The Change Manifesto: Join the Block by Block Movement to Remake America

John W. Whitehead, Author . Sourcebooks $15.95 (393p) ISBN 978-1-4022-1307-6

Joining a chorus of criticisms over post-9/11 changes in U.S. law, Whitehead adds this somewhat muddled laundry list of rights infringements during the past decade. Beginning with a critique of the lack of “meaningful discourse” in contemporary society, the author contends that a mere change in administration will do nothing to ameliorate current circumstances if the American people fail to safeguard their own rights. While he notes that this book is intended as a “freedom manual,” the ensuing pages form more of a collection of grievances that linger in such possible constitutional crises as the bizarre “robofly,” a drone allegedly used by the CIA for domestic spying purposes, and a “Big Brother in the sky” program of satellite surveillance by the Office of Homeland Security. Whitehead's advice for countering such measures remains in the sphere of theoretical exhortations to “[take] responsibility for our own lives” and “stand and fight.” The book does provide a useful primer on the Bill of Rights; however, readers unfamiliar with the “462 words” guaranteeing American freedom are unlikely to slog through the first 200-plus pages of this book to get there. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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