country. Some are funny, some tragic, but all the pieces are thoughtful and thought-provoking.
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Format: Paperback
Three more copies en route because we vote with our money.
Applauding those who dare to speak when Newspeak
(and goldbergism via scarboroughbot) prevails and reagan
movies are censored by rove-rush-religious-reich-robots
is the least we can do in these times before the pendulum
swings back toward equilibrium of some sort..;>
May the public's awakening, evidenced by book sales
and righteous reactions to lying war-makers, occur in
our lifetimes. May more notice who is on first, who
benefits and where the money comes from and goes to
make media fear its own shadow. These contributors are
a brave lot. Castigated and cartooned by minions of
the rush-on-drugs-daily, they act and speak as if our
beloved country is not already lost. They restore hope.
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