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Mrs. Shipley's Ghost

The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists

Jeffrey Kahn

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-15

This book owes its life to the paper edition of the New York Times. In October 2006, I stumbled on a short article by Randal Archibold buried on page A10 of the national edition. I doubt that I would have stopped to click a hyperlink to its title, and it is unlikely that a computer algorithm would have selected it for me based on my past reading history. But the first sentence ...

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pp. 1-16

Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil- minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by It was a righteous mission back then, and it is a righteous mission ...

I. Fact

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pp. 17-33

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Chapter One: Travel Stories

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pp. 19-35

Almost everyone has travel stories. The travel stories gathered in this chapter, however, are different. They are not stories of adventure in far- off lands or our own, or descriptions of peoples and places discovered in exotic or familiar locales in the course of work or play. These are the stories of Americans who have been forbidden to travel. They have been summarily ordered to ...

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Chapter Two: “What’s the Point of Being a Citizen?”

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pp. 36-54

Lodi is a small town in San Joaquin County, California, about thirty- five miles south of Sacramento. Drive down Highway 99 toward Lodi and you will see vineyards, cherry orchards, and walnut farms as far as the eye can see. There are more cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, zinfandel, and sauvignon blanc grapes grown here than in all of Napa and Sonoma coun-...

II. Law

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pp. 55-71

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Chapter Three: Freedom of Movement and the Constitution

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pp. 57-80

Travel is a part of America’s DNA. There would be no America without the explorers, settlers, slaves, revolutionaries, and wave after wave of immigrants who all traveled (if not always freely) from a known world to an unknown one, and then continued westward across an uncharted continent. For much of American history, travel was difficult, expensive, and inordinately time- ...

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Chapter Four: A Brief History of the Passport

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pp. 81-94

To fully appreciate the power that Mrs. Shipley once held, one must understand the ever- sharper tool of control she wielded so authoritatively: the passport. From the moment of its creation, the U.S. Government issued passports.1 Their original form and purpose, however, would not be recognized by travelers in Mrs. Shipley’s day or our own.2 And although passports ...

III. Policy

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pp. 95-111

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Chapter Five: Origins: The Extraordinary Mrs. Shipley

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pp. 97-124

To describe Mrs. Shipley’s career is to restate the legal history in chapter 4 in human terms. It is also to tell the story of a remarkably talented woman who Ruth Bielaski was born in 1885 in Montgomery County, Maryland, the daughter of a Methodist minister, and the granddaughter of a Civil War hero and friend of Abraham Lincoln.1 She had a high school education and ...

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Chapter Six: Change: Digitizing Mrs. Shipley

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pp. 125-153

The lessons of the past have been wasted; history not only repeats itself, When Mrs. Shipley began her career, barnstorming was the most common use of an airplane in America. The pictures that hung in Mrs. Shipley’s regional passport offices displayed ocean liners, not aircraft. This reflected the most popular mode of travel, which remained ships, not planes, until 1954, ...

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Chapter Seven: Growth: Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost

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pp. 154-202

In 1925, the State Department’s Division of Passport Control accomplished its work with an index card system.2 By 1953, Mrs. Shipley’s office maintained 1,250 filing cabinets of data on 12,000,000 people.3 In light of this mountain of information, the efficiency of her office was amazing. She made state control over who could travel abroad appear to be a public service—few complained because most...

IV. Principle

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pp. 203-219

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Chapter Eight: Civis Americanus Sum

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pp. 205-231

The Constitution sets forth a variety of fundamental rights, most prominently in the first eight amendments in the Bill of Rights. Over time, rights beyond these enumerated protections have also been found in the Constitution. Though not identified as clearly in the text as the fundamental rights to free speech or religious expression in the First Amendment, or the right ...

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Chapter Nine: What Is to Be Done?

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pp. 232-242

Where discretion is absolute, man has always suffered. At times it has been his property that has been invaded; at times, his privacy; at times, his liberty of movement; at times, his freedom of thought; at times, his life. Absolute discretion is a ruthless master. It is more destructive of “What is to be done” asks both what is likely to be done next with the No ...


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pp. 243-328


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pp. 329-334

Table of Cases

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pp. 335-338


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pp. 339-344

E-ISBN-13: 9780472028832
E-ISBN-10: 0472028839
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472118588
Print-ISBN-10: 0472118587

Page Count: 368
Illustrations: 10 figures, 2 halftones
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 843880850
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Mrs. Shipley's Ghost

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Subject Headings

  • Freedom of movement -- United States.
  • Passports -- United States.
  • Terrorism -- Prevention -- Law and legislation -- United States.
  • Freedom of movement -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • Shipley, Ruth.
  • United States. Passport Office -- History -- 20th century.
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