Safeguarding Civil Liberty Today, by Carl L. Becker, Max Lerner, James Lawrence Fly, Robert E. Cushman, Francis Biddle, and Edmu
The keynote of these five lectures delivered at Cornell University under the sponsorship of Edward L. Bernays, and of an address by President Day, is sounded by Vice-President George H. Sabine’s assertion in the preface “that the civil liberties are vitally important to the social and political life of America and that the need is imperative for a more general, a more intelligent, a more timely understanding of them.” This little book should help considerably in the achievement of that understanding.
While it is true enough that we are, with but rare exceptions, committed to freedom, or to what Myrdal has called the “American Creed,” it is also true that we are, with but rare exceptions, ignorant of the facts and forces which threaten our freedom. The weakness of our real, as contrasted with our avowed, faith in freedom is manifested in our folk acceptance of the notion that one must be a member of the lunatic fringe to be openly and vitally concerned with civil liberties. One is a solid citizen if his specialty is corporation law; but one is probably subversive if his specialty is the Bill of Rights. Not even Wendell Willkie was able to affect substantially this dangerous quirk in the American mind.
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