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The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance
by Nat Hentoff
ISBN 1583226214 / 9781583226216 / 1-58322-621-4
Publisher Seven Stories Press
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This is obviously a "quickie" book--digressive, reiterative, and poorly organized, as if it had been cut and pasted on the fly--and yet it should be read by anybody who still cares about American civil liberties. The message is a solemn one: Hentoff argues that George W. Bush and his administration--especially Attorney General John Ashcroft--have used the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as a pretext for curtailing the privileges that have long been taken for granted in the United States, most notoriously with the so-called "Patriot Act." Hentoff's tone will not be to everybody's taste: he is unremittingly shrill and preachy--imagine Lenny Bruce without a sense of humor--but the barrage of evidence he has assembled is both persuasive and bi-partisan (he notes, for example, that conservative House Majority Leader Dick Armey and Republican Congressman Bob Barr have warned of a gradual erosion of constitutional rights). He quotes with approval The Washington Post's political columnist Richard Cohen on Ashcroft ("The attorney general is far more dangerous than any of the immigrants he wrongly detained"), defends the statement, and then goes on to suggest manners and methods for true patriots to take our country back. --Tim Page [via]