When Was This Written?

Freedom is diminished daily; the excesses of reaction and repression become larger and bolder; the unthinkable glows forth on our television screens each night, and the unspeakable flows glibly from the mouths of high government officials.  Scores of… young black militants have been murdered, and hundreds more have been wounded and jailed.  In Washington, the words “preventive detention” are no dirtier than equivalent phrases in Berlin were in 1936; resistance to desegregation is being openly led by the country’s chief legal official; and the President of the United States seems not the least bit ashamed to nominate to the Supreme Court a man who appears to be a bigot and racist.  Every week brings a new piece of bad news as the courts become more outrageously political, the police more blatantly violent.

And the answer is…

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1971!

The passage is from the most dogmatic book I’ve read all year, William Ryan‘s classic Blaming the Victim.

P.S. The unedited second sentence begins, “Scores of Black Panthers and other young black militants,” which obviously would have given the approximate year away.

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Bryan Caplan

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Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, named “the best political book of the year” by the New York Times, and Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent Is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN.

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