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War and Liberty: An American Dilemma: 1790 to the Present

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Winner of eight national awards for his magisterial work Perilous Times, Geoffrey R. Stone has now created a condensed, updated, and more accessible history of civil liberties in wartime. With an in-depth examination of how our constitutional rights have fared during the presidency of George W. Bush, Stone reveals how the federal government has suppressed civil liberties i Winner of eight national awards for his magisterial work Perilous Times, Geoffrey R. Stone has now created a condensed, updated, and more accessible history of civil liberties in wartime. With an in-depth examination of how our constitutional rights have fared during the presidency of George W. Bush, Stone reveals how the federal government has suppressed civil liberties in times of war throughout American history. A sparkling historical narrative, War and Liberty is the perfect book for any reader who wants to understand the current national debate and assess the state of our freedoms.


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Winner of eight national awards for his magisterial work Perilous Times, Geoffrey R. Stone has now created a condensed, updated, and more accessible history of civil liberties in wartime. With an in-depth examination of how our constitutional rights have fared during the presidency of George W. Bush, Stone reveals how the federal government has suppressed civil liberties i Winner of eight national awards for his magisterial work Perilous Times, Geoffrey R. Stone has now created a condensed, updated, and more accessible history of civil liberties in wartime. With an in-depth examination of how our constitutional rights have fared during the presidency of George W. Bush, Stone reveals how the federal government has suppressed civil liberties in times of war throughout American history. A sparkling historical narrative, War and Liberty is the perfect book for any reader who wants to understand the current national debate and assess the state of our freedoms.

30 review for War and Liberty: An American Dilemma: 1790 to the Present

  1. 5 out of 5

    Richard Bunn

    Informative and well written. Good overview of current and historical constitutional issues. Made for an interesting footnote to a recent trip to the U.S.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    It is scary how many times in US history that the government has acted in ways that remind me of modern communist China. This is a disturbing book written by an esteemed lawyer and constitutional scholar. The Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 was terrifying, and we have seen just as bad or worse over the years since. Many of the major wars that we have had have resulted in people being jailed for saying anything but good things about the war or the party in power or the US, in any way. Sounds like m It is scary how many times in US history that the government has acted in ways that remind me of modern communist China. This is a disturbing book written by an esteemed lawyer and constitutional scholar. The Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 was terrifying, and we have seen just as bad or worse over the years since. Many of the major wars that we have had have resulted in people being jailed for saying anything but good things about the war or the party in power or the US, in any way. Sounds like modern China or Korea. The worst riot in American history was an anti-draft demonstration during the Civil War. People simply disappeared into jail without trial. Many Northerners were opposed to slavery, but were not necessarily willing to lose most of the men in their family over the issue. If you think about the modern issue of sexual trafficking, most people think it's evil, but if the government was going to force you to replace other dying soldiers in a war (with very high body counts) to eliminate it, would you go? The nation almost came apart over this. We have gone to the brink of a totalitarian police state way too many times, and have thankfully regained sanity and respect for the constitution within a few years afterward each time. Consistently, after each time, the Supreme Court and Congress and the president all admit that they went too far, out of fear, that they made unconstitutional attacks against citizens, with almost no basis. When we lose the ability to honestly discuss or critique whether a war or act of the government is right or wrong, due to fear, the natural outcome is that we do things that we later regret. Sadly, there are still people detained in the War on Terror who have simply disappeared, who have had no formal charges leveled against them. Imprisonment without trial, based on mere hearsay, is pretty scary stuff that reminds me more of the Soviet Union than a democracy. We have a justice system that deals with even those who have committed terrible crimes like the theater killer, using due process and evidence... but we have to use that system, otherwise we end up punishing the wrong people. There is a center being built right now in Utah that will process information on American citizens including information on cell phone usage, bank accounts, library usage, internet buying habits, etc to try to detect terrorists among us. Where is the Fourth Amendment against warrant-less search and seizure in all of this? Maybe the saddest irony is that the repression gets nastiest when we are fighting wars (ostensibly) in the name of the freedoms and protections that we enjoy in this country. We suspend elements of our own constitution and Bill of Rights as we call for other countries to adopt similar ones.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Lines

    This is the book to read if you read All the Laws but One by Chief Justice Rehnquist and are frustrated by the lack of commentary in it. This book tells much the same story – the dilemma of protecting civil liberties while also successfully prosecuting a war – but does it better, because the author is free to express opinions. It also covers more ground, beginning with the Half War with France in the very beginning of our republic and continuing through to our ongoing War or Terror. Stone is a v This is the book to read if you read All the Laws but One by Chief Justice Rehnquist and are frustrated by the lack of commentary in it. This book tells much the same story – the dilemma of protecting civil liberties while also successfully prosecuting a war – but does it better, because the author is free to express opinions. It also covers more ground, beginning with the Half War with France in the very beginning of our republic and continuing through to our ongoing War or Terror. Stone is a very capable constitutional scholar, and this book is very well-written. While Stone has strong opinions about the correct balance between liberties and security, he acknowledges the difficulty of making many of the decisions that government has to make and he fully engages with the questions. This is a great book for anyone concerned about how to protect our lives without sacrificing our liberties, and vice versa – a topic that becomes more relevant every day.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam Snideman

    Solid book for anyone interested in civil liberties, the US government's support (or lack thereof) of them during wartime, and the attendant balance-of-power between courts, the Congress, and the executive. It's also worth reading the footnotes, as Mr. Stone uses them to discuss at greater length some of the court cases he cites or other interesting tid-bits. Solid book for anyone interested in civil liberties, the US government's support (or lack thereof) of them during wartime, and the attendant balance-of-power between courts, the Congress, and the executive. It's also worth reading the footnotes, as Mr. Stone uses them to discuss at greater length some of the court cases he cites or other interesting tid-bits.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fox

    Fantastic book. I took away one start, just because he lost a bit of his objective edge in the current war on terrorism. I would like to give half of the star back though, because he always distinguishes between facts, and when he is stating his opinions.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lewis DeHope

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jan

  10. 5 out of 5

    April

  11. 4 out of 5

    Reed Caylor

  12. 5 out of 5

    Valkyrie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dusty Atchison

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rob Faith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Conor

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  17. 4 out of 5

    Austin Carroll Keeley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sean Lawyer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vladimir Djambazov

  20. 5 out of 5

    mariam ✿

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mia Corrino

  22. 5 out of 5

    Molly Lackey

  23. 4 out of 5

    Buc49fan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maria Rueda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Zara Rabinovitz

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen Kautt

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joel Mathis

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