Los Angeles 15th November 2007 Bill O'Reilly c/o HarperCollins 10 East 53 Street, 7th Floor New York NY 10022-5299 Mr O'Reilly (and Mr Flowers), This surely is not the first letter you've had about this, but just in case, I thought I'd send it to you anyway. I refer to your first sentence on page 16 of your recent book, Kids Are Americans Too (the First Edition, 2007): For openers, the Constitution does not guarantee all of us "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". That language is found in the Declaration of Independence, written a little more than a decade earlier (1776). With all due respect, this is an egregious error for a book published by so reputable a company as William Morrow/HarperCollins, not to mention the fact that 1) it is a basic element of American History that the kids you (rightly) value so much may now get wrong, and 2) you base some of your other arguments on this mistake. The implications are much greater than you might think. Can you imagine someone invoking "the pursuit of happiness" as a Constitutional right? Personally, I think it would be a great idea and should become the next Amendment (instead of the Federal Marriage Amendment which you subtly advocate on pp.18 and 52, where you imply that such an amendment is pending), but somehow I don't think you'd like that scenario all that much. Elsewhere in your book, your obvious bias against the ACLU is a serious compromise to the integrity of your premise. But then, the premise of telling kids about their rights is already compromised by the lack of clarity on that issue in your book. What your book does somewhat better -- though still not worthy of your audience, because it isn't developed enough -- is give a summary-level civics lesson about how government works. Finally I will say, as an educator myself, that the style you've chosen for your presentation is ill-advised. It tends to "dumb- down" the language and put kids in a position of requiring less discipline of themselves as a reader, and of expecting more MTV-type stimulation from their schools and other sources of information before they reach the motivation threshold necessary for learning and retention. It's regrettable, and would have been improved perhaps by a compromise between a literate academic approach and a toned-down informal style. But then, you may know your audience better than I -- or you may be directing your work to a different audience than I assume it to be. I have done some research in the area of young people's rights for I, too, write advice for children and teens. Without comment on their positions or slants, I can suggest the following somewhat older sources to broaden your perspective, if you're interested: Richard Farson. Birthrights: A Bill of Rights for Children. New York: Macmillan, 1974 Beatrice Gross and Ronald Gross (Editors). The Children's Rights Movement: Overcoming the Oppression of Young People. Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1977. Hyman Rodman, Susan H. Lewis and Saralyn B. Griffith. The Sexual Rights of Adolescents: Competence, Vulnerability, and Parental Control. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984. I'm putting your book next to these on my shelf. Hillary Rodham Clinton's It Takes a Village (2006) is already there! Constructively, Gerald Jones, Ph.D. <&c., &c.>