Freedom of Information and the Right to Know: The Origins and Applications of the Freedom of Information Act

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This examination of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) traces the American origins of the belief that the citizens of a democracy have a natural right to know about the workings of their government. The issue began in the colonies and came to a head in the 1950s when escalating government secrecy led the press to demand open government. Declaring that the public business is the public's business, a series of crusading newspaper editors aroused public support for the Freedom of Information Act which was passed in 1966.

The book features in-depth interviews with the architects of the FOIA, the FOIA staff in the major federal agencies, and the most prominent FOIA users throughout the country. The concluding chapter examines current impediments to the full realization of the people's right to know.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313285462
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/1999
  • Pages: 230
  • Lexile: 1490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

HERBERT N. FOERSTEL is the retired former head of Branch Libraries at the University of Maryland in College Park and is a current member of the board of directors of the National Security Archive at George Washington University. He is the author of Surveillance in the Stacks (Greenwood, 1991), Secret Science (Praeger, 1993), Banned in the USA (Greenwood, 1994), Climbing the Hill with his daughter Karen Foerstel (Praeger, 1996), Free Expression and Censorship in America (Greenwood, 1997), and Banned in the Media (Greenwood, 1998)

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Table of Contents

The Right to Know

A Legislative Remedy

Government Compliance with the FOIA

The Effective Use of the FIOA

Freedom of Information in the New Millennium


Selected Bibliography


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