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With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful Hardcover – October 25, 2011
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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“Greenwald lets no one off the hook in demonstrating the vast differences in legal recourse between rich and poor, powerful and weak… When the executive, judicial and legislative branches collude to avoid enforcement, lawlessness is the end result.” ―Rachel Maddow
“Glenn Greenwald's latest book is an absolute must-read. Incredibly persuasive, rigorous and damning.” ―Christopher Hayes
“Glenn Greenwald is not just the American Left's most fearless political commentator; his fearlessness is such that he has shifted the expectations for everyone else, too. His rock-ribbed principles and absolute disregard for partisan favor have made U.S. political discourse edgier, more confrontational, and much, much better.” ―Rachel Maddow
“The first thing I do when I turn on the computer in the morning is go to Glenn Greenwald's blog to see what he said. He is truly one of our greatest writers right now.” ―Michael Moore
“The most important voice to have entered the political discourse in years.” ―Bill Moyers
About the Author
GLENN GREENWALD is the author of several best sellers, including How Would a Patriot Act? and With Liberty and Justice for Some. Acclaimed as one of the 25 most influential political commentators by The Atlantic and one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013 by Foreign Policy, Greenwald is a former constitutional law and civil rights attorney. He was a columnist for The Guardian until October 2013, and is now building a new media organization. He is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, and various other television and radio outlets. Greenwald's NSA reporting in 2013 has won numerous awards, including the top investigative journalism award from the Online Journalism Association, the Esso Award for Excellence in Reporting (the Brazilian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize), and the 2013 Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He was also the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2009, and the Online Journalism Association Award in 2010 for his investigative work on the arrest and detention of Bradley Manning. Greenwald is a frequent guest lecturer on college campuses and his work has appeared in many newspapers and political news magazines, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative.
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Top customer reviews
Much of the book covers well tread territory, though. I've read books on all of these major topics from "Dirty Wars" to "The Big Short" that chronicle the terrifying rise of income inequality, totalitarian war powers, and unequal justice. Greenwald tends to scratch the surface on all these areas, rather than going into greater detail. Two-thirds of the book is dedicated to primarily the executive branch's wrongdoings, which felt frustrating. I expected there to be more emphasis on those most disenfranchised by the inequality.
Greenwald, as always, is a skillful writer and columnist. His words ring true and research proves his point: the justice system is broken, but we can improve it. Two stars removed due to the aforementioned points regarding novelty of coverage and depth for poorest classes who are suffering most.
Today, we are living with a Supreme Court decision, in Citizens United, that equates money with free speech -- and which essentially has resulted in legalized bribery in the form of campaign contributions to candidates for office: (S)he who gives, gets. And when criminality is exposed, high fliers who can afford the best lawyers rarely go to jail; those without the means to afford a good lawyer have little chance to prove innocence. Thus "With Liberty and Justice for Some."
With Liberty and Justice for Some is a well-researched and well-argued book about how politicians and large business owners very literally rule our country and are not bound by the same laws as us. Several examples are used to support this argument: The Bush administration wasn't punished for torturing people, communications companies weren't punished for selling user information to the government. The book touches upon many ideas that Snowden would confirm later on.
Be a responsible citizen and read this book. Support Greenwald. He argues from fact and his facts are trenchant.
While 90% of the book focused on the benefits that the elite receive when it comes to "justice," Greenwald also addresses the problems that now exist because of the fervor of "law and order" candidates. From the privatization of jails, to how the poor fare in the judicial system, Greenwald paints a picture that makes you want to get involved in changing this system.
However, as other reviewers have pointed out, Greenwald doesn't offer up any suggestions on what individuals can do to start changing this system. We know that one tweet started the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and one woman's Facebook page created enough momentum to make Bank of America reverse a decision about charging to use debit cards.
Greenwald offers up a rationale why we tolerate such an unfair system.
"So why do Americans tolerate such a draconian legal system, one which imprisons exceptionally large numbers of people for no good reason? The answer is clear: because most people believe-correctly- that they themselves are unlikely to be sucked into the its vortex. They are right to believe this because the two-tiered justice system that separates elites from ordinary Americans intensifies as one moves down the rungs of power and privilege. The rich and powerful are able to commit crimes with impunity far more easily than middle-class Americans; but similarly, middle-class criminals are far more likely to escape unpunished than the poorest among us."
What is missing from this book are recommendations on what people can do to increase the chatter about this topic. Whether its tweeting some of the disturbing statistics, writing blog posts,or pointing to organizations that are working on this issue, Greenwald let's his readers down by not offering action steps that can make a difference.