One of America's most influential social philosophers offers a restatement of traditional liberal-democratic views as they pertain to our constitutional form of government. The topics explored in Sidney Hook's book include the nature and extent of human freedom, the Bill of Rights, judicial review as it pertains to constitutional interpretation and the balance of powers among the three branches of government, censorship, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, social justice, the importance of intelligence in political and moral spheres, as well as civil disobedience and the right to revolution within a democratic order. Here we have a sustained, non-partisan analysis of the place of the Constitution and judicial review within our democracy. Special emphasis is given to reconsidering the proper role of the Supreme Court if and when a Constitutional Convention is convoked to address this and related questions.
Sidney Hook (1902-1989) was professor emeritus at New York University and a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Among his many books are Convictions; Paradoxes of Freedom; The Quest for Being; Reason, Social Myths, and Democracy; and an autobiography, Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century.