In this short book, Etzioni, the well-known and respected public intellectual and communitarian thinker, charts a middle course, or third way 'between those who are committed to shore up our liberties but blind to the needs of public security, as well as those who never met a right they are not willing to curtail to give authorities an even freer hand.' This book will prove a useful guide for citizens looking for a thought provoking, well-reasoned and sober analysis of one of the hot button issues of our time.
Amitai Etzioni is the Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. He has authored twenty-two books.
"Amitai Etzioni presents a thoughtful assessment of the controversial post 9/11 measures and proposals that undermine civil liberties in the name of national security. Even for those of us who disagree with some of his conclusions, this book provides valuable insights into the essential task of maximizing safety while minimizing invasions of liberty." -- Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union, and Professor of Law, New York Law School
"This book is very welcome. Dr. Etzioni shows us how to avoid the paired vices anchored in terrorist-induced fear or police state-abetted oppression. It would indeed be cowardly and unpatriotic not to take reasoned steps against the purveyors of hate, but it would be equally rash to under-appreciate the significance of a rule of law that aspires to advance human dignity. Finding the balance between civil liberty and national security requires wisdom, and this volume orients the public debate toward it." -- Douglas W. Kmiec, Chair & Professor of Constitutional Law, Pepperdine University, and Constitutional Legal Counsel to Ronald Reagan
"Etzioni has produced a detailed, very thoughtful, balanced but provocative examination of how our nation MUST respond to the very real threat of terrorism. He demonstrates decisively that the notion that we should not increase governmental authority to protect innocent civilians from ruthless terrorists, lest we sacrifice our precious freedoms, is simply based on a false premise." -- Larry D. Thompson former Deputy Attorney General (2001-2003), and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institute
"Amitai Etzioni's comprehensive survey of freedom and security issues is iconoclastic and thought-provoking. Breaking the tired paradigm of balancing safety and liberty, Etzioni seeks third way, grounded in history and in a sense of community. Though many will debate his prescriptions, none should ignore them. This book is must reading for anyone concerned with issues relating to civil liberties and national security." -- Paul Rosenzweig, Senior Legal Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
"Favoring facts over rhetoric and supporting his analysis with solid research, Etzioni sheds light on debates dominated by heat and smoke. Beyond answering the specific question posed in the title of the book, How Patriotic is the Patriot Act? is an indispensable guide in the quest for those elusive policies that make America both safe and free." -- Viet D. Dinh, Georgetown Law Professor, and former U.S. Assistant General Attorney for Legal Policy (2001-2003)
"Etzioni's central premise, given on the first page of his book, is that 'the starting point of any reasonable deliberation about our national security is the recognition that we face two profound commitments: protecting our homeland and safeguarding our rights.' If you put the book down and went to listen to either ACLU lawyers or federal prosecutors, you'd hear this trope with equal frequency. Few serious individuals disagree with it; the interesting question is how to structure a system that accommodates those commitments.
Etzioni surveys a wide variety of practices, from electronic searches to national ID cards, in an often well-developed exegesis of the panoply of post-Sept. 11 issues. But virtually no one can master the variety of subjects in Etzioni's book -- including, I fear, the author himself.
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