Democracy, If We Can Keep It: The ACLU's 100-Year Fight for Rights in America

Democracy, If We Can Keep It: The ACLU's 100-Year Fight for Rights in America

by Ellis Cose


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, February 1


Published to coincide with the ACLU's centennial, a major new book by the nationally celebrated journalist and bestselling author

For a century, the American Civil Liberties Union has fought to keep Americans in touch with the founding values of the Constitution. As its centennial approached, the organization invited Ellis Cose to become its first ever writer-in-residence, with complete editorial independence.

The result is Cose's groundbreaking Democracy, If We Can Keep It: The ACLU's 100-Year Fight for Rights in America, the most authoritative account ever of America's premier defender of civil liberties. A vivid work of history and journalism, Democracy, If We Can Keep It is not just the definitive story of the ACLU but also an essential account of America's rediscovery of rights it had granted but long denied. Cose's narrative begins with World War I and brings us to today, chronicling the ACLU's role through the horrors of 9/11, the saga of Edward Snowden, and the phenomenon of Donald Trump.

A chronicle of America's most difficult ethical quandaries from the Red Scare, the Scottsboro Boys' trials, Japanese American internment, McCarthyism, and Vietnam, Democracy, If We Can Keep It weaves these accounts into a deeper story of American freedom—one that is profoundly relevant to our present moment.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620973837
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 07/07/2020
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 525,741
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Ellis Cose is a former columnist for Newsweek, chairman of the editorial board of the New York Daily News, contributor and critic for Time, and columnist for USA Today. The author of numerous books, including the bestselling The Rage of a Privileged Class, he lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

1 Preaching Peace to a World at War 7

2 The War on Dangerous Speech 27

3 The Year That Shook America and Spawned the ACLU 52

4 Setting Fire to Wisdom and the Origin of Man 75

5 Phony Rapes and a Righteous Purge 107

6 A Yellow Menace, Red Fears, White Racism, and Assimilation 141

7 McCarthy Crosses a Line and Eisenhower Sends Troops to Little Rock 182

8 A Moral Crusade, an Immoral War, and a Forbidden Romance 205

9 Resurrecting a Communist as the Nixon Era Ends 239

10 Nazis, Jews, and the FBI 279

11 Mourning a Founder, Defeating Bork, and Atoning for Internment 296

12 Terrorism, Torture, and the Pursuit of Justice 330

13 Edward Snowden Joins the ACLU 365

14 The Rise of Trump, the Decline of Truth 392

15 Reflections 427

Acknowledgments 439

Notes 441

Index 447

Customer Reviews