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New Threats To Freedom: From Banning Ice Cream Trucks In Brooklyn To Abandoning Democracy Around The World

2010 non-fiction book edited and introduced by Adam Bellow

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Don't look now but your personal freedoms are under attack by the powers that be in this country.

  • Sep 22, 2010

As this conservative observer sees it the attacks on personal freedom in this country by the Obama administration and their allies in Congress over the past two years has been nothing short of breathtaking.  Millions of Americans like me are deeply concerned about this phenomenon and have become engaged in movements like the Tea Party in an effort to reverse the direction in which America is now headed. Slowly but surely our liberty is being eroded and our choices taken away.  Yet, millions of people still don't get it!  In "New Threats To Freedom:  From Banning Ice Cream Trucks In Brooklyn To Abandoning Democracy Around The World" editor Adam Bellow has assembled an impressive group of 30 writers from around the nation to spell out from their own unique perspectives some of the insidious new threats that are lurking out there.  Many of these threats are quite obvious to anyone who is paying the least bit of attention to what is going on while some others outlined in these articles prove to be real-openers.  There is simply no doubt about it.  Time is of the essence.  The freedoms that we take for granted in America are under attack and unless we reverse course right away the America that we grew up in and cherish will quickly become a distant memory.
So just what kind of threats to our freedom are we talking about here?  Clearly, the majority of Americans are very concerned about government at all levels that seeks to oversee every phase of their lives.  In an article entitled "The Urge To Regulate" Max Borders tells the story of the obstacles he faced in trying to market his homemade barbecue sauce as a sideline.  Max just wanted to earn some extra cash in the same way that his resourceful grandparents might have done.  He would peddle his concoction at flea markets and church bazaars.  Max made the mistake of contacting a local government agency to see what was required and was told that his kitchen would have to be inspected by the county, that he would need a business license and that the county also required proof of business insurance.  Absolutely ridiculous!  In much the same way officials all over the country are trying to put an end to the "pot luck" suppers that churches and fraternal organizations have been putting on for centuries.  Their argument is that someone might get sick from contaminated food brought from home.  My goodness, how have we survived all this time without our government protecting us at every turn?  There seems to be no end to the "nanny" state mentality in this country.
Among the other topics covered in "New Threats To Freedom" are the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", the ever-growing welfare state, the freedom to fail, Multiculturalism, censorship on college campuses and the increasing attacks on philanthropic freedom.  I found Naomi Schaefer Riley's article on that topic to be particularly disturbing.  I thought that the most thought-provoking article in the book was Jessica Gavora's "Single Women as a Threat To Freedom".   In this article I learned that there are currently some 49.5 million female citizens over the age of eighteen who are single, separated, divorced or widowed.  And as the author points out single women reliably pull the lever for Democrats and are largely in favor of most of the social programs being touted by the liberals in this country.  Many of them seem more than happy to substitute the security provided by a government program for that which a husband might have given them.  What is even more interesting is that according to Tom Smith of the University of Chicago "once divorced and separated women get married again, they start to vote like married people again". Really, I had never even thought about single women in this way but when you stop to think about it the author's arguments make perfect sense.  

As you might expect in a book containing some 30 articles some topics are going to interest you more than others.  Overall, I thought this was a great idea for a book and a very timely one indeed.   I think that you will find "New Threats To Freedom:  From Banning Ice Cream Trucks In Brooklyn To Abandoning Democracy Around The World" to be well worth your time.   Highly recommended!

Don't look now but your personal freedoms are under attack by the powers that be in this country. Don't look now but your personal freedoms are under attack by the powers that be in this country.

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January 15, 2011
Amen brother. This book is already in my Amazon Wishlist, so I'm going to push it up the queue. Some really important points here.
September 25, 2010
A very thought-provoking review! The Tom Smith quote (from the Gavora article) seems disingenous, at least in the way you present it here. Do divorced and separated women once they remarry start to vote like married people or do they start to vote like (white, middle-class) men? That is to say, do all married people vote the same enough for that statement to be true? In fact, that entire article would be interesting to see the statistics behind it--does this trend cross all ages, education-level, and ethnicity? Because, frankly, making a general statement about that many people is a very tough thing to prove.
September 24, 2010
That single women argument's intriguing. I predict few scholars, being usually "progressive," will attack their "sisters in solidarity." It may remain a self-fulfilling prophecy.
September 24, 2010
Yes, as I indicated in the review I thought that was the most interesting article in the book. Really, I had never thought about single women in that way but the author of that article sure did make a very convincing argument.
September 24, 2010
In the end most threats to freedom come from the indifference of the public, we get the government we deserve always.
September 24, 2010
Nice review. Could you add it to the Politics Your Way Community?  I live in New York and the ice cream truck comes down my block everyday. I am not sure about Brooklyn. As to the people getting sick from a potluck dinner, I have gotten food poisoning and it is difficult to pinpoint where I got it from. Even then, I was over it within a day or two so how could I possibly sue someone at that point?
January 15, 2011
Just donated this booke to the public library last week. Had I known I would have been happy to send it to you.
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book


In the twentieth century, free people faced a number of mortal threats, ranging from despotism, fascism, and communism to the looming menace of global terrorism. While the struggle against some of these overt dangers continues, some insidious new threats seem to have slipped past our intellectual defenses. These new threats are quietly eroding our hard-won freedoms, often unchallenged and, in some cases, widely accepted as beneficial.

In New Threats to Freedom, editor and author Adam Bellow has assembled an all-star line up of innovative thinkers to challenge these insidious new threats. Some leap into already raging debates on issues such as Sharia law in the West, the rise of transnationalism, and the regulatory state. Others turn their attention to less obvious threats, such as the dogma of fairness, the failed promises of the blogosphere, and the triumph of behavioral psychology. These threats are very real and very urgent, yet this collection avoids projecting an air of doom and gloom. Rather, it provides a blueprint for intellectual resistance so that modern defenders of liberty may better understand their enemies, more effectively fight to preserve the meaning of freedom, and more surely carry its light to a new generation.

Contributors include: Anne Applebaum, Bruce Bawer, Peter Berkowitz, Max Borders, Richard Epstein, Jessica Gavora, Michael Goodwin, Daniel Hannan, Alexander Harrington, Mark Helprin, Christopher Hitchens, James Kirchick, William Kristol, Greg ...

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ISBN-10: 1599473518
ISBN-13: 978-1599473512
Editor: Adam Bellow
Publisher: Templeton Press
Date Published: May 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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