Friday, July 19, 2013

Not Exactly a Review

The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King's Prerogative to the War on Terror
by Anthony Gregory

Independent Institute / Cambridge University Press, 2013

I first encountered Anthony Gregory's work back at the beginning of the decade, on -- if I recall correctly -- LewRockwell.Com. At the time I considered him the most promising young libertarian writer around, and I've seen nothing in the intervening years to change that evaluation. He writes well, he keeps it interesting and his arguments are morally compelling and thorough in their logic. That's true of his short pieces to this very day, and it's true of his first book.

The main reason this is not really a review is that I'm not an expert on the topic of habeas corpus. Or at least I wasn't before I read the book. I can't tell you that he got everything right, although the heavy footnoting leads me to believe he was thorough in his research.

All I can say with any authority is that I found The Power of Habeas Corpus in America fascinating, that I enjoyed reading it, and that I believe I know a lot more about the topic -- the history, importance and accelerating erosion of authority of the Great Writ -- now than I did before I cracked it open.

And for more than a decade of the fine work I've enjoyed, I owe it to Anthony to say that much, anyway. Do read the book. It's an important topic and Gregory makes reading about it worth your time.

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