In England, 1215, the Magna Carta came into being, assuring anyone charged with a crime the right to habeus corpus (safeguard against illegal imprisonment), along with other rights. We are living in a time when this document is being questioned, and in certain places like St. Joseph, has been all but ignored for too long. This book is a fantastic read for anyone interested in justice:
The Magna Carta Manifesto
Liberties and Commons for All
View an interview with the author: http://joun.leb.net/ruspoli03142007.html
Book details: http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10566.html
"There is not a more important historian living today. Period."--Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"Ranging across the centuries, and from England to Asia, Africa and the Americas, Peter Linebaugh shows us the contested history of Magna Carta--how the liberties it invoked were secured and (as today) violated, and how generations of ordinary men and women tried to revive the idea of the commons in the hope of building a better world."--Eric Foner, author of The Story of American Freedom
This remarkable book shines a fierce light on the current state of liberty and shows how longstanding restraints against tyranny--and the rights of habeas corpus, trial by jury, and due process of law, and the prohibition of torture--are being abridged. In providing a sweeping history of Magna Carta, the source of these protections since 1215, this powerful book demonstrates how these ancient rights are repeatedly laid aside when the greed of privatization, the lust for power, and the ambition of empire seize a state. Peter Linebaugh draws on primary sources to construct a wholly original history of the Great Charter and its scarcely-known companion, the Charter of the Forest, which was created at the same time to protect the subsistence rights of the poor.