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Hardcover In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action Book

ISBN: 068807801X

ISBN13: 9780688078010

In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

New York Times BestsellerExceptionally timely and well-written. . . . Amendment by amendment, the authors find cases that are soul-searching in their ramifications. . . . This is a book that demands... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Readable, Informative look at Bill of Rights

This is a nicely readable look at the U.S. Bill of Rights in action. Authors Ellen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy provide 20 concise real-life stories that define our rights and freedoms. These case studies deal with such issues as free speech, gun control, government powers, the rights of the accused, the death penalty, etc. Does the First Amendment give the Ku Klux Klan the right to broadcast on local cable television? Can the City of Detroit tear down an existing neighborhood to build an auto plant? Must two terrified young girls testify against their accused molester from the witness stand, or does the sixth amendment permit them to do so via closed circuit TV? The authors present these and several other equally interesting cases. Readers learn the facts, the competing legal arguments, and the eventual decisions of the courts - decisions that sometimes left the judges bitterly divided. Since their adoption in 1791, the Bill of Rights have endured over two centuries of societal and technological change. This is a readable, thought-provoking, and informative look at those ten amendments and their application to life in the USA.

So you think you know your rights?

If you've ever been surprised by the ruling of a court or a judge in regards to matters whose resolution would seem obvious to the casual legal observer, then perhaps you should read this book. Kennedy and Alderman walk through each of the "rights" we are guaranteed by the Constitution and give examples of court cases and decisions that often might seem counter-intuitive. Reading and understanding this book can help one become a more responsible and informed U.S. citizen. I'm always finding myself referring back to this book, my most beat up, the most well used in my modest collection. Review every book you read- authors deserve your input and consideration.

Entertaining and Informative

I was assigned this book as supplementary reading for my AP government class, and while some of my friends didn't like it, I loved and am now re-reading it.The authors admit that their intent was 1) to make people see the Bill of Rights as more than a legal document, but a guideline created by framers who had no idea how different the nation would be centuries later, and 2) to make people think.For each of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, the authors pick a case, usually criminal, and discuss it in relation to the amendment. They choose their cases carefully, and all are thought-provoking.The Bill of Rights was created to protect the people from the government, and includes several rights delegated to those accused of crimes. However, in one poignant case, the right to confront the witness is used to declare an accused child molester's trial invalid. However, the book also lists many instances in which the Bill of Rights served as the final defense in a couple accused of Communism during the McCarthy era. While some may find the book boring, because they're not interested in hearing about politics, many would find this book enjoyable to read, especially if they are interested in law.

Fantastic, an easy reader

I am a senior, and I had to read this book for my ap government class during the summer. At first I thought that I was not going to like it, but it turned out to be a teriffic book. It gave me a greater understanding of the Bill of Rights.

Great for a Constitutional Law course!

I instruct a course entitled "Civil Liberties:The Rights of the Accused for Seton Hall (NJ) University at the Graduate Level. This text is an excellent supplement to the text Criminal Procedure by Zalman & Seigal. It presents "out of the way" cases for comment and analysis.
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