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Jonathan MahlerReading this book, one is reminded why Dershowitz is one of the very few American law professors whose work has crossed over into the mainstream. He wears his erudition lightly. He has worked hard to make Is There a Right to Remain Silent? accessible to nonlawyers, peppering it with references to Lewis Carroll, Stephen Jay Gould, Maimonides and Jerry Seinfeld. Despite his best efforts, though, this sort of detailed legal analysis inevitably gets technical. Those not already steeped in the issue of self-incrimination are likely to get bogged down. It's worth the effort to push ahead, though. Dershowitz calls the Chavez case a "bellwether" for a much broader shift in law enforcement after 9/11, the increasing focus on preventing future criminal acts rather than simply punishing the perpetrators of them. The emergence of this so-called preventive state will continue to present new and difficult questions concerning the rights of criminal defendants. Americans, he persuasively establishes, can't afford not to participate in the debates over how these questions are answered.
—The New York Times