This is a book every American should read. It is not easy going. It's not the writing. Judge Napolitano is a fine writer. It is just that the material is so disheartening, reading about the unconstitutional power expansion of the president.
This book reveals actions of the U.S. Presidents that are miscarriages of justice and outright assaults on our civil liberties. “This book argues that the greatest trick the federal government ever pulled was convincing us that we should voluntarily surrender our liberties, just because the monsters who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks did not get caught beforehand.”
The book is in two parts. The first part is an overview of the history of presidential lawmaking and lawbreaking before 9/11. The second half concentrates on the presidencies of Bush and Obama.
The first part of the book is bad enough, reading about Lincoln suspending the writ of habeas corpus. Then there were The Espionage Act of 1917, The Sedition Act of 1918 and The Alien Act of 1918. The Supreme Court would not temper these acts. The account continues with the actions of FD before and during WW II and The Smith Act of 1940.
But the most disheartening part of the book is about the Bush administration. His assault on personal freedom went beyond anything previously known. Reading the kinds of actions President Bush advocated on his watch almost makes me ill. The descriptions of the torture President Bush approved and Vice President Cheney directed is just sickening. The Bush administration was “driven by the idea of a completely imperial executive,” Napolitano writes. “Perhaps the legacy for which George W. Bush will best be remembered is his use of torture.” What a legacy!
The lies the Bush administration told about WMD and spying on U.S. citizens is chilling. Reading through the provisions of The Patriot Act Napolitano highlights shook me. And to think that by and large the provisions are still in effect, despite their unconstitutionality, is truly terrifying.
President Obama made promises to change conditions and made some initial moves to do so, but, in the end, has reauthorized many of Bush's policies. It is too soon to tell what his legacy will be.
This was a very hard book to read. It contains so many things I don't want to be true of the U.S. It does not make me proud to be an American.
As Judge Napolitano says at the beginning of the book, read this book but be warned. “There is no happy ending.”
Go here to find out more about the book, read a chapter and watch a book trailer.
Judge Andrew Napolitano is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Notre Dame Law School. He sat on the Superior Court of New Jersey from 1987 to 1995. He taught constitutional law at Delaware Law School for two years and at Seton Hall Law School for eleven years. He returned to private practice in 1995 and began television work the same year. He has been the Senior Judicial Analyst for Fox News since 1998. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and Distinguished Scholar in Law and Jurisprudence at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. He lectures nationally and has been published in national publications. This is his ninth book on the U. S. Constitution.
Thomas Nelson, 480 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.