Book picks similar to
Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans from Too Much Law by Philip K. Howard
The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives
Jesse Eisinger - 2017
The Chickenshit Club—an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs—explains why in “an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism…a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy” (Bloomberg Businessweek).Jesse Eisigner begins the story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. He brings us to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and FBI agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department’s approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department of today, including the prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives.“Brave and elegant….a fearless reporter…Eisinger’s important and profound book takes no prisoners (The Washington Post). Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice. “This book is a wakeup call…a chilling read, and a needed one” (NPR.org).
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
Matt Taibbi - 2014
Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world's wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail.In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends--growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration--come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime--but it's impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side.
You Have the Right to Remain Innocent
James Duane - 2016
Duane became a viral sensation thanks to a 2008 lecture outlining the reasons why you should never agree to answer questions from the police—especially if you are innocent and wish to stay out of trouble with the law. In this timely, relevant, and pragmatic new book, he expands on that presentation, offering a vigorous defense of every citizen’s constitutionally protected right to avoid self-incrimination. Getting a lawyer is not only the best policy, Professor Duane argues, it’s also the advice law-enforcement professionals give their own kids.Using actual case histories of innocent men and women exonerated after decades in prison because of information they voluntarily gave to police, Professor Duane demonstrates the critical importance of a constitutional right not well or widely understood by the average American. Reflecting the most recent attitudes of the Supreme Court, Professor Duane argues that it is now even easier for police to use your own words against you. This lively and informative guide explains what everyone needs to know to protect themselves and those they love.
We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights
Adam Winkler - 2018
Hardly oppressed like women and minorities, business corporations, too, have fought since the nation’s earliest days to gain equal rights under the Constitution—and today have nearly all the same rights as ordinary people.Exposing the historical origins of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, Adam Winkler explains how those controversial Supreme Court decisions extending free speech and religious liberty to corporations were the capstone of a centuries-long struggle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business. Beginning his account in the colonial era, Winkler reveals the profound influence corporations had on the birth of democracy and on the shape of the Constitution itself. Once the Constitution was ratified, corporations quickly sought to gain the rights it guaranteed. The first Supreme Court case on the rights of corporations was decided in 1809, a half-century before the first comparable cases on the rights of African Americans or women. Ever since corporations have waged a persistent and remarkably fruitful campaign to win an ever-greater share of individual rights.Although corporations never marched on Washington, they employed many of the same strategies of more familiar civil rights struggles: civil disobedience, test cases, and novel legal claims made in a purposeful effort to reshape the law. Indeed, corporations have often been unheralded innovators in constitutional law, and several of the individual rights Americans hold most dear were first secured in lawsuits brought by businesses.Winkler enlivens his narrative with a flair for storytelling and a colorful cast of characters: among others, Daniel Webster, America’s greatest advocate, who argued some of the earliest corporate rights cases on behalf of his business clients; Roger Taney, the reviled Chief Justice, who surprisingly fought to limit protections for corporations—in part to protect slavery; and Roscoe Conkling, a renowned politician who deceived the Supreme Court in a brazen effort to win for corporations the rights added to the Constitution for the freed slaves. Alexander Hamilton, Teddy Roosevelt, Huey Long, Ralph Nader, Louis Brandeis, and even Thurgood Marshall all played starring roles in the story of the corporate rights movement.In this heated political age, nothing can be timelier than Winkler’s tour de force, which shows how America’s most powerful corporations won our most fundamental rights and turned the Constitution into a weapon to impede the regulation of big business.
Courting Justice: From NY Yankees v. Major League Baseball to Bush v. Gore, 1997-2000
David Boies - 2004
16 pages of photos.
Men in Black: How Judges are Destroying America
Mark R. Levin - 2005
Levin in his explosive book, Men in Black. “But today, our out-of-control Supreme Court imperiously strikes down laws and imposes new ones to suit its own liberal whims––robbing us of our basic freedoms and the values on which our country was founded.” In Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America , Levin exposes countless examples of outrageous Supreme Court abuses, from promoting racism in college admissions, expelling God and religion from the public square, forcing states to confer benefits on illegal aliens, and endorsing economic socialism to upholding partial-birth abortion, restraining political speech, and anointing terrorists with rights. Levin writes: “Barely one hundred justices have served on the United States Supreme Court. They’re unelected, they’re virtually unaccountable, they’re largely unknown to most Americans, and they serve for life…in many ways the justices are more powerful than members of Congress and the president.… As few as five justices can and do dictate economic, cultural, criminal, and security policy for the entire nation.” In Men in Black, you will learn: How the Supreme Court protects virtual child pornography and flag burning as forms of free speech but denies teenagers the right to hear an invocation mentioning God at a high school graduation ceremony because it might be “coercive.” How a former Klansman and virulently anti-Catholic Supreme Court justice inserted the words “wall of separation” between church and state in a 1947 Supreme Court decision––a phrase repeated today by those who claim to stand for civil liberty. How Justice Harry Blackmun, a one-time conservative appointee and the author of Roe v. Wade, was influenced by fan mail much like an entertainer or politician, which helped him to evolve into an ardent activist for gay rights and against the death penalty. How the Supreme Court has dictated that illegal aliens have a constitutional right to attend public schools, and that other immigrants qualify for welfare benefits, tuition assistance, and even civil service jobs.
America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System
Steven Brill - 2015
It’s a fly-on-the-wall account of the titanic fight to pass a 961-page law aimed at fixing America’s largest, most dysfunctional industry. It’s a penetrating chronicle of how the profiteering that Brill first identified in his trailblazing Time magazine cover story continues, despite Obamacare. And it is the first complete, inside account of how President Obama persevered to push through the law, but then failed to deal with the staff incompetence and turf wars that crippled its implementation. But by chance America’s Bitter Pill ends up being much more—because as Brill was completing this book, he had to undergo urgent open-heart surgery. Thus, this also becomes the story of how one patient who thinks he knows everything about healthcare “policy” rethinks it from a hospital gurney—and combines that insight with his brilliant reporting. The result: a surprising new vision of how we can fix American healthcare so that it stops draining the bank accounts of our families and our businesses, and the federal treasury. Praise for America’s Bitter Pill “A tour de force . . . a comprehensive and suitably furious guide to the political landscape of American healthcare . . . persuasive, shocking.”—The New York Times “An energetic, picaresque, narrative explanation of much of what has happened in the last seven years of health policy . . . [Brill] has pulled off something extraordinary.” —The New York Times Book Review “A thunderous indictment of what Brill refers to as the ‘toxicity of our profiteer-dominated healthcare system.’ ”—Los Angeles Times “A sweeping and spirited new book [that] chronicles the surprisingly juicy tale of reform.”—The Daily Beast “One of the most important books of our time.”—Walter Isaacson “Superb . . . Brill has achieved the seemingly impossible—written an exciting book about the American health system.”—The New York Review of Books
How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School
Kathryne Young - 2018
Each new crop experiences startlingly high rates of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and dissatisfaction. Kathryne M. Young was one of those disgruntled law students. After finishing law school (and a PhD), she set out to learn more about the law school experience and how to improve it for future students. Young conducted one of the most ambitious studies of law students ever undertaken, charting the experiences of over 1000 law students from over 100 different law schools, along with hundreds of alumni, dropouts, law professors, and more.How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School is smart, compelling, and highly readable. Combining her own observations and experiences with the results of her study and the latest sociological research on law schools, Young offers a very different take from previous books about law school survival. Instead of assuming her readers should all aspire to law-review-and-big-firm notions of success, Young teaches students how to approach law school on their own terms: how to tune out the drumbeat of oppressive expectations and conventional wisdom to create a new breed of law school experience altogether.Young provides readers with practical tools for finding focus, happiness, and a sense of purpose while facing the seemingly endless onslaught of problems law school presents daily. This book is an indispensable companion for today's law students, prospective law students, and anyone who cares about making law students' lives better. Bursting with warmth, realism, and a touch of firebrand wit, How to Be Sort of Happy in Law School equips law students with much-needed wisdom for thriving during those three crucial years.
Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law
Preet Bharara - 2019
Using case histories, personal experiences and his own inviting writing and teaching style, Preet Bharara shows the thought process we need to best achieve truth and justice in our daily lives and within our society.Preet Bharara has spent much of his life examining our legal system, pushing to make it better, and prosecuting those looking to subvert it. Bharara believes in our system and knows it must be protected, but to do so, we must also acknowledge and allow for flaws in the system and in human nature. The book is divided into four sections: Inquiry, Accusation, Judgment and Punishment. He shows why each step of this process is crucial to the legal system, but he also shows how we all need to think about each stage of the process to achieve truth and justice in our daily lives. Bharara uses anecdotes and case histories from his legal career--the successes as well as the failures--to illustrate the realities of the legal system, and the consequences of taking action (and in some cases, not taking action, which can be just as essential when trying to achieve a just result). Much of what Bharara discusses is inspiring--it gives us hope that rational and objective fact-based thinking, combined with compassion, can truly lead us on a path toward truth and justice. Some of what he writes about will be controversial and cause much discussion. Ultimately, it is a thought-provoking, entertaining book about the need to find the humanity in our legal system--and in our society.
Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry
Helaine Olen - 2012
There’s just one problem: those and many similar statements are false. For the past few decades, Americans have spent billions of dollars on personal finance products. As salaries have stagnated and companies have cut back on benefits, we’ve taken matters into our own hands, embracing the can-do attitude that if we’re smart enough, we can overcome even daunting financial obstacles. But that’s not true. In this meticulously reported and shocking book, journalist and former financial columnist Helaine Olen goes behind the curtain of the personal finance industry to expose the myths, contradictions, and outright lies it has perpetuated. She shows how an industry that started as a response to the Great Depression morphed into a behemoth that thrives by selling us products and services that offer little if any help. Olen calls out some of the biggest names in the business, revealing how even the most respected gurus have engaged in dubious, even deceitful, practices—from accepting payments from banks and corporations in exchange for promoting certain products to blaming the victims of economic catastrophe for their own financial misfortune. Pound Foolish also disproves many myths about spending and saving, including:Small pleasures can bankrupt you: Gurus popularized the idea that cutting out lattes and other small expenditures could make us millionaires. But reducing our caffeine consumption will not offset our biggest expenses: housing, education, health care, and retirement.Disciplined investing will make you rich: Gurus also love to show how steady investing can turn modest savings into a huge nest egg at retirement. But these calculations assume a healthy market and a lifetime without any setbacks—two conditions that have no connection to the real world.Women need extra help managing money: Product pushers often target women, whose alleged financial ignorance supposedly leaves them especially at risk. In reality, women and men are both terrible at handling finances.Financial literacy classes will prevent future economic crises: Experts like to claim mandatory sessions on personal finance in school will cure many of our money ills. Not only is there little evidence this is true, the entire movement is largely funded and promoted by the financial services sector. Weaving together original reporting, interviews with experts, and studies from disciplines ranging from behavioral economics to retirement planning, Pound Foolish is a compassionate and compelling book that will change the way we think and talk about our money.
Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom
Ron Paul - 2011
The term "Liberty" is so commonly used in our country that it has become a mere cliche. But do we know what it means? What it promises? How it factors into our daily lives? And most importantly, can we recognize tyranny when it is sold to us disguised as a form of liberty? Dr. Paul writes that to believe in liberty is not to believe in any particular social and economic outcome. It is to trust in the spontaneous order that emerges when the state does not intervene in human volition and human cooperation. It permits people to work out their problems for themselves, build lives for themselves, take risks and accept responsibility for the results, and make their own decisions. It is the seed of America. This is a comprehensive guide to Dr. Paul's position on fifty of the most important issues of our times, from Abortion to Zionism. Accessible, easy to digest, and fearless in its discussion of controversial topics, Liberty Defined sheds new light on a word that is losing its shape.
Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
Eric Klinenberg - 2012
In 1950, only 22 percent of American adults were single. Today, more than 50 percent of American adults are single, and 31 million, roughly one out of every seven adults, live alone. People who live alone make up 28 percent of all U.S. households, which makes them more common than any other domestic unit, including the nuclear family. In Going Solo, renowned sociologist and author Eric Klinenberg proves that these numbers are more than just a passing trend. They are, in fact, evidence of the biggest demographic shift since the Baby Boom: we are learning to go solo, and crafting new ways of living in the process.Klinenberg explores the dramatic rise of solo living, and examines the seismic impact it’s having on our culture, business, and politics. Though conventional wisdom tells us that living by oneself leads to loneliness and isolation, Klinenberg shows that most solo dwellers are deeply engaged in social and civic life. In fact, compared with their married counterparts, they are more likely to eat out and exercise, go to art and music classes, attend public events and lectures, and volunteer. There’s even evidence that people who live alone enjoy better mental health than unmarried people who live with others and have more environmentally sustainable lifestyles than families, since they favor urban apartments over large suburban homes. Drawing on over three hundred in-depth interviews with men and women of all ages and every class, Klinenberg reaches a startling conclusion: in a world of ubiquitous media and hyperconnectivity, this way of life can help us discover ourselves and appreciate the pleasure of good company.With eye-opening statistics, original data, and vivid portraits of people who go solo, Klinenberg upends conventional wisdom to deliver the definitive take on how the rise of living alone is transforming the American experience. Going Solo is a powerful and necessary assessment of an unprecedented social change.
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
Glenn Greenwald - 2014
That source turned out to be the twenty-nine-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency's widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy.Now Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity eleven-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA's unprecedented abuse of power with documents from the Snowden archive. Fearless and incisive, No Place to Hide has already sparked outrage around the globe and been hailed by voices across the political spectrum as an essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.
The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy
Michael Lewis - 2018
Nobody appeared. Across all departments the stories were the same: Trump appointees were few and far between; those who did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace.Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative of the Trump administration’s botched presidential transition takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its leaders through willful ignorance and greed. The government manages a vast array of critical services that keep us safe and underpin our lives, from ensuring the safety of our food and medications and predicting extreme weather events to tracking and locating black- market uranium before the terrorists do. The Fifth Risk masterfully and vividly unspools the consequences of what happens when the people given control over our government have no idea how it works.
The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
Jonathan Haidt - 2018
These three Great Untruths are part of a larger philosophy that sees young people as fragile creatures who must be protected and supervised by adults. But despite the good intentions of the adults who impart them, the Great Untruths are harming kids by teaching them the opposite of ancient wisdom and the opposite of modern psychological findings on grit, growth, and antifragility. The result is rising rates of depression and anxiety, along with endless stories of college campuses torn apart by moralistic divisions and mutual recriminations. This is a book about how we got here. First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt take us on a tour of the social trends stretching back to the 1980s that have produced the confusion and conflict on campus today, including the loss of unsupervised play time and the birth of social media, all during a time of rising political polarization. This is a book about how to fix the mess. The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life, with devastating consequences for them, for their parents, for the companies that will soon hire them, and for a democracy that is already pushed to the brink of violence over its growing political divisions. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.