The Death of Common Sense

Author: Philip K. Howard
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780679644101
Release Date: 2011-05-03
Genre: Law

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “We need a new idea of how to govern. The current system is broken. Law is supposed to be a framework for humans to make choices, not the replacement for free choice.” So notes Philip K. Howard in the new Afterword to his explosive manifesto The Death of Common Sense. Here Howard offers nothing less than a fresh, lucid, practical operating system for modern democracy. America is drowning—in law, lawsuits, and nearly endless red tape. Before acting or making a decision, we often abandon our best instincts. We pause, we worry, we equivocate, and then we divert our energy into trying to protect ourselves. Filled with one too many examples of bureaucratic overreach, The Death of Common Sense demonstrates how we—and our country—can at last get back on track.

The Death of Common Sense

Author: Philip K. Howard
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 9780812982749
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Law

In this attack on legal regulations and bureaucratic red tape, a corporate lawyer shows how rules interfere with common sense and have taken away citizens' power to make decisions.

The Rule of Nobody Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government

Author: Philip K. Howard
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393242119
Release Date: 2014-04-14
Genre: Law

The secret to good government is a question no one in Washington is asking: “What’s the right thing to do?” What’s wrong in Washington is deeper than you think. Yes, there’s gridlock, polarization, and self-dealing. But hidden underneath is something bigger and more destructive. It’s a broken governing system. From that comes wasteful government, rising debt, failing schools, expensive health care, and economic hardship. Rules have replaced leadership in America. Bureaucracy, regulation, and outmoded law tie our hands and confine policy choices. Nobody asks, “What’s the right thing to do here?” Instead, they wonder, “What does the rule book say?” There’s a fatal flaw in America’s governing system—trying to decree correctness through rigid laws will never work. Public paralysis is the inevitable result of the steady accretion of detailed rules. America is now run by dead people—by political leaders from the past who enacted mandatory programs that churn ahead regardless of waste, irrelevance, or new priorities. America needs to radically simplify its operating system and give people—officials and citizens alike—the freedom to be practical. Rules can’t accomplish our goals. Only humans can get things done. In The Rule of Nobody Philip K. Howard argues for a return to the framers’ vision of public law—setting goals and boundaries, not dictating daily choices. This incendiary book explains how America went wrong and offers a guide for how to liberate human ingenuity to meet the challenges of this century.

The Lost Art of Drawing the Line

Author: Philip K. Howard
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780375506994
Release Date: 2001-06-12
Genre: Law

The Lost Art of Drawing the Line will appall and irritate — and entertain — readers every bit as much as Philip Howard’s first book. Why is it that no one can fix the schools? Why do ordinary judgements fill doctors with fear? Why are seesaws disappearing from playgrounds? Why has a wave of selfish people overtaken America? In our effort to protect the individual against unfair decisions, we have created a society where no one’s in charge of anything. Silly lawsuits strike fear in our hearts because judges don’t think they have the authority to dismiss them. Inner-city schools are filthy and mired in a cycle of incompetence because no one has the authority to decide who’s doing the job and who’s not. When no one’s in charge, we all lose our link to the common good. When principals lack authority over schools, of what use are the parents’ views? When no one can judge right and wrong, why not be as selfish as you can be? Philip Howard traces our well-meaning effort to protect individuals through the twentieth century, with the unintended result that we have lost much of our individual freedom. Buttressed with scores of stories that make you want to collar the next self-centered jerk or hapless bureaucrat, The Lost Art of Drawing the Line demonstrates once again that Philip Howard is “trying to drive us all sane.”

Life Without Lawyers Restoring Responsibility in America

Author: Philip K. Howard
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393072389
Release Date: 2010-02-01
Genre: Social Science

How to restore the can-do spirit that made America great, from the author of the best-selling The Death of Common Sense. Americans are losing the freedom to make sense of daily choices—teachers can’t maintain order in the classroom, managers are trained to avoid candor, schools ban tag, and companies plaster inane warnings on everything: “Remove Baby Before Folding Stroller.” Philip K. Howard’s urgent argument is full of examples, often darkly humorous. He describes the historical and cultural forces that led to this mess and lays out the basic shift in approach needed to fix it. Today we are flooded with legal threats that prevent us from taking responsibility. We must rebuild boundaries of law that protect an open field of freedom. The voices here will ring true to every reader. The analysis is powerful, and the solution unavoidable. What’s at stake, Howard explains in this seminal book, is the vitality of American culture.

Law in America

Author: Lawrence M. Friedman
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 9781588362506
Release Date: 2002-07-30
Genre: History

“Law in America is a little gem. It is a peerless introduction to our legal history—concise, clear, tellingly told, and beautifully written. The greatest living historian of American law has done it again.” —Stanley N. Katz, former president of the American Society for Legal History and the Organization of American Historians “All societies have laws, but neither all laws nor all legal systems are alike. No one has thought more deeply or written more clearly about the peculiar role of law in American life than Lawrence Friedman. In this trenchant, illuminating book, he distills a lifetime of scholarship and teaching into a concise and provocative explanation of the role that law has played in shaping the distinctive contours of American history and culture.” —David M. Kennedy, professor of history at Stanford University and author of Freedom from Fear Throughout America’s history, our laws have been a reflection of who we are, of what we value, of who has control. They embody our society’s genetic code. In the masterful hands of the subject’s greatest living historian, the story of the evolution of our laws serves to lay bare the deciding struggles over power and justice that have shaped this country from its birth pangs to the present. Law in America is a supreme example of the historian’s art, its brevity a testament to the great elegance and wit of its composition.

High rise Security and Fire Life Safety

Author: Geoff Craighead
Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann
ISBN: 9780750674553
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Business & Economics

This title provides the reader with complete coverage of high-rise security and safety issues. It includes comprehensive sample documentation, diagrams and photographs to aid in developing security and fire life safety programs

In Praise of Litigation

Author: Alexandra Lahav
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199380817
Release Date: 2017-01-02
Genre: Law

While the right to have one's day in court is a cherished feature of the American democratic system, alarms that the United States is hopelessly litigious and awash in frivolous claims have become so commonplace that they are now a fixture in the popular imagination. According to this view, litigation wastes precious resources, stifles innovation and productivity, and corrodes our social fabric and the national character. Calls for reform have sought, often successfully, to limit people's access to the court system, most often by imposing technical barriers to bringing suit. Alexandra Lahav's In Praise of Litigation provides a much needed corrective to this flawed perspective, reminding us of the irreplaceable role of litigation in a well-functioning democracy and debunking many of the myths that cloud our understanding of this role. For example, the vast majority of lawsuits in the United States are based on contract claims, the median value of lawsuits is on a downward trend, and, on a per capita basis, many fewer lawsuits are filed today than were filed in the 19th century. Exploring cases involving freedom of speech, foodborne illness, defective cars, business competition, and more, the book shows that despite its inevitable limitations, litigation empowers citizens to challenge the most powerful public and private interests and hold them accountable for their actions. Lawsuits change behavior, provide information to consumers and citizens, promote deliberation, and express society's views on equality and its most treasured values. In Praise of Litigation shows how our court system protects our liberties and enables civil society to flourish, and serves as a powerful reminder of why we need to protect people's ability to use it. The tort reform movement has had some real successes in limiting what can reach the courts, but there have been victims too. As Alexandra Lahav shows, it has become increasingly difficult for ordinary people to enforce their rights. In the grand scale of lawsuits, actually crazy or bogus lawsuits constitute a tiny minority; in fact, most anecdotes turn out to be misrepresentations of what actually happened. In In Praise of Litigation, Lahav argues that critics are blinded to the many benefits of lawsuits. The majority of lawsuits promote equality before the law, transparency, and accountability. Our ability to go to court is a sign of our strength as a society and enables us to both participate in and reinforce the rule of law. In addition, joining lawsuits gives citizens direct access to governmental officials-judges-who can hear their arguments about issues central to our democracy, including the proper extent of police power and the ability of all people to vote. It is at least arguable that lawsuits have helped spur major social changes in arenas like race relations and marriage rights, as well as made products safer and forced wrongdoers to answer for their conduct. In this defense, Lahav does not ignore the obvious drawbacks to litigiousness. It is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. Certainly, sensible reforms could make the system better. However, many of the proposals that have been adopted and are currently on the table seek only to solve problems that do not exist or to make it harder for citizens to defend their rights and to enforce the law. This is not the answer. In Praise of Litigation offers a level-headed and law-based assessment of the state of litigation in America as well as a number of practical steps that can be taken to ensure citizens have the right to defend themselves against wrongs while not odiously infringing on the rights of others.

For Common Things

Author: Jedediah Purdy
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307757272
Release Date: 2010-11-24
Genre: Philosophy

Jedediah Purdy calls For Common Things his "letter of love for the world's possibilities." Indeed, these pages--which garnered a flurry of attention among readers and in the media--constitute a passionate and persuasive testament to the value of political, social, and community reengagement. Drawing on a wide range of literary and cultural influences--from the writings of Montaigne and Thoreau to the recent popularity of empty entertainment and breathless chroniclers of the technological age--Purdy raises potent questions about our stewardship of civic values. Most important, Purdy offers us an engaging, honest, and bracing reminder of what is crucial to the healing and betterment of society, and impels us to consider all that we hold in common.

Methland

Author: Nick Reding
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781608192076
Release Date: 2010-06-03
Genre: Psychology

Traces the efforts of a small Iowa community to counter the pervasiveness of crystal methamphetamine, in an account that offers insight into the drug's appeal while chronicling the author's numerous visits with the town's doctor, the local prosecutor and a long-time addict. Reprint. A best-selling book.

A Passion for Leadership

Author: Robert M. Gates
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780307959492
Release Date: 2016-01
Genre: Business & Economics

"Across the realms of civic and private enterprise alike, bureaucracies vitally impact our security, freedoms, and everyday life. With so much at stake, competence, efficiency, and effective service are essential; yet Americans know these institutions are often anything but, and many despair that they are too big and too hard to reform. Robert Gates disagrees. Having led change successfully at three monumental organizations--the CIA, Texas A&M University, and the Department of Defense--he argues that smart, committed leadership can effect real improvement regardless of scale. He offers us the ultimate insider's look at how major institutions can be transformed that is by turns startling, heartening, and always instructive. Through his own experience and other examples of leadership (both successful and failed), Gates offers practical, nuanced advice for leaders at all levels of an organization, and for those who aspire to such a role. He brings the full weight of his wisdom, candor, and devotion to civic duty to inspire others to lead urgently needed change."

American Nations

Author: Colin Woodard
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101544457
Release Date: 2011-09-29
Genre: History

An illuminating history of North America's eleven rival cultural regions that explodes the red state-blue state myth. North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard (author of American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good) reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the "blue county/red county" maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future. From the Hardcover edition.

Poor People s Movements

Author: Frances Fox Piven
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307814678
Release Date: 2012-02-08
Genre: Social Science

Have the poor fared best by participating in conventional electoral politics or by engaging in mass defiance and disruption? The authors of the classic Regulating The Poor assess the successes and failures of these two strategies as they examine, in this provocative study, four protest movements of lower-class groups in 20th century America: -- The mobilization of the unemployed during the Great Depression that gave rise to the Workers' Alliance of America -- The industrial strikes that resulted in the formation of the CIO -- The Southern Civil Rights Movement -- The movement of welfare recipients led by the National Welfare Rights Organization.