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Freedom of Information Day at NYPL: A Booklist


The Capitol, Washington D. C., Digital ID 62721, New York Public Library

The recent activities of Wikileaks and Julian Assange have once again reignited the controversy of the degree to which the public has a right to unfettered access to government information.  This year, Freedom of Information Day is being observed nationally on March 16.  At The New York Public Library, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the New York Times, David Barstow, has been invited to speak at the Science, Industry and Business Library on the topic of the Freedom of Information Act and how it affects the work of journalists.  The following titles focusing on freedom of expression and access to government information are available in the library's branch collections.

Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website

Daniel Domscheit-Berg/Crown Publishers, 2011.

Assange's former no. 2 at Wikileaks explains how the organization's secrecy and concentration of power in the hands of Assange led to his decision to leave in 2010.


Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assage's War on Secrecy

David Leigh/Public Affairs, 2011.

The Guardian newpaper's profile of Assange and how his activities have forced a fresh perspective on the ethics and political repercussions of government secrecy.


The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

Evgeny Morozov/Public Affairs, 2011

A deconstruction of the internet as a transparent instrument of social and political change or whether its unregulated nature has actually done greater harm to society in the dissemination of biased, undocumented information.  


Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media and the Rule of Law

Gabriel Schoenfeld/W.W. Norton, 2010.

Author argues for the necessity of maintaining government secrets in regard to national security and placing some limits on a free press.


Finding Jefferson: a Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery, and the First Amendment in an Age of Terrorism

Alan M. Dershowitz/John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

An examination of a letter authored by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 addressing the limits of free speech and its potential cause and effect relationship to harmful conduct and acts of terrorism.


Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: a Biography of the First Amendment

Anthony Lewis/Basic Books, 2007.

An explanation of the evolution of the First Amendment in the United States and its subsequent effect on freedom of the press.


Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment

Floyd Abrams/Viking Penguin, 2005.

First Amendment rights attorney Abrams recounts cases in which he was involved and how their successful defense lead to a greater extension of First Amendment protections.


Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press

Kristina Borjesson/Prometheus Books, 2004.

 Collection of articles written by investigative reporters warning of the chilling effect of reprisals against journalists who dare to uncover the truth in matters that affect the well-being of the general public.


All the President's Men

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward/Pocket Books, 2005.

Reprint of 1974 expose of the Nixon Watergate scandal.



Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury/Ballantine Books, 1996.

Reprint of the Bradbury classic in which a "fireman" has a change of heart about his book-burning ways.




George Orwell/Signet, 1949.

A world paralyzed by perpetual war, complete public surveillance and the constant fear of committing a thought crime.


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