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Opinions Throughout History: National Security vs. Civil & Privacy Rights


National Security vs. Civil & Privacy Rights, the first topic tackled in this new series, couldn’t come at a better time in history. This volume offers a sweeping overview of the shifting tensions and public opinions fueled by Americans’ expectations of privacy vs. their collective desire for national security. Beginning with the seminal “Privacy Rights” article in Harvard Law Review in 1898, and ending with a recent Pew survey on Americans’ Attitudes about Privacy, Security and Surveillance, this first volume makes for a remarkable debut, and illustrates the dramatic shift of opinion, sparked by significant events, including perceived Communist threat, the publication of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, 9.11, and the rash of recent terrorist attacks all around the world.

Diving into how far the government has gone and “should” go in the name of national security, this volume analyzes primary and secondary source documents such as Supreme Court decisions, articles from respected periodicals, and legislation. Coverage includes domestic spying, Apple’s refusal to help with “back door” access of the iPhone, and the differences between President Obama’s and President Trump’s surveillance states. Readers will read first hand of the current challenges to both privacy and national security that pit fears of an emerging surveillance state against a need for national security in a dangerous world. Each chapter includes an introduction and conclusion, bulleted topics covered, expert analysis of the featured document, and discussion questions. The volume includes Primary and Secondary Sources, Timeline, Glossary, Historical Snapshot, Bibliography, and Index.

This exciting new series offers a wide range of insights into long-standing issues that Americans are most concerned about, and those that have encouraged vigorous debate among politicians and citizens at large. Using carefully chosen original documents that cover a wide time span, Opinions Throughout History weaves a thoughtful and easy-to-understand analysis of how public opinion is formed and evolves, starting the discussion at an historical, seminal moment, and ending with where we stand today.

Each volume includes a wide variety – about 30 in all -- of primary and secondary sources, including opinion essays, editorials, speeches, journal articles, court cases and legislation. Documents are reprinted – entirely or excerpted – and supported by detailed narrative written by expert historian Micah Issitt. These important documents are the cornerstone of each chapter, which features:

  • An informative Introduction that sets up the focus of the chapter, highlighting the primary source that is analyzed;
  • A list of Topics Covered in the chapter;
  • The Primary Source Document, clearly indicated and fully cited;
  • Thoughtful Analysis, averaging 1,500 words – that digs into specific sections of the document;
  • Sidebars that offer valuable background information;
  • Photos, cartoons, posters to support the topic and provide fun and informative visuals;
  • A Conclusion that summarizes the chapter and reiterates main points;
  • Discussion Questions to help guide further conversation and debate about these current topics;
  • Works Used to make additional research easy.

In addition, front matter of Opinions Throughout History includes a detailed Timeline of significant events that impacted policy and public opinion, and back matter includes an extensive Historical Snapshot that offers an interesting list of significant firsts -- events, books, movies, legislation, trends – offering a snapshot of what was happening in the U.S. while public opinion was evolving – a Glossary of terms related to national security, and a Bibliography. A detailed Index closes the volume.


View of Full List of titles from the Opinions throughout History Series

Pub. Date: February 2018
Softcover: 727 pages
ISBN: 978-1-68217-720-4
Price: $195
Includes Free Online Access on the Salem Press Platform
e-ISBN: 978-1-68217-721-1
eBook User Price: $244