The USA Patriot Act

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Within weeks of the September 11 terrorist attacks, overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress passed the USA Patriot Act. The act immediately aroused bitter controversy. Some claim it impermissibly infringes on constitutional rights; others argue it is a necessary tool to ensure the security of the American homeland.

Distinguished scholar and prolific author Howard Ball provides the background necessary for a reasoned, historical examination of both positions. He details the threats to America in the last 60 years, emphasizing terrorist acts; examines the temporary surrender of civil rights during past American wars; and uses that history to analyze the USA Patriot Act, both as it exists and as arguments rage over whether to strengthen or weaken the law.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ball indeed presents a good introduction for those who need a quick but in-depth course on this major piece of legislation and its implications for a free society. … Highly recommended. All levels."



"Ball has pulled together a very useful reference on the USA Patriot Act. … it will be very useful to teachers at all levels …"


American Reference Books Annual

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Each of these titles addresses an important topic of interest and concern to Americans today. In both, the first chapter sets a historical or global context. In Patriot, it is a short but useful descriptive introduction; in Counterterrorism, unfortunately, it is more partisan and politically prescriptive. Remaining narrative chapters in Patriot discuss the passage of the bill, provide a legal analysis of the legislation, describe critics' concerns, and consider the response of the Bush Administration. Counterterrorism deals with moral and legal issues inherent in the effort, the media, and effective reactions to terrorism. In both titles, profiles of key players and reprints of relevant documents are included. Finally, each book contains a detailed descriptive directory of organizations and agencies connected to these topics, an annotated listing of sources (print and electronic), and a chronology of related events. The writing is clear and accessible and offers more information than comparable series titles.-Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781851097227
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Series: Contemporary World Issues Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 284
  • Sales rank: 1,423,707
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Terrorist actions against Americans and governmental efforts to protect national security before September 11, 2001 1
2 September 11, 2001, and the passage of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 33
3 The critics of the 2001 Patriot Act : civil liberties endangered by the imperatives of national security 65
4 The Bush administration's aggressive defense of the 2001 USA Patriot Act and its "floating" of Patriot Act II 101
5 Key players, organizations, and governmental responses : U.S. national security and the 2001 Patriot Act 133
6 Documents 151
7 Directory of major organizations involved with the USA Patriot Act of 2001 199
8 Bibliography 215
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