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138 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2011
As a lawyer and parliamentarian, when I am asked about proper procedure at a meeting, my first question is: What rules do you use? Is there an applicable statute, or bylaws or rules that the organization has adopted? Nine times out of ten, the answer is: "Robert's Rules of Order." Robert's is the most widely used parliamentary manual in the United States.

General Henry M. Robert published the original "Robert's Rules" in 1875 and 1876 and, since the copyright on that edition (and the next few editions) has long since expired, there are numerous unofficial editions on the market. The third edition, published in 1893, is still marketed in paperback by more than one publisher as the "original" Robert's Rules. With the copyright expired, even the name "Robert's" has passed into the public domain, and many imitators have slapped the name "Robert's" on books of parliamentary procedure that bear minimal relation to General Robert's work (much as many dictionaries claim the name "Webster's" without any connection to Noah Webster or the Merriam-Webster brand that carries on his work). This book is the real Robert's, composed by an editorial board appointed by General Robert's heirs (including his descendant Henry III, an eminent parliamentarian in his own right). Now in its 11th edition, published in September 2011, this book "supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe 'Robert's Rules of Order' ... or the like, without specifying a particular edition."

The 11th edition, the first new edition in 11 years, incorporates various issues that the authors have addressed informally since the 10th edition was published in 2000. For example, the chapter on disciplinary procedures has been fleshed out so that it has become a practical rather than a theoretical guide, and new provisions have been added about electronic notice and about participation in meetings by phone or by internet connection. (There are still quite a few archaisms, though: the presiding officer is still referred to as "he," while the secretary is "he or she." And the arcane and archaic motion to "reconsider and enter on the minutes" is still around.) This edition is being released in conjunction with the new (2d) edition of the shorter and more user-friendly "Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised in Brief," an authoritative abridgment that will serve as an adequate alternative for users who don't need the full 669-page version.

Robert's is not necessarily the best parliamentary manual on the market: "Modern Parliamentary Procedure" by Ray Keesey is far more logical and user-friendly, and "The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure" by Alice Sturgis (commissioned by the American Institute of Parliamentarians as a contemporary alternative to Robert's) is more readable and more rooted in modern practice. But no other book has gained as much as a toehold in Robert's dominance in the market. If you are interested in parliamentary procedure, or figuring out how most organizations work in the 21st-century United States, this Robert's is indispensable.
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69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2012
First off, I must say that I'm here at Amazon to order "Rules of Order, Newly Revised" (RONR), 11th edition, so I have not yet laid my eager hands on the most current edition of group decision-making sanity. Therefore, the four stars are based on the quality of Edition 10 and the apparency that the missing and duplicate pages situation is handled. God Bless and hats off to Henry M. Roberts. This review is for /authentic/ Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. I hope to dispel some potential frustration and share some key factors in choosing a parliamentary reference book.

SOME KEY PRINCIPLES

1. A well-written set of By-Laws will refer to a specific edition of Robert's Rules. For example "Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th Edition." With many knock-off and competing publications out there, having everyone singing from the same exact hymnal can make a HUGE difference. If you have some other reference, you're going to have double difficulty (rightly so) when you try to cite your copy's version of Robert's Rules. It's far better if everyone is using the same edition because it is a basis for agreement. (More later on the importance of agreement.)

2. Many other "Robert's Rules" publications are heavily based on past editions of the Official Robert's Rules that have now passed into the public domain and are available to be shamelessly copied and repackaged as something new. That's fair game under copyright law, but I think it's doing buyers a grave disservice to issue a century-old or decades-old edition as if it were something current. Get the most current edition unless there's a really good reason to get the 10th edition, such as operating under by-laws that have adopted a specific older edition. I'd say get that edition and get the most current one, also, so you're prepared when there's a question about something like meetings via phone or votes via e-mail.

The key to successful, productive meetings that forward the work of the overall group is AGREEMENT. Disagreement is the poison that will throw a Board of Directors or a meetings of a general membership into chaos and leave everyone frazzled, frustrated, and decidedly NOT looking forward to taking on Committee work. ANY well-though-out system will make a tremendous difference compared to a partial system or, God forbid, no system at all. Robert's Rules of Order is the tried and true system for running productive meetings.

3. If you're getting the message from the two items above, you should now be doubtful about such titles as "Robert's Rules for Dummies", "The Guerilla Guide to Robert's Rules", etc.. (By the way, the "Guerilla Guide" is a horrible idea as it can cause great harm to others' goodwill for you if you aren't a professional parliamentarian and know exactly how to apply the tactics without being an abhorrent nuisance. It can get you barred from participating and even thrown out of the meeting or even thrown out of the group or association holding the meeting; the procedure for throwing out a nuisance member is also covered in Robert's Rules.)

So what do you do about digesting the material and making it your own?

Well, Robert's Rules are complex if you try to take on the whole system at once. That's where Robert's Rules in Brief comes in. Robert's Rules in Brief is a complete introduction to Robert's Rules that will have you up and running quicker than you think--if you study it and really decide to learn and apply what's in this wonderful little book. And I don't mean "little" in the endearing sense. It really is quite small, portable, and approachable.

The best part of starting with Robert's Rules in Brief is that it refers you to the exact location in the full edition for more information. this means that you can practice the concepts and procedures in the "Brief" edition and then, when you're ready to expand your competence and expertise further, you can take on the portions of the full edition you're already mostly familiar with. This is the process I followed and it provided a good introduction to Robert's Rules and a smooth gradient of learning the basics and then moving through to the full system.

At first, I referred exclusively to "In Brief" and carried it with me to meetings, leaving the full edition at home. Then, I began to have deeper questions and turned to the full edition, soon bringing BOTH "In Brief" and the full edition to meetings for quick reference during meetings--and deeper reference during breaks and temporary adjournments. Just a few meetings later, I realized that I knew virtually everything covered by "In Brief" and began referring exclusively to the full edition. That was very gratifying, believe me. I went on to become quite respected for my familiarity with this cornerstone of civil discourse and deliberation and was asked once by a Certified Parliamentarian--at a state-level political party convention no less--if I was a professional parliamentarian. A very fine result, by any measure.

You can have those results, too.

One major resource in getting through the ramp-up phase is covered in a book called "The Basic Study Manual". It's available here on Amazon. It shows you exactly what can trip you up or block you from learning a subject and shows you exactly what to do to keep moving. I wish I had been introduced to this book when I was a B- and C level (with the occasional D) student in high school. The results from this book, also, can be amazing.

So the basic principles are:
1. Results are far better when everyone uses the same reference. Think what would happen if you had two cooks making one spinach-and-bacon soufflé where each was following their own recipe.
2. Don't settle for imitations or knock-offs. Get the real thing--which means that it should be the current edition or immediately previous edition.
3. Get "Robert's Rules in Brief" AND "Robert's Rules Newly Revised" and start with "In Brief".

If you've read this far, I'll give you another tip (first of all, thanks for sticking with me). Due to the number of pages in the full edition of RONR, you will find that the PAPERBACK edition is more useful than the hardcover. You can look something up in the index, bend the paperback book to fan out the pages, and flip through them rapidly to go to your page number. This bend-and-flip method also works well when you're searching for a particular paragraph in an overall section that you've read before. The hardcover is good for your library, but the paperback makes a great handbook-type reference during "maneuvers" in the field.

I hope you've found this review of Robert's Rules helpful. It can be very gratifying to be able to help maintain order and forward progress in a meeting. Done properly, your colleagues and fellow members will thank you.

-Jason Parker
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2011
This is a review of the Kindle Edition of RONR 11th Edition

I had just bought a Kindle 3G, and Robert's Rules 11th Edition came out a few days later, so I was happy to see I wouldn't have to lug the thick book around with me any more. Wrong. The internal page number references are not linked, and page numbers are not available at all for external reference. There is, however, an index, which references page numbers that _are_ linked, so there's some progress being made. This book depends more on page numbers for reference than any other book I'm familiar with. It also uses line numbers occasionally, as do most legal documents, but I'd be happy with page numbers for now.

I did find out from Amazon product support that:

Page numbers are available in many but not all Kindle books. Kindle books that include page numbers will list "Page Numbers Source ISBN (the print book identification number)" under "Product Details" on the detail page at Amazon.com. To see page numbers for Kindle books, your Kindle must connect to a Wi-Fi or 3G network after the book has been downloaded.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2011
As a professional parliamentarian I was disappointed when the book was missing approximately 35 pages and in another area of the book a series of pages were repeated. It makes it difficult to use the book for reference purposes when pages are missing!Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th edition
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2011
16 pages in the book were missing, and 16 pages were repeated at another point in the book. That makes it very difficult to use.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
The publisher apparently rushed this book into print. At page number 172, the book inexplicably "jumps back" to page 141! It then runs forward to 172... and then jumps back to 141 AGAIN! When it returns to page 172 for the SECOND time, it then jumps FORWARD, to page 205. Meanwhile, the 33 pages between 173 and 204, inclusive, are unavailable.

Obviously, this edition is DEFECTIVE. I am unable to return my own copy, as I wrote in it before discovering this defect; but others my take the warning. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!!

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UPDATE: I find that I WAS able to return the book (as defective), after all, and was refunded my money. This does NOT mollify my annoyance, however, not even in the slightest, because it is STILL my conviction that this book was "rushed into print", and that the only real remedy for this is TIME -- time for the publisher to realize its error and to mend its negligent ways. I will therefore wait six (very impatient!) months and then try this purchase again, gritting and grinding my teeth at the needless delay the whole while. I'll let you know how that purchase turns out; here's hoping it's better than the first one! Sheesh! :(
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2011
Received my copy on 12 November 2011 and everything was in order with no pages missing. Great size to carry in briefcase and has strong binder.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
Similar to another reviewer, 30 pages are missing from my copy (pages 237 to 268). In place of the missing pages are the duplicate pages 269 to 300. I wouldn't go through the trouble to return it for just $12. I ordered another copy to try my luck.
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Update on Oct 28, 2011: The second copy just arrived. It appears all the pages are there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
I use this book for student government all the time. For any organization that works under Robert's Rules, this book is necessary. The size is a bit awkward though; it could be about half the pages were it not to be so small.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2009
Hopefully someone will produce an audio version for common folks who just want to learn more about Robert's Rules of Order as they volunteer as a director on a not-for-profit board. It would be great if an attorney would be recorded advising a friend and then the friend who is a board member would then implement what was just taught in a mock board meeting. It should be about 90 minutes long disclosing the more common rules and how and when to use them at not-for-profit board meetings. If you find a good audio version, please let me know!

I bought this audio version to learn more about Robert's Rules of Order for the board meetings I run/attend. This edition is near useless for board members. This is more for parliamentarians who oversee state or federal legislators. Even most state and federal politicians who get elected would have a hard time retaining much useful information. Listening to this reference book of complex details being read is near impossible to retain for future application. After listening to over three hours of useless sleep-inducing details, it had to quit. I learned almost nothing useful in all that time.
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