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Partners Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good Paperback – August 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807043311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807043318
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,249,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Minow makes us aware of changes in our understanding of freedom and democracy and our commitment to provide for basic human needs. This book allows for greater understanding of the overarching philosophical issues that encompass these changes in public policy. --Erin Morris Miller, American School Board Journal

"Minow raises many provocative issues. . . . She writes with concern and conviction. Minow's argument for public-private partnership rather than rivalry is a compelling one." --Michael Bisesi,America: The Catholic Weekly Magazine

About the Author

Martha Minow is professor of law at Harvard Law School and author of numerous books, including Between Vengeance and Forgiveness. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Van W. Kloempken on December 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Save your money. Not only does this book not offer any possible solutions, it doesn't even provide a comprehensive analysis of the problem. It is heavily documented with endnotes (which is good) but the multitude of studies, op-ed pieces and surveys are never really brought into the text and explained. Instead, the book reads as if Ms. Minow summarized each source into a single sentence and then haphazardly strung the sentences together.
The reader is bombarded with constant repetition. Given the subject matter, repetition might not be a bad thing, but here it seems to result more from disorganization than an attempt to clarify important points. Indeed, the reader is left with the impression that the constant citations are meant to make up for the fact that the book reads as if it were dashed off in a series of odd moments stolen from more important duties.
Ms. Minow may be granted some latitude because she is a lawyer and brevity adorned with citation is bread and butter to the bar, but she is not writing for lawyers here and I would suspect that even lawyers would find her polemics redundant and unenlightening. I was eager to read this book, hoping to gain greater insight into the issue of privatization. I was sorely disappointed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By richard weissbourd on October 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Martha Minow's book is a tremendously valuable, engaging guide to thinking about the respective roles of the public and private sector in promoting our common good. With great insight and fair-mindedness, Minow identifies the promises and problems of the shifting roles of the public and private sector in many areas of our lives; schooling, welfare, legal services and health services. I think how we allocate public and private responsibility will have a huge impact on the future of our democracy. There are, as Minow points out, advantages in creating more private responsibility in education, for example. But these pros need to be weighed very carefully against the disturbing prospect of abandoning our commitment to public, integrated schools. As she has in her other books, Minow brings great wisdom to this vital topic.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Rosson on August 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"Partners, Not Rivals" is a disappointment. Minow first introduces the problem of the public good in the context of shifting boundaries between public and private, profit and nonprofit, and religious and secular. But to understand Minow's argument you have to figure out for yourself what she means by the "public good." It's a terribly ambiguous idea, which is perhaps why she studiously avoids defining it. You then have to contend with Minow's frequent and loose use of the words of democracy, freedom, and equality. It's not that these words are difficult to understand. It's that Minow's uses them as trumps in her argument: when she disagrees with privatization, inevitably the words pop up as if they speak for themselves. The problem I have with Minow's use of the words is that she ignores the different shades of meaning. Political freedom isn't identical to economic freedom. I don't want to belabor the point. I should say that the book is poorly organized. The chapters were originally written as seperate essays and don't hold together as a book.
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