POINTS OF REBELLION by William O. Douglas


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This slim book on dissenters, anti-dissenters, and the current ills of American society adds another volume to Justice Douglas' threescore published works, but adds little to the Sixties-spawned social issues disputation other than the weight of a Supreme Court opinion. That weight descends heavily upon creeping conformity, mounting Big Brother invasions of privacy, the growing subservience of man to machine, bureaucratic mediocrity, Pentagon power, the despoiling of the earth, and current welfare practices. Though he deplores at some length the watering down and even discarding of our First Amendment traditions, his comments on the whole are generalized-superficial rather than specialized-judicial. Douglas has disdain for the policies of Madison Avenue and Washington, D.C. (""today's Establishment is the new George III"") and sympathy for the frustration that breeds violence, but he exhibits a surprising optimism for the future: ""This period of dissent based on belief in man will indeed be our great renaissance."" The ""Start Towards Restructuring Our Society"" would involve a reallocation of resources, a restructuring of laws, and control or surveillance of key administrative agencies. Well-worn points.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1970
Publisher: Random House