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Christopher CapozzolaOn July 4, 1951, at the height of Cold War tensions, a reporter asked 112 people in a park in Madison, Wis.consin, to sign a petition containing nothing more than quotations from the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. All but one refused. ["Many Found Wary of July 4 Petition," New York Times, July 29, 1951, p. 43. Also reported elsewhere: Time, Washington Post, Nation.* yes, OK] Bitter ironies like this abound in Perilous Times, Geoffrey R. Stone's masterful history of free speech in wartime America. With clarity, moderation and some 2,000 footnotes, Stone explains how Americans could come to fear their own founding documents. We have long needed this book, though perhaps never as badly as we do today.
— The Washington Post