Librarians and Our Liberty
[from the July 17, 2006 issue]
Patriotism, Tom Paine observed, is not best measured in times of national comfort and quiet. It is in times of crisis, when the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots have retreated to the safety of official talking points and unquestioning loyalty, that those who truly understand the meaning and merit of the American experiment come to its defense. On the 230th anniversary of the launch of that experiment, let us reflect on those who have met the test, noting in particular that some of the boldest expressions of patriotism have come from groups not necessarily associated with dissent.