POLICE STATE: Could It Happen Here? by Jules Archer

POLICE STATE: Could It Happen Here?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Prefaced with a reminder of Nixon administration violations and a working definition of ""police state,"" this is mainly a series of predigested, broad-stroke profiles of other totalitarian regimes--most of which have been the subject of previous Archer books. Thus historical highlights and selective impressions of Hitler's Germany, Soviet Russia, and modern China are followed by more rapid tours of ""variations"" on the left (Cuba, Yugoslavia, Eastern Europe) and right (Spain, Chile). By no means is all the material relevant to an examination of how a police state operates or comes into being, though Archer does point out in a simplistic way how ""you"" as a citizen of each of these countries might have been taken in. He doesn't dig very far for cogent commentary, at times seeming content with just about any quotation that represents a balancing viewpoint. For example, after quoting Borlaug's impressed remarks on China's achievements in agriculture, he cites Rep. Millicent Fenwick's ""sense of pity that these wonderful people are caught in the Communist system."" (Is that the level of understanding we're aiming for?) Archer ends with a review of anti-libertarian measures in this country, from the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 to Nixon's attempt at an Imperial Presidency, concluding that ""a police state could happen here. But not if enough informed Americans are aware of dictatorial threats and developments early enough and unite to prevent (them)."" This has only sketchy application toward that end--though it's certainly a convenient shortcut for the impatient student.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row