Perilous Times: Free Speech In Wartime : From 2021 The Sedition Act Of 1798 To The War On sale Terrorism outlet sale

Perilous Times: Free Speech In Wartime : From 2021 The Sedition Act Of 1798 To The War On sale Terrorism outlet sale

Perilous Times: Free Speech In Wartime : From 2021 The Sedition Act Of 1798 To The War On sale Terrorism outlet sale

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Description

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An investigation into how free speech and other civil liberties have been compromised in America by war in six historical periods describes how presidents, Supreme Court justices, and resistors contributed to the administration of civil freedoms, in an account complemented by rare photographs, posters, and historical illustrations. 20,000 first printing.

Amazon.com Review

By Geoffrey R. Stone''s estimate, America has lived up to the ideals encapsulated in the First Amendment about 80 percent of the time over the course of its history. Perilous Times''s focuses is on the remaining 20 percent, when, during war or civil strife, the better instincts of the public and its leaders have been drowned out by a certain kind of repressive hysteria. Stone, the former dean of law provost at the University of Chicago, identifies six periods of widespread free-speech repression, dating back to the administration of the nation''s second president, John Adams, and continuing through the Vietnam era. In between, two of history''s greatest presidents, Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, were involved in constitutionally questionable efforts to suppress dissent.

Stone examines these pivotal episodes with a lawyer''s attention to detail and precedence and a writer''s focus on character and story structure. From Adams''s secretary of state, the "grim-faced and single-minded" Timothy Pickering (who scanned the papers daily looking for seditious language) through John Ashcroft on one side, and the cheeky late-18th-century congressman Matthew Lyon and the Yippies of the 1960s on the other, there are plenty of characters enlivening these pages. Given its publication during the War on Terror, Stone''s work feels particularly timely and vital. He devotes only a few pages to the post-9/11 environment, crediting George W. Bush for his refusal to scapegoat Muslims in the immediate aftermath of the attack, but castigating his administration for "opportunistic and excessive" actions centering around the Patriot Act. One wonders if Stone will some day be forced to update Perilous Times with a full chapter on the early 21st century. --Steven Stolder

From The New Yorker

Stone''s history examines America''s tendency in wartime to compromise First Amendment rights in the name of national security. During the Civil War, a former congressman, Clement Vallandigham, was imprisoned and nearly executed for objecting to the conflict as "wicked, cruel, and unnecessary" in the First World War, the anarchist Mollie Steimer was sentenced to fifteen years for calling capitalism the "only one enemy of the workers of the world." Each of these measures seemed essential to victory at the time; later, however, pardons were issued. We may one day feel the same about Guantánamo and the Patriot Act, but not all wrongs are immediately remedied. In 1971, Attorney General John Mitchell tried to use the contentious Espionage Act of 1917 (which, largely forgotten, had never been revoked) to prevent the publication of the Pentagon Papers. It is still law today.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

From Bookmarks Magazine

Most critics found new legal and critical insight in Stone’s examination of the First Amendment and how its principles have been compromised during wartime. But some readers may find Stone’s comprehensive, footnote-filled tome too scholarly for pleasurable reading. At least one reviewer—Harvard Law School Professor and civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz—believes Stone "exaggerates the role of war in the history of American censorship." ( Boston Globe) But nobody questions the author’s credentials or the importance and timeliness of his topic. That’s undoubtedly why several publications— The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Christian Science Monitor—included Perilous Times on their lists of notable books of 2004.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

From Booklist

With growing concerns about national security and free speech as the nation reacts to terrorist threats, this book is particularly timely. With an engaging mixture of history and law, Stone, a law professor, identifies six periods when U.S. government has curtailed free-speech rights: on the verge of war with France, when Congress enacted the Sedition Act of 1789; during the Civil War, when the writ of habeas corpus was suspended; during World War I, when the government prosecuted opponents of the war and the draft; during World War II, when Japanese were interned; during the cold war and the virulent campaigns against Communists; and in the 1960s and 1970s, when the government sought to suppress civil disobedience and demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Stone devotes a section of the book to each period, highlighting the actions of presidents from John Adams to Richard Nixon; Supreme Court justices; and dissenters, including Emma Goldman, Lillian Hellman, and Daniel Ellsberg. Stone cautions that we as a nation have "an unfortunate history of overreacting to the perceived dangers of wartime." Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

A compelling account... Perilous Times tells a story every American should know, and tells it well. (Eric Foner, The Nation -- Norton

Completely absorbing. -- Christopher Hitchens, The New York Times Book Review

Great, dramatic, and absorbing legal history at its best—beautifully written, highly accessible, and critically important for our time. -- Jonathan Cole

It''s hard to think of a scholarly study timelier than Stone''s new book...an important, indeed necessary book on freedom indispensable. -- Michiko Kakatani, The New York Times

Rarely has a work been more timely....must reading for every citizen interested in something called the First Amendment. -- Studs Terkel

Stone is a constitutional scholar and a zealous defender of free speech, but he is also a great storyteller. -- Jonathan Karl, The Wall Street Journal

Stone''s book will serve as an invaluable guide as we watch the actions of the government in the coming years. -- Michael Riccardi, Legal Intelligence, Philadelphia

The most important book of its kind since Zechariah Chaffee, Jr. first published his heralded Freedom of Speech in 1920. -- Ron Collins, Resident Scholar, Freedom Forum

We have long needed this book, though perhaps never as badly as we do today. -- Christopher Capozzola, Washington Post

[Stone] has written, with knowing passion, a cautionary tale for our times. -- Herbert Mitgang, Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Geoffrey R. Stone, the Harry Kalven, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School, was dean of the law school from 1987 to 1993. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

From The Washington Post

It would be comforting to agree with Justice Hugo Black''s straightforward assertion in 1960 that the Founders really meant what they said when their Constitution banned all restrictions on speech. " ''No law'' means no law," harrumphed Black. But in a world of secessionists, anarchists, Nazi sympathizers and Lackawanna terror cells, that confidence has not always been shared. "Are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself to go to pieces, lest that one be violated?" asked Abraham Lincoln at a moment when the republic really was in genuine peril. But when political crises are exploited for partisan gain and comedy-show writers are told to "watch what they say," the deferential approach embodied in the ancient Roman maxim inter arma silent leges ("in time of war, the laws are silent") seems sure to throw the constitutional baby out with the seditious bathwater.

Stone, a former dean of the University of Chicago''s law school, gambles on the proposition that even after Sept. 11 -- when, we are told, everything changed -- history can still offer us guidance. And what a sorry lesson it teaches. Perilous Times (Norton. 730 pp. $35) affirms that "the Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime President," as Francis Biddle, attorney general during World War II, noted. In the 1790s, John Adams and the Federalists used the specter of revolutionary France to attempt to create a one-party state. Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus eight times and shut down some 300 opposition newspapers during the Civil War, while Union officers seized as many as 38,000 civilians and convened a special military tribunal for one of them, Clement Vallandigham, a sitting congressman guilty of nothing more than bluster.

History repeats itself here as tragedy: Woodrow Wilson claimed to target only those "who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life," but wartime legislation caught in its net the likes of suffragist Alice Paul, civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph and yet another blustery congressman, Milwaukee''s Victor Berger. History also repeats itself as farce: 13.5 million Americans signed loyalty oaths as a condition of employment during the 1950s, and the state of New York even required the sworn renunciation of communism by applicants for fishing licenses. Red herring, indeed.

Many of these efforts were colored by prejudice and suspicion of society''s outsiders: In 1798, Federalists accused their enemies of imported French sedition (plus ça change) and experimented with immigration restrictions; during World War I, immigration laws tightened, and Oklahoma even banned speaking German on the telephone. Cold War crusaders insidiously tied communism to Jews and gays. Perhaps the greatest injustice, as it emerges from Stone''s history, is not that civil liberties were violated, but that it was all done so recklessly. "A Jap''s a Jap," muttered Lt. Gen. John DeWitt as the ink dried on the evacuation orders in 1942, but when 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry asked the Supreme Court why, DeWitt spoke disingenuously of "military necessity."

Stone provides a Profiles in Courage for the Sept. 11 generation. But he rejects a simple story of heroes and villains, perhaps because the ragtag assembly of wartime victims in Perilous Times includes some truly unsavory characters: doctrinaire Stalinists, American Nazis, and Northern Copperheads who opposed Lincoln not because war was unhealthy for children and other living things but because they resented the "Negro mania" of the Great Emancipator. Crusaders like Emma Goldman, Roger Baldwin and Fred Korematsu get their due, but Stone reserves his deepest respect for history''s unsung heroes: second-tier Justice Department officials in World War I who reined in the Bureau of Investigation, and War department attorneys in World War II who questioned Japanese internment. Stone cherishes men and women with faith in the Constitution; with faith that the cure for bad speech is more speech; with faith, as Hugo Black noted in 1951, "that free speech will preserve, not destroy, the nation."

Does America''s current predicament warrant such faith? No, and yes. Perilous Times diagnoses our national compulsive disorder of hysterical excess followed by regret, amends and congratulatory back-patting. For Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who wrote a book on the same topic in 1998, this cycle of compulsion is the best we can hope for. Some rights, he argues, are necessarily suspended in wartime, but no matter -- they will be restored later. Cold comfort for a conscientious objector in a Navy brig for the duration, but Rehnquist''s approach is particularly unable to protect the Constitution during an undeclared war on terrorism that explicitly has no end. The combination of ceaseless crisis with blanket secrecy and no avenues for appeal makes our current situation so constitutionally dire. The bright sun of the Bill of Rights will probably protect even the loopiest wartime blogger, but can it shine into shadowy immigration-hearing rooms? If excess follows excess without reconsideration, will terrorism mean never having to say you''re sorry?

No, says the persistently optimistic Stone. "Over time we have made progress." The 20th century''s struggles for civil liberties taught us why protecting the speech we hate defends our own rights. Take comfort, he tells us, in what we have not done since Sept. 11: There have been no mass internments of Arab-Americans; Attorney General John Ashcroft''s Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS) and its pizza-delivery spies were laughed off the legislative agenda; both left and right dismissed the creepy Total Information Awareness network; the Supreme Court stood up for due process rights for Guantánamo detainees. And, if America listens to its librarians (the profession most thoroughly radicalized by the war on terror), it will bury the USA PATRIOT Act when it expires on Dec. 31 of next year.

Perilous Times persuasively argues that real patriots don''t need acts. Stone''s scholarship found "not a single instance of a decision in which the Supreme Court has overprotected wartime dissent in a way that caused any demonstrable harm to the national security." Wholesale infringements of free speech in wartime demonstrate not strength, but weakness. "America is not made of the stuff that has to be coddled along with tales of winning to make her fight," insisted Rep. Thomas Schall of Minnesota during debate over the World War I Espionage Act. It would be enough, he argued, to "tell her the truth." And truth, these days, is in awfully short supply.

Reviewed by Christopher Capozzola
Copyright 2004, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved.

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Anne-marie Mazur
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perilous Apologia for Limits on Free Speech would be a better title...
Reviewed in the United States on June 26, 2021
Terrible and worse than I expected. Author is an apologist for limiting free speech in spite of the misleading title. Speech cannot be limited in any way as its limits will ALWAYS be SUBJECTIVE. This simple fact seems to escape the author in the verbose prose found in the... See more
Terrible and worse than I expected. Author is an apologist for limiting free speech in spite of the misleading title. Speech cannot be limited in any way as its limits will ALWAYS be SUBJECTIVE. This simple fact seems to escape the author in the verbose prose found in the book. Any limit on speech renders it a subjective PRIVILEGE and not a "right". This is written by a typical LIBERAL and I deeply regret paying for this book.

An example (couldn''t read the entire book as it was such garbage) is the use of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire and the author leaving out the important FACTS of that case. As in ANY and ALL of them. Mr. Chaplinsky was a Jehovah''s Witness who was beaten up by what were likely fascists and the police who are definitely fascists and the court established the "fighting words" doctrine after Mr. Chaplinsky was OPINED against every step of the way. He did not "lie" as is implied by the condescending author but called the members of the public and police exactly what they were. This moronic "doctrine" by our so-called superior intellects who sit on benches in robes OPINING states simply this (in spite of legalese to give the appearance of intellectual superiority and legitimize the lacking of material intellectual superiority): If you say something another person doesn''t like and they strike you because they are "offended" by your speech, it is YOUR fault and you will be prosecuted for a "breach of peace".---We don''t even teach children to strike other children when angry and this is the same excuse given by child/wife beaters for physical harm inflicted by the "offended" party. When I saw the glowing endorsements in the book by typical Western liberals I was already leery of the book''s contents. I should have listened to my first instincts to ignore a tome that endorses censorship if those "genius" SCOTUS members OPINE it''s OK to limit speech because... they "say so" in spite of the obvious plain language of the first amendment.

I wouldn''t even wish this book on someone for free and I will likely use the cellulose in my compost and put it to good use. Shame that a tree was killed for the paper but I look on the bright side that someone''s employment depended upon its delivery, garbage that it is. I''d give it negative stars if it were an option.
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H. N. T.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Just Wonderful
Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2013
We are creatures of our times. When we live through events like the consequences of the Patriot Act, and many different modern events that come from fear and a search for security, political correctness, and a variety of other elements, we assume they are new to the... See more
We are creatures of our times.
When we live through events like the consequences of the Patriot Act, and many different modern events that come from fear and a search for security, political correctness, and a variety of other elements, we assume they are new to the country since they are new to us.
Any of these incredible infringements on our perception of what should be basic freedoms seems aberrant to the ideals and history of American Freedom. In this fascinating book Stone shows us how these very freedoms, which we assume as permanent ideals, have frequently been more aspired to than quite achieved.
So whereas today we have the 24 news cycle generating scandal for a variety of crisis, or non-crisis, we forget that even popular presidential candidates in America were arrested for their opinions. Stone remembers us of the incredible powers, vague mandate, and absurd enforcement of laws which makes the American current reality considerably less worrying.
The book isn’t truly concerned with describing our current reality. It deals from revolutionary times, the civil war, world wars, and ends by Vietnam. The target audience of this book are people with some knowledge of American history, otherwise you may miss much of the context of what is being said. I found this an illuminating and very timely book on how the current failures of liberty are not new, and therefore probably not enduring, as the others weren’t. In a strange way the frequent failure and recovery in the past gives us some hope for the present.
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R. Setliff
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Masterful History of First Amendment Freedoms, and their suppression in time of war
Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2007
~Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime: From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism~ is an erudite constitutional analysis of First Amendment freedoms to speech and assembly. Throughout American history, free speech and freedom of assembly has been adversely... See more
~Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime: From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism~ is an erudite constitutional analysis of First Amendment freedoms to speech and assembly. Throughout American history, free speech and freedom of assembly has been adversely affected by rationalized wartime suppressions in the name of security. Justice Robert Jackson in the mid-20th century declared, "It is easy, by giving way to passion, intolerance, and suspicions of wartime, to reduce our liberties to a shadow, often in answer to exaggerated claims of security." Sadly, overzealous wartime suppression of liberty has plagued the United States throughout much of its history.

Geoffrey R. Stone has put together a well-written account of American constitutional history from the time of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to the Patriot Act of 2001. His focus is First Amendment Freedoms. In 1798, ostensibly to guard against the threat of a counterpart "French Revolution" spearheaded by imagined American Jacobins from emerging on American soil, Federalist Party officials marshaled the Alien and Sedition Acts as an effective counterpoise. Its constitutionality was clearly suspect. In reality, it was a shameless partisan attempt to prosecute and suppress critics of the Federalist administration. Virginia and Kentucky responded by protest and state interposition through their Resolutions of 1798, which threatened state nullification of unconstitutional acts.

With much of the major wars throughout American history from the Civil War of the 1860s to the Great War, World War II, Vietnam, and now the Iraq War, shameless attempts emerged to intimidate, stifle and suppress political dissent. Lincoln was the precedent setter for unconstitutionally suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and found a follower to his dubious doctrines in George W. Bush. During the Great War, resident aliens were deprived of the right to due process prior to deportation. The Cold War paranoia was so absurd that the FBI drew up reports citing the classic 1946 Frank Capra movie like It''s A Wonderful Life as being evidence of subversive communist propaganda. And thus began the McCarthy era. The 1970s felt the tragedy of the Kent State Massacre in Ohio as National Guard troops shot and killed students protesting the war in Vietnam. In the 1970s, ostensibly the FBI and CIA were reigned in on by Congress for running astray in anti-war activities, but those restrictions came loose following 9/11 when somehow unbridled federal power became more trustworthy.

James Madison judiciously reminds us: "The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences of the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle." It was to secure against suppression of freedom of conscience that the First Amendment was framed. It was flatly a negative against Congress to legislate on such matters, hence the interpretative keystone, "Congress shall make no law..."
3 people found this helpful
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Robert W. Smith
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
outstanding resource
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2008
the book is, of course, on the topic of article 1 free speech during perilous times. the author provides the reader with an exhaustive review of the literature, extensive end notes, detailed history of six conflicts that resulted in legal conflicts surrounding free speech.... See more
the book is, of course, on the topic of article 1 free speech during perilous times. the author provides the reader with an exhaustive review of the literature, extensive end notes, detailed history of six conflicts that resulted in legal conflicts surrounding free speech. the author details executive orders, congressional legislation or mandates, and reviews by the courts and supreme court in efforts to execute the functioning of the government while imposing limitations on free speech. i found no flaws in logic, no errors of grammar. i found two instances in which factual details were not consistent when represented. i was disappointed that the author had not written more on the founding father''s beliefs regarding the 1st article. i was disappointed that he hadn''t provided historical background regarding the formation of the first article. a history of how other democracies with free speech have dealt with such challenges might have been interesting. a history of how our own democracy has dealt with free speech in non-war time crises might have been interesting. not all wars (e.g., Mexican and free speech by Lincoln, Spanish-American and free speech by Randolf Hearst ...) were covered. i wish that the author had spent more than a dozen pages discussing the current wars in afghanistan and iraq and the challenges they have imposed on free speech AS WELL AS differences in how the usa has handled those challenges versus other countries. given the importance of context in each conflict, i might have been interested in seeing how great britain and the confederate states dealt with free speech during the civil war and how germany dealt with free speech in ww1 and ww2 ... this is an outstanding book, well worth the read and purchase, new or maybe even more. great work!
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Dr. Lee D. Carlson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Cooler heads did prevail....
Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2006
As recent history attests to, some people act irrationally when under conditions of stress, and frequently do not hesitate to deny others basic human rights or even react violently. This kind of behavior does not occur under normal conditions of life, so the trick is get... See more
As recent history attests to, some people act irrationally when under conditions of stress, and frequently do not hesitate to deny others basic human rights or even react violently. This kind of behavior does not occur under normal conditions of life, so the trick is get back into mental equilibrium as soon as possible after the shocks have occurred. The time needed to do this varies considerably between individuals, and the individuals who are having trouble calming themselves put undue burdens on those who do not. Therefore there is usually a considerable amount of tension between these two types of people, and this in fact creates more stress on top of what was experienced by the original shocks.

One can see this type of conflict throughout the history of the United States, as the author of this book shows in great detail in this book. Superbly written and full of helpful references and footnotes, the author narrows his discussion to the effects of war, or rumors of war, or invented threats of war, on free speech. When reading the book one is amazed to learn the low degree to which citizens of the United States have placed on the First Amendment, even as early as 1798. The First Amendment was not really thought of as sacrosanct as it is at the present time (outside of the government). This may explain why early on in U.S. history, the populace was quite willing to stifle speech they thought as treasonous or threatening in time of war (or false threats of war). And the stifling of speech was not unique to a particular political party, newspaper, magazine, or pamphlet. Both the left and the right, and in between, took their turns in the suppression of speech at various times in U.S. history.

Everything in the book is fascinating, and those readers who are not aware of the events discussed may be shocked that they actually took place in a country that so prides itself on freedom, both in speech and association. The author though is not content to merely report facts. He analyzes the different attitudes about free speech, both in the minds of the citizens, the press, and in the courts. Legal issues in constitutional law are all discussed in great analytical detail, and the author does not hesitate to express his own opinions on how the different cases should have been decided. A book like this definitely stands out against the hype and yellow journalism that so frequently is labeled as objective analysis these days. It is a welcome part of the political and legal literature, and all readers willing to take the time to its study will walk away with a massive amount of information and insight, and be better equipped to grapple with the issues of free speech as even now they are being debated (and suppressed). Cooler heads did prevail throughout the U.S. constitutional history of free speech, as this book proves without question. One can only hope this will continue to be the case.
3 people found this helpful
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Eric Hobart
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Freedom of Speech - a right we take for granted?
Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2005
In his book Perilous Times, Geoffrey Stone has given us a history of freedom of speech (or the restrictions placed upon that freedom) during wartime - starting with the Sedition Act of 1798 and continuing up through the Patriot Act of 2001. Free Speech is a first... See more
In his book Perilous Times, Geoffrey Stone has given us a history of freedom of speech (or the restrictions placed upon that freedom) during wartime - starting with the Sedition Act of 1798 and continuing up through the Patriot Act of 2001.

Free Speech is a first amendment right that most of us take for granted, but in wartime, the first amendment has often been curtailed. It is this restriction that is the focus of this scholarly work.

Stone explains, in vivid details, why the restrictions upon speech were placed, and whether or not they succeeded in accomplishing the goal(s) set forth by the administration that enacted the limitations. Stone does not attempt to make political judgements, nor does his make any claim as to whether the limitations were just or unjust. He does, however, provide the reader with more than adequate understanding of why the limitations were implemented and what caused them to finally be lifted. In most occurances, Stone explains the restrictions in the historical period in which they were implemented, but he does frequently refer back to explain why in a later time, the lessons of history have been learned and te "new, improved" articles restricting speech were designed with the failures or shortcomings of the previous limitations in mind.

Stone goes into a good amount of detail about the Supreme Court cases that decided the constitutionality of much of this legislation, and he does a fabulous job of explaining the court''s rationale in holding the specific act constitutional or striking it down as unconstitutional. The thing I found most interesting about the court''s general theory was that during wartime (regardless of the period), some limitation of rights was not only warranted but often expected.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to understand the history of free speech in this country - this is a volume dedicated almost entirely to the first amendment to the US Constitution as applied during wartime (regardless of whether it was a shooting war, such as the Civil War, or a non-shooting war, such as the cold war). In reading this book, be sure to keep a careful watch on the Supreme Court decisions, as they truly are a critical part of the text and help the author to formulate his arguments.
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nick masterson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A classic
Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2021
Perilous times is a classic.it covers practically everything on that subject.its one of those important books that just had to be written.the information and story''s of people is well researched and well balanced. I highly recommend it to any person that wants to learn... See more
Perilous times is a classic.it covers practically everything on that subject.its one of those important books that just had to be written.the information and story''s of people is well researched and well balanced. I highly recommend it to any person that wants to learn about freedom of speech during wartime.
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Matt Hollingsworth
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Historical prism calmed my fear for present challenges to Bill of Rights protections
Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2013
I met someone in DC who had listed this as the book he was currently reading. It is a lengthy academic tome that provides a broad and deep background over hundreds of years. It''s not something that I would have normally read. What I liked about it was that it provided a... See more
I met someone in DC who had listed this as the book he was currently reading. It is a lengthy academic tome that provides a broad and deep background over hundreds of years. It''s not something that I would have normally read. What I liked about it was that it provided a calm, detailed review of various serious challenges to the 1st amendment over time. I particularly liked reading about the Sedition Act of 1798, which marked a low point for the 1st Amendment. I concluded that even though there were clear periods in history when the Constitution was seriously weakened, over time the ebb and flow has moved towards greater protection of this important right. The Bill of Rights is a genius invention and this book gives me faith that our current threats to the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments can be mitigated over time.
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Dr. R. G. in CH
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
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Reviewed in Germany on May 17, 2012
Geoffrey Stone zeigt die historische Entwicklung der Einschränkungen der Meinungsfreiheit in den USA auf. Das Land, welches - seine Version - von Freiheit und Demokratie auch heutzutage teilweise mit militärischen Mitteln in die Welt exportieren will, versagte - und versagt...See more
Geoffrey Stone zeigt die historische Entwicklung der Einschränkungen der Meinungsfreiheit in den USA auf. Das Land, welches - seine Version - von Freiheit und Demokratie auch heutzutage teilweise mit militärischen Mitteln in die Welt exportieren will, versagte - und versagt - seinen eigenen Bürgern bis zum heutigen Tag einige elementare Rechte. Stone schildert die Entwicklung über Jahrhunderte bis in die Bush-Ära (2005) neutral und ohne Wertung. Leider hat sich in den letzten 7 Jahren so wenig positives getan, dass dieses betrübliche Buch nichts von seiner Aktualität eingebüsst hat. Da bleibt wenig Hoffnung auf Besserung...
Geoffrey Stone zeigt die historische Entwicklung der Einschränkungen der Meinungsfreiheit in den USA auf. Das Land, welches - seine Version - von Freiheit und Demokratie auch heutzutage teilweise mit militärischen Mitteln in die Welt exportieren will, versagte - und versagt - seinen eigenen Bürgern bis zum heutigen Tag einige elementare Rechte. Stone schildert die Entwicklung über Jahrhunderte bis in die Bush-Ära (2005) neutral und ohne Wertung. Leider hat sich in den letzten 7 Jahren so wenig positives getan, dass dieses betrübliche Buch nichts von seiner Aktualität eingebüsst hat. Da bleibt wenig Hoffnung auf Besserung...
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