In her groundbreaking new book, Silencing Political Dissent, constitutional expert Nancy Chang examines how the Bush administration's fight against terrorism is resulting in a disturbing erosion of First Amendment rights and increase of executive power. Chang's compelling analysis begins with a historical review of political repression and intolerance of dissent in America. From the Sedition Act of 1798, through the Smith Act of the 1940s and the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, to the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO program of the 1960s, Chang recalls how during times of crisis and war, the U.S. government has unjustly detained individuals, invaded personal privacy, and hampered the free speech of Americans. Chang's expertise as a senior constitutional attorney shines through in the power and clarity of her argument. Meticulously researched and footnoted, Chang's book forces us to challenge the government when it is unpopular to do so, and to consider that perhaps "our future safety lies in the expansion, rather the contraction, of the democratic values set forth in the Constitution."
The visionary historical work of professor and activist HOWARD ZINN (1922–2010) is widely considered one of the most important and influential of our era. After his experience as a bombardier in World War II, Zinn became convinced that there could no longer be such a thing as a “just war,” because the vast majority of victims in modern warfare are, increasingly, innocent civilians. In his books, including A People’s History of the United States, its companion volume Voices of a People’s History of the United States, and countless other titles, Zinn affirms the power of the people to influence the course of events.