How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?
Freedom Versus Security in the Age of Terrorism
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A new book by Amitai Etzioni
In this new book, a communitarian way of thinking is applied to one of the hottest topics of the day. Dr. Etzioni argues that when it comes to national security we face two profound commitments: protecting our homeland and safeguarding our rights. Demonstrating that extremism in the defense of either security or liberty is not a virtue, the book charts a middle course between those who are committed to the preservation of our liberties but blind to the needs of public security and those who are willing to sacrifice our cherished freedoms for the sake of preventing terrorism.
PRESIDENT, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
PROFESSOR OF LAW, NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL
"Amitai Etzioni presents a thoughtful assessment of the controversial post 9/11 measures and proposals that undermine civil liberties in the name of national security. Even for those of us who disagree with some of his conclusions, this book provides valuable insights into the essential task of maximizing safety while minimizing invasions of liberty."
LARRY D. THOMPSON
SENIOR FELLOW, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
FORMER DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
"Etzioni has produced a detailed, very thoughtful, balanced but provocative examination of how our nation MUST respond to the very real threat of terrorism. He demonstrates decisively that the notion that we should not increase governmental authority to protect innocent civilians from ruthless terrorists, lest we sacrifice our precious freedoms, is simply based on a false premise."
BOOK REVIEWER, BOOKLIST
"Etzioni concerns himself less with the Patriot Act itself than with broader questions of how well in a post-9/11 environment American society can protect citizens against terrorist threats without damaging or discarding those individual rights that are the nationís legal hallmarks...Etzioni saves his most profound criticism for current American efforts to build democratic societies in countries lacking either the social or political institutions and traditions within which to build rational orders respectful of individual rights and tolerant of diverse opinion. Readers looking for a rigorous legal encounter with the Patriot Act may be disappointed, but Etzioni has provided a very approachable resource for student essays and debates."
DOUGLAS W. KMIEC
CHAIR OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY
CONSTITUTIONAL LEGAL COUNCIL TO RONALD REAGAN
"This book is very welcome. Dr. Etzioni shows us how to avoid the paired vices anchored in terrorist-induced fear or police state-abetted oppression. It would indeed be cowardly and unpatriotic not to take reasoned steps against the purveyors of hate, but it would be equally rash to under-appreciate the significance of a rule of law that aspires to advance human dignity. Finding the balance between civil liberty and national security requires wisdom, and this volume orients the public debate toward it."
VIET D. DINH
PROFESSOR OF LAW, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR LEGAL POLICY
"Favoring facts over rhetoric and supporting his analysis with solid research, Etzioni sheds light on debates dominated by heat and smoke. Beyond answering the specific question posed in the title of the book, 'How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?' is an indispensable guide in the quest for those elusive policies that make America both safe and free."
SENIOR LEGAL RESEARCH FELLOW, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
"Amitai Etzioni's comprehensive survey of freedom and security issues is iconoclastic and thought-provoking. Breaking the tired paradigm of balancing safety and liberty, Etzioni seeks a third way, grounded in history and in a sense of community. Though many will debate his prescriptions, none should ignore them. This book is must reading for anyone concerned with issues relating to civil liberties and national security."
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - How Liberty is Lost
Chapter 2 - An Overview of Security Measures
Chapter 3 - Privacy and Security in Electronic Communications
Chapter 4 - Public Health and the Threat of Bioterrorism
Chapter 5 - A Case for National ID Cards?
Chapter 6 - The Limits of Nation Building
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