Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror

David Cole (Author) Jules Lobel (Author)


In this brilliantly conceived critique, two of the country's leading constitutional scholars argue that the Bush administration's preemptive approach to domestic and international security has not only compromised our character but has in fact made us more vulnerable to future terrorist attacks.

In a groundbreaking analysis of efforts employed in the name of protecting its citizens--preventive detention, coercive interrogation, pretextual prosecutions, registration of Arab and Muslim men, and preventive war--law professors David Cole and Jules Lobel expose the government's abysmal record of failed prosecutions and empty successes. The authors argue that these results, when coupled with the resentment such coercive tactics have engendered throughout the world, have left us less safe than we would be had we employed a more sensible and less controversial preventive strategy. The book concludes by proposing an alternative preventive strategy to guide us into the future.

Already standard reading for those who question the idea that "war" is the appropriate response to terrorism, Less Safe, Less Free offers an eloquent and original argument for a return to the rule of law.

Product Details

$17.95  $16.51
New Press
Publish Date
February 01, 2009
5.32 X 0.94 X 7.98 inches | 0.88 pounds
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About the Author

David Cole is the George Mitchell Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and the legal affairs correspondent for The Nation. He is the author of No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System, the American Book Award-winning Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism, and The Torture Memos: Rationalizing the Unthinkable and is a co-author (with James Dempsey) of Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security and (with Jules Lobel) of Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror, both published by The New Press. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Jules Lobel is the Bessie McKee Wathour Endowed Chair at the University of Pittsburgh, a constitutional lawyer, and an expert on emergency powers and the laws governing war. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


"One of the most important critiques to be put forward so far from the civil libertarians, [Cole and Lobel] offer unsparing criticism, muster their arguments with skill and artistry, and most importantly they offer constructive criticism of the current Bush administration model." --Harper's

"Highly recommended . . . clear, incisive, and informative." --Library Journal

"A resounding argument contra administration policy, more effectively stated than Alan Dershowitz's recent Preemption." --Kirkus