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George C. Leef RSS Feed (Raleigh, NC)
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A Thoroughly Bad Individual
A Thoroughly Bad Individual
by Michael M. Biehl
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.31
23 used & new from $12.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This Sharp Novel, May 10, 2016
A Thoroughly Bad Individual is the latest novel by lawyer Michael Biehl. It's a rollicking tale of mystery and legal drama in which the author draws on his abundant knowledge of the law, medicine, and human nature. Biehl gets his readers hooked right away in this story set in Sarasota, Florida, and the story line never goes slack. The startling twists and turns in the book's final chapters are savory. I highly recommend it.


Lawless: The Obama Administration's Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law
Lawless: The Obama Administration's Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law
by David E. Bernstein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.21
58 used & new from $13.26

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Legal Scholar Examines Obama's Bad Record on the Rule of Law, November 18, 2015
Campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama promised he would be the anti-Bush by stopping and reversing the concentration of power in the White House. Many people believed that, and were sure that President Obama would respect the Constitution's limits on presidential authority. But barely had Obama taken office when his hostility to the rule of law began to show. Like all "progressives," he wanted power to accomplish his desire to "transform" the country (as well as to damage those who opposed his vision). And therefore his administration has been remarkable for its "let's see how much we can get away with" approach.

In Lawless, professor Bernstein gives an excellent account of the many ways Obama and his minions have trampled upon the law. Presidential power to dictate via executive orders and bureaucratic mandates has grown apace. Today, we are closer to the sort of monarchial prerogative rule than any time since the Declaration of Independence. Bernstein's book will appeal not just to libertarians and constitutionalists, but also to true liberals who understand that unchecked executive power is dangerous no matter who is in power.
My full review is available here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2015/11/17/lawless-a-new-books-title-perfectly-describes-obama-and-his-minions/


College Tuition: Four Decades of Financial Deception
College Tuition: Four Decades of Financial Deception
by Dr. Robert Iosue V
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.82
41 used & new from $10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars The authors tackle one of the worst ideas politicians ever embraced -- that the nation would ..., July 14, 2015
The authors tackle one of the worst ideas politicians ever embraced -- that the nation would be better off if the federal government got into the business of subsidizing college attendance. What that has accomplished is to make higher education more and more costly, as schools engage in something like the old Cold War arms race, but this time the spending is for amenities to lure in students. And increasingly, the students are only interested in having fun. We're spending more but getting less actual education.


The Grasping Hand: "Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain
The Grasping Hand: "Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain
by Ilya Somin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $27.43
54 used & new from $9.74

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and human problems that occur when governments have the authority to take property from one person and give it to another on the, July 10, 2015
Professor Somin's book is THE book to read if you want to understand the legal, economic, and human problems that occur when governments have the authority to take property from one person and give it to another on the theory that the original owner wasn't making the best use of it. The idea that such takings comport with the Constitution is very shaky, and when we look at particular instances where it has been done, most famously in Kelo v. New London, we see just how ugly it is. Somin really opens the reader's eyes to the hidden scheming behind this plan and the appalling way local officials harassed the people who just wanted to be left in peace in their homes. And in case you weren't aware, the plan fell through and all the destruction was for nothing. Just look at the before and after photos. I have a longer review posted here:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2015/07/09/were-still-learning-the-lessons-of-kelo-ten-years-later/


Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court
Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court
by Damon Root
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.79
103 used & new from $1.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Damon Root's Overruled is an excellent overview of the philosophical battle for the Court., June 30, 2015
This book is a very timely exploration of the long-running clash of judicial philosophies on the Supreme Court (and lower courts too, of course). Author Damon Root gives readers a lively and easily understood history going back to the years immediately after the Civil War in which he focuses on the battle between judges who thought they ought in almost all cases to defer to the supposed wisdom of legislators and those who thought that judicial review should mean taking a careful look at laws and regulations, knowing that they are often the product of special interest pressures and diminish the freedom of ordinary people. After the big decisions announced by the Supreme Court at the end of June, 2015, this book is especially timely and informative. My full review is available here:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2015/06/30/if-youre-upset-with-the-supreme-court-read-damon-roots-overruled/


Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document
Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document
by Mike Lee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.40
44 used & new from $14.34

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this engaging book, June 23, 2015
The U.S. Constitution was written by people who had suffered under a government of nearly unlimited power and they wanted to ensure that in the new country they had founded, governmental power would be divided and strictly limited. The document that emerged plus the Bill of Rights was supposed to protect the people's rights against politicians eager to usurp power and against the evils of factions seeking gains at the expense of the taxpayers. Inevitably, however, we elected power-hungry politicians and factions began to assert themselves, clamoring for special favors.

Sadly, those people succeeded in subverting the Constitution, as Utah's senator Mike Lee shows in this timely book. He focuses on a number of key points where politicians and Supreme Court justices ignored or overrode the intentions of the Constitution so they could expand government power as they saw fit. I recommend this engaging book. You can read my full review on Forbes here:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2015/06/11/senator-lee-argues-that-the-constitution-has-been-willfully-subverted-hes-right/


Boom Towns: Restoring the Urban American Dream
Boom Towns: Restoring the Urban American Dream
by Stephen John Kasabuski Walters
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $23.15
44 used & new from $14.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book on urban policy, April 9, 2015
This is an excellent book on urban policy. Walters makes a strong case that rather than trying to solve all of the many urban ills through government programs and regulations, the best approach is to protect property rights and then allow spontaneous order to work. In fact, at the root of all those many ills, you find government intervention such as redistributive taxation, special interest laws, welfare that saps initiative, regulations that impede entrepreneurship. Jefferson observed that "the government that governs least, governs best" and Walters shows how correct he was in his analysis of American cities. My full review is available here:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2015/04/09/the-sure-fire-way-to-undermine-prosperity-passing-laws-that-erode-property-rights/


More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure
More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure
by Omri Ben-Shahar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $29.95
37 used & new from $12.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant critique of mandatory disclosure laws., September 8, 2014
Politicians like to enact laws that make it seem as though they're doing something to solve a perceived problem. One of their favorites is to mandate that information that could conceivably help someone make a better, more informed decision be disclosed. That might seem harmless, but in this book, authors Omri Ben-Shahar and Carl Schneider make a strong argument that such laws rarely do any good, while at the same time imposing costs. The authors go behind the smokescreen of good intentions to examine the real effects of these laws and conclude that we'd be better off if existing disclosure mandates were repealed and no more were enacted. Although the topic might seem dull, the writing is clear, engaging, and often witty.

Read my full review on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2014/09/08/mandated-disclosure-laws-another-policy-failure-that-politicians-cant-resist/


The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution
The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution
by John W. Compton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $47.50
38 used & new from $31.00

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whether you like the "living Constitution" concept or hate it (I'm in ..., July 16, 2014
Whether you like the "living Constitution" concept or hate it (I'm in the latter camp), this book provides an excellent historical and legal analysis of how it took root. Professor Compton ably connects a lot of dots in this well-researched and clearly written book. I have written much more about the book here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2014/07/15/how-the-ruinous-living-constitution-idea-took-root/


Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940 (Yale Law Library Series in Legal History and Reference)
Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940 (Yale Law Library Series in Legal History and Reference)
by Nicholas R. Parrillo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $52.77
34 used & new from $35.14

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most fascinating law and policy books in years, June 18, 2014
Yale law professor Nicholas Parrillo has written a fascinating book on a little-studied subject -- how we pay government officials. This deeply researched work shows that how we pay them has changed considerably over time, and those changes reflect the evolving relationship between citizens and the state.

My full review of the book is available here:
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