In this rage-inducing, impeccably researched, and timely title, journalist Kirby (Death at SeaWorld, 2012) provides a litany of examples of government disregard for civil liberties. Citing local, state, and federal cases, he writes of police who bust down doors without cause, child welfare investigators who rip children from parents on the flimsiest of excuses, and prosecutors who ignore evidence at will. Kirby is relentless in his research (copious end notes are provided) and readers will reel from one story after another of people who are stunned to discover that their most basic rights (protection against unreasonable search and seizure, for example) can be so casually tossed aside. These are not questionable cases, there is no “I feared for my life” defense of officials to be found here, and in many civil cases brought against governmental entities, civilians have eventually won. But the cost is brutal; people are injured, property is damaged or lost, and children suffer immeasurable pain. The heroes, including librarians, are those who fight back, draw the line, call out the liars, and refuse to ignore the erosion of our civil rights. Kirby names names, brings receipts, and delivers a remarkably apolitical work of stirring power. An absolute must-read. — Colleen Mondor
YA: Easily one of the most inspiring books future teen lawyers could want; it’s no exaggeration to suggest this one could launch thousands of careers. CM.