Democracy, If We Can Keep It: The ACLU’s 100-Year Fight for Rights in America

New Pr. Jul. 2020. 480p. ISBN 9781620973837. $29.99. POL SCI
In this latest work, Cose (The Rage of a Privileged Class) provides a comprehensive history of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from its founding to present day. While the ACLU’s chronology is most often identified by its cases rather than its leadership, this meticulously detailed volume describes changes the ACLU has experienced internally over the last century, including priorities, conflicts, and decision making. Readers are left with the impression of a complex organization that attracts those who believe fervently in the cause of civil liberties and has made an enormous impact on the country, but has sometimes struggled with growing pains and internal disagreement. The early years of the ACLU’s founding are explored thoroughly, and the later chapters covering events of the 21st century feature extensive interviews that provide rich insight into the changes they have undergone and what might come next. The book makes a solid companion to Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman’s Fight of the Century.
VERDICT Cose’s book is an excellent choice for anyone seeking to understand the ACLU as an organization and for those wanting to explore how the fight for civil liberties has evolved and helped to shape the society we have today
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