The Patriot Act

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This easy-to-use core reference takes on the biggest issue of our day: freedom of speech in post-9/11 America. No issue is more important to Americans—and especially to librarians—than the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is one of the longest, broadest, most sweeping pieces of legislation in American history. It introduced a vast edifice of domestic surveillance that has defined the post-9/11 world. But the legislation itself is so massive and technical that both supporters and critics have been free to interpret it loosely and in partisan fashion. Supporters of the Patriot Act believe that 9/11 irreversibly changed American politics and law enforcement, forcing every citizen to cede some traditional civil liberties in order to protect the nation from terrorism. Critics respond that many provisions of the Patriot Act were simply resurrected from old FBI wish lists, having no relevance to the war on terror and providing little security in exchange for precious liberties. This book will not silence the raging debate over the Patriot Act, but by presenting relevant source documents, analyzed and placed in context, it may provide a more reliable basis for the ongoing debate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Clearly organized and well focused, this work's eight chapters provide insight into the development, passage, and eventual reauthorization of the Patriot Act. Access to the materials is typical of a reference work, with a straightforward table of contents and index. Other beginning researcher-friendly features include bulleted introductions to key documents and a further readings section….The jewels are the 64 primary source documents culled from statutes, debates, transcripts of press conferences and interviews, and position papers from such groups as the ACLU….[T]his readable, informative work finds a niche. Recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers."



"This pair of documentary guides brings together selected primary source materials on two complementary topics….both of these titles are recommended for libraries serving advance high-school and undergraduate college researchers. (Reviewed with Islamism)."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313341427
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Series: Documentary and Reference Guides
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

HERBERT N. FOERSTEL is the former Head of Branch Libraries at the University of Maryland, board member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and editor of Maryland Library Association's newspaper. He is the author of many books on free press issues, including Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Patriot Act in Libraries (Libraries Unlimited, 2004) and Killing the Messenger: Journalists at Risk in Modern Warfare (Praeger, 2006).

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