National Security and Civil Liberty takes the reader on a unique journey through American history from the colonial era to the present day. Suitable for a history, criminal justice, or law class, no other book on the market examines two centuries of American history from the perspective of balancing national security and individual civil liberty interests. Where other books may focus on a particular liberty issue or security issue — such as government spying on political groups or distrust of aliens — this book reviews history by examining events occurring during significant decades in America’s history (e.g.: The Colonial Era, Civil War Era, the Cold War Era). This approach enables the reader to better appreciate how two centuries of war, acts of terror, distrust of aliens, innovations in technology, and presidential intrigue have shaped the federal government’s present response to perceived threats to our national security. Sadly, government action (spying, censorship, mass internment) in the face of a perceived crisis (the threat of communism, violent groups, terrorists) has usually led to the temporary lessening of traditional civil liberties, followed by cooling-off periods of decreased federal action where civil liberties are restored. However, our history has shown that once initiated, government encroachment upon individual liberty and freedom is never completely halted. The net effect of decades of steady, incremental advances in technology and military capabilities, coupled with the acceptance of ever-lessening liberties since the 9/11 attacks, means that we may now be living in a "police state" in America. After reading the book, students will have a solid foundation of historical information upon which to draw as they examine the issue of the trading of cherished liberties in the hope it will lead to increased security.
If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.