FRONTIERS OF CIVIL LIBERTIES by Norman Dorsen

FRONTIERS OF CIVIL LIBERTIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The strength of Professor Dorsen's book is that it explains civil liberties through documents which the ordinary citizen rarely encounters. The book consists of excerpts from briefs of cases argued before the Supreme Court -- among them the Estes case (trial by television), the Gault case (jury trial for juveniles), and the Gideon case (right to choose counsel). The issues are also aired in exploratory memoranda and articles most of which have appeared in law reviews or professional bulletins, and in analyses prepared for the ACLU or the NAACP. Each chapter is accompanied by a careful introduction to the specific case and a report on where the issue stands in the courts today. Dorsen, who heads the New York University Law School's unique civil liberties program, wrote most of this material in preparation for his own cases, often with the help of young legal scholars. Some reports, however, are by such distinguished ""scholar-advocates"" as Alexander Bickel, Paul Bator, and Elizabeth Wickenden. The late Senator Kennedy wrote the foreward, and Dean Pollack of Yale Law School wrote the introduction. The book is difficult reading and might best be read as a companion to ACLU-er Alan Reitman's collection of position papers The Price of Liberty (p. 804). Dorsen's book differs in that it presents ""the range and importance of the constitutional issues"" through the lawyers' own ""implements."" Hence, it is a sourcebook -- and a highly competent one.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1968
Publisher: Pantheon