UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 1, 2009

BOOKSHELF

WORST INSTINCTS:
COWARDICE, CONFORMITY & THE ACLU

Wendy Kaminer

The story of a meltdown of a revered organization. Kaminer was a dissident member of the ACLU national board. She contests the ACLU's post-9/11hypocrisies, including conformity and suppression of dissent in the interests of collegiality, solidarity, or group image; self-censorship by members anxious to avoid ostracism or marginalization by the group; elevation of loyalty to the institution over loyalty to the institution's ideals; substitution of the group's idealized self-image for the reality of its behavior; ad homonym attacks against critics; and deference to cults of personality.

"The willingness to criticize your own based on principles you would apply to others is a measure of integrity. Kaminer's important book about her beloved ACLU has that integrity. She tells a startling, sad, and exceptionally well-documented story." - Ira Glasser, former executive director, ACLU

"Standing up to your political enemies is easy, fun, and often profitable. Taking public issue with your friends and allies on a matter of great principle is none of these, but it is a far more important service to others.." - -Congressman Barney Frank

1 Comments:

Anonymous Lia "training education" Scott said...

Interesting!
Thank you for sharing!

May 3, 2009 7:59 PM  

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