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Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Democracy Detained
Book cover for Democracy DetainedBook cover for Democracy DetainedBook cover for Democracy Detained

With an introduction by Nat Hentoff

Democracy Detained exposes the deplorable secret crimes committed by the Bush administration in their war on terror. Prominent legal activist Barbara Olshansky documents the assault on our constitutional democracy since 9/11, meticulously analyzing the unlawful justifications made by the U.S. government for covert actions at home and abroad. She reports on shocking government practices—from the outsourcing of torture through extraordinary rendition, to first-person testimony from innocent men imprisoned without charge at Guantanamo Bay, to revelations of a surveillance network tapped into the homes of average citizens. Democracy Detained is an essential resource for Americans concerned about their civil rights.

Book cover for Democracy Detained
Book cover for Democracy DetainedBook cover for Democracy DetainedBook cover for Democracy Detained

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“In measured, lucid detail, Barbara Olshansky presents a wide-ranging account of the Bush administration's malfeasance.This important book portrays an administration dedicated to turning the U.S. into a feared and despised 'outlaw state,' substantially increasing threats to Americans and the world, and dismantling the rights that were partially instituted by the Constitution and have been deepened and enriched through dedicated struggle ever since. The grim record exposed in Democracy Detained should shame people who care for their country and its future, and encourage them to use the legacy of freedom they enjoy to put an end to these disgraceful crimes.”

“Be afraid, be deeply afraid: government secrecy, prisoners held without counsels, charges or trials; torture—both legalized and outsourced, unabashed racial profiling, disappearances, indefinite detentions, wire taps, government surveillance. This is the stuff of despotic regimes. Welcome to George W. Bush's America. In this meticulously-cited work, Barbara Olshansky does a brilliant and relentless job unraveling how the Bush administration is violating the U.S. Constitution, international human rights, and the civic integrity of this country. Everyone must read this book now, then get out there and get angry and fight with your life to save our freedom and democracy.”

blog — January 11

In Memory of Nat Hentoff

We mourn the death of our friend and author Nat Hentoff, a great man, deeply principled, intolerant of intolerance.
Nat's book The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance was one of the top-selling books of 2003 on the dangers of the USA PATRIOT Act and related opportunistic responses to 9-11 on the part of our government in Washington, highly praised and widely read ("A deft primer that forcefully makes the civil libertarian's case."—Washington Post; "Remarkably comprehensive and highly readable."—LA Times)

Nat Hentoff was one of a kind and irreplaceable, whether writing about jazz, or about his friend US Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, or his other great friend the First Amendment to the US Constitution. A charming and funny man who took things very seriously that interested him, we're honored to have known and worked with him, and will miss his fierceness especially in the coming years.

Barbara Olshansky

Barbara Olshansky is the Leah Kaplan Distinguished Professor in Human Rights at Stanford University. Previously, she served as deputy legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and director counsel of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative there. She was one of the lead attorneys in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that resulted in a decision allowing the nearly 600 detainees held at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba to challenge their unlawful indefinite detentions. Olshansky is the co-author of The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing George W. Bush from Office, among other titles, and the author of Secret Trials and Executions: Military Tribunals and the Threat to Democracy and Democracy Detained: Secret Unconstitutional Practices in the U.S. War on Terror. She lives in California.

Nat Hentoff

A prolific author, journalist and longtime weekly columnist at the Village Voice, NAT HENTOFF has won the National Press Foundation Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism, the American Bar Association Certificate of Merit for Coverage of the Criminal Justice System, and the Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Cause of Civil Liberties. He is the author of Democracy Detained  and The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance.