Despite our constitutional guarantees of such absolute rights as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," there are always pressures from certain segments of our society to limit personal freedom, to lessen self-government, to deny equality to all citizens. The civil libertariana person who believes that the Constitution is worth preserving and is willing to fight for the ideals it expressesis active on a multitude of fronts today: freedom of speech and press, censorship, religion, police power, civil rights, democracy within unions, the right of privacy, academic freedom.
This book deals with some of the major concerns of civil liberties today. It is not an attempt to make headlines or interpret the headlines; its eight chapters provide background information and lend perspective. The essays, written by men and women who have been active in the American Civil Liberties Union, range widely in theme. Elmer Rice, for example, writes about the stranglehold of censorship.; Michael Harrington examines the problems of democracy within unions; Walter Millis discusses the legacy of the cold war. The opinions they express are their own, and if their perspectives happen to coincide with official policy of the ACLU it is because these authors in many cases helped shape those policies.