Simon & Schuster, 1988
Agent: Sandra Dijkstra
Cites sixteen landmark civil liberties cases and the individuals who challenged laws that they felt impinged upon their personal freedom and who took their battles to the nation's highest court of law.
“Irons has succeeded in presenting an immensely readable, grippingly human account of some of the important battles before the Court. But it is more than that: It is an uplifting reminder that courageous individuals can make a difference.”
“[Irons] reminds us that much of the recent struggle for civil rights and personal liberty in contemporary America has been conducted in the courtroom, and he encourages us to look beyond the headlines and the op-ed pieces to see the intimate human values that are often at stake in a constitutional lawsuit. . . . At its best, the book reveals and explains the scholarly but spirited debate–and the considerable intellectual contortions–that are the stuff of judicial decision. At the same time Irons allows us to understand that the law has an intimate and sometimes overwhelming impact on the human beings whose lives and liberty are at stake.”
—Los Angeles Times
“It’s a pity that this stirring account of political dissenters in America did not appear during the presidential campaign. It might have dramatized for George Bush how deeply some American pledge allegiance to principles of civil liberty, and it might have reminded Michael Dukakis why he joined the American Civil Liberties Union in the first place.”
—San Francisco Chronicle