American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right (Paperback)

Usually Ships in 1-5 days


An examination of privacy and the evolution of communication, from broken sealing wax to high-tech wiretapping

A sweeping story of the right to privacy as it sped along colonial postal routes, telegraph wires, and even today’s fiber-optic cables, American Privacy traces the lineage of cultural norms and legal mandates that have swirled around the Fourth Amendment since its adoption. Legally, technologically, and historically grounded, Frederick Lane’s book presents a vivid and penetrating exploration that, in the words of people’s historian Howard Zinn, “challenges us to defend our most basic rights.” 

About the Author

A graduate of Amherst College and Boston College Law School, Frederick S. Lane is an author, attorney, expert witness, and lecturer who has written four previous books on how legal issues affect society. He lives with his family in Burlington, Vermont.

Praise for American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right…

“This is a fascinating read for any American who wants a deeper understanding of one of the most important and contentious issues of our age.”—Geoffrey R. Stone, author of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime
American Privacy is a deeply informed discussion of the history and present state of a fundamental American value. Frederick Lane’s detailed account of the attacks against our basic right to privacy is chilling.”—Craig Newmark, founder, craigslist
“From its humble beginnings as the right of citizens to not have their houses, papers, and persons searched without warrant, to the complex laws and regulations that we have today, Lane’s book lays out what our privacy is and how easily it can be compromised from all sides.”—Jonathon Howard, Sacramento Book Review
“Frederick Lane’s timely and lucid history lays bare how attacks on privacy by government and industry threaten democracy itself. Essential reading.”—Christopher M. Finan, author of From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act

Product Details ISBN-10: 080700619X
ISBN-13: 9780807006191
Published: Beacon Press, 01/11/2011
Pages: 304
Language: English

View Calendar of Events & Classes

Shopping cart

View your shopping cart.

Upcoming Programs