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Why the Law Is So Perverse Hardcover – September 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Katz wisely peppers his puzzles with humor, jokes, mini-plays, and thoughtful warnings of difficult passages to come (along with welcome invitations to skip ahead) that temper this otherwise demanding volume and make following the twists and turns of the argument well worth the challenge. And for those for whom puzzling is a pleasure in itself, the book will be a feast.”
(Jay Wexler Boston Globe)

“Mr. Katz unravels the logical tangles with clarity, humor and a light touch—a testament to the quality of his writing.”
(Jonathan V. Last Wall Street Journal)

“Leo Katz is a creative and original thinker across the disciplines of law, economics, and philosophy, and this excellent work should be of interest to anyone in pursuit of new ideas.”
(Tyler Cowen, George Mason University)

 

“This is a tour de force of scholarship, demonstrating how disparate and often annoying elements of law have their roots in social choice theory. In most fields the best and most impressive scholarship demonstrates how seemingly independent phenomena have their roots in the same theoretical and empirical sources, and that is exactly what Katz does in Why the Law Is So Perverse. Katz shows that the impossibility of combining divergent views of the social good into a single normative order produces the intellectual tectonic stresses that lead to many of the law’s surface anomalies. For anyone who enjoys thinking deeply about law this book is highly recommended.”
(Matthew Spitzer, University of Texas School of Law)

“Leo Katz is the master of the difficult question. He draws us in to a puzzle and examines it from many angles until we feel that we understand not just the puzzle, but the world around us. One of the wonders of this excellent book, Why the Law is so Perverse, is that it dares and then trusts the reader to keep three balls in the air at once. It is that third ball that makes this book so perfect.”
(Saul Levmore, University of Chicago Law School)

“[E]ntertaining [and] enlightening. . . . [Katz’s] conclusions . . . are argued with a good lawyerly wit, verve, and mastery of the material, and the book is written in a style that nonexperts will appreciate. . . . It is rare that his reviewer is willing to call an academic book ‘delightful,’ but this one deserves it. It is just plain fun. Highly recommended.”

 
(M. Berheide, Berea College Choice)

About the Author

Leo Katz is the Frank Carano Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is the author of Bad Acts and Guilty Minds: Conundrums of the Criminal Law and Ill-Gotten Gains: Evasion, Blackmail, Fraud, and Kindred Puzzles of the Law, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226426033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226426037
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Michael H.Friedman on April 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book sparkles. The lucid prose, combined with the shrewd, provocative insights, leaves left me pondering anomalies of every day experience. As Professor Katz highlights, convincingly, the internal inconsistencies in our laws reflect, and reinforce, the internal inconsistencies embedded within each of us -- and all of us. A deft touch that digs deeply into the laws we enact and live by. I look forward to reading more from Professor Katz.

Michael H. Friedman
Philadelphia, PA
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By Tim Wu on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am a fan of all of Leo Katz's books -- you can learn more from each page of this then many casebooks combined. Despite the engaging and entertaining style of the book, it is a deep and important work of legal theory.

Very roughly, Katz argues that the often strange structure of the law has more to do with Arrow's impossibility theorem then people have realized. Its an important idea and he delivers it in a very readable and enjoyable way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would recommend this book to any law student. Plan to use the book in an undergraduate legal studies class. Deals in an accessible fashion with some "deep" subjects.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zhiliang on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book talks about puzzles in the law, with very interesting stories, and very good reasoning. The author gives powerful argument for the intricacy and perversity of the law, but just wasted many pages on tiny details.
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