“A masterpiece of constitutional history, Perilous Times promises to redefine the national debate on civil liberties and free speech.”―Elena Kagan, Harvard Law School
Geoffrey Stone's Perilous Times incisively investigates how the First Amendment and other civil liberties have been compromised in America during wartime. Stone delineates the consistent suppression of free speech in six historical periods from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the Vietnam War, and ends with a coda that examines the state of civil liberties in the Bush era. Full of fresh legal and historical insight, Perilous Times magisterially presents a dramatic cast of characters who influenced the course of history over a two-hundred-year period: from the presidents―Adams, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Nixon―to the Supreme Court justices―Taney, Holmes, Brandeis, Black, and Warren―to the resisters―Clement Vallandingham, Emma Goldman, Fred Korematsu, and David Dellinger. Filled with dozens of rare photographs, posters, and historical illustrations, Perilous Times is resonant in its call for a new approach in our response to grave crises.