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VINE VOICEon March 12, 2010
If you have read The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America or The Collapse of the Common Good: How America's Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom, this book won't contain many surprises. Howard writes with intelligence and passion about how excessive regulation and litigation crushes civic life and makes America a worse place. His examples are well chosen, his analysis convincing, his writing clear and evocative, and his solutions vaguely unsatisfying. Perhaps in response to personal attacks he suffered after the publication of his earlier books, Howard provides more personal information in this book, describing how his father's mental illness leaves him a fierce protector of the rights of the disadvantaged.

I'd give the book four and a half stars if I could, only because Howard has effectively tackled only the easy side of the problem -- pointing out that it exists. His solutions seem inadequate or incomplete. We need leaders, perhaps a crisis will help, you should join organizations promoting changes in the way medical malpractice cases are handled, visit my website. OK, but even if every person who reads this book does everything Howard suggests, can it outweigh the natural imbalance between the inertia of large groups of people who are each hurt only slightly by a problem (and who may not perceive the problem at all) versus the large organizations that benefit from the status quo?
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on February 16, 2009
This book explains the unintended conseqences on our culture of too much law, especially the calcified layers of regulatory directives that have worked against the common good and cleansed our public sevants from accountability. The book also explains the origins of "my rights" and the litigation explosion that followed. What is unique about this book is that the author is able to give common sense solutions to many of the frustrations associated with government and our public schools. JAH
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on September 25, 2015
All books written by Philip Howard deserve to be read and deserve 5 stars. Congress decrys the problems we have but denies their role in creating them.
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VINE VOICEon September 23, 2009
This may be the longest 200 page book one reads. Completing 5 pages requires the reader to close the book and cogitate on the provocative insights raised by Philip Howard's third best selling book. Howard's most telling point in his attack on the proliferation of laws in American society comes in citing an English House of Lords decision rejecting the foreseeablity of negligence in a personal injury case in favor of "the social value of the activity which gives rise to the risk." Ahhh, now this is a novel thought we don't hear on this side of the Atlantic. He then goes on to write that American law ignores the protection of "our daily freedoms" as Americans. This call to legal pragmatism borders on the utopian as it ignores the law making sausage factory in our legislatures and courts especially in the regulatory age of the present administration.
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on March 23, 2009
The author tries to draw a middle line between both possible extremes: those who want to secure their right to sue when thought injured and those who are just bystanders and get to "pay" for the misfortunes/injustices of others.

Too mild, too soft. The author could have given a lot more details about cases he knows, since he has inside information in Washington, but he "'d rather not tell". I little more plain talk would have been better. The first thing I noticed about America when I arrived was how legalistic the whole society was. A huge difference from Hispanic peoples: we have corruptions and dictators, laws are unenforceable, the real law is the local "cacique" (chief). In America laws are indeed enforceable, and here lies the terror of crazy laws.
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on March 23, 2016
Book is great.
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on March 27, 2013
Phillip K. Howard
How do you know when a lawyer is lying? Do you remember the answer? When his lips are moving. Go open your yellow pages (if you still have one) and turn to lawyers. It will amaze you how many lawyers are in every city in the U.S. If we had fewer lawyers in Congess and more CPA's we might not be in the financial mess we are in today. Howard does a brilliant job of showing that we are no longer a nation of laws but a nation of lawyers. Layers of laws he says mount up like sedement in the harbor. Many today move in fear because of the possibility of breaking some unknown law. Howards remedy is to roll back government and he seems to be one of the few lawyers willing to say; "enough." We are a nation founded upon liberty but sinking in the quicksand of too much law. His desire is to see a national coalition of citizen leaders to propose an overhaul of government. Lawyers would smirk at this idea, I wholeheartedly embrace it. It is time for accountability in every level of government to throw out bad law, get rid of old law and make sure governmental legislation in the future asks first; does this legislation advance liberty under the Rule of Law, or does it replace liberty and the Rule of Law. This is a book all will enjoy, and it is a reminder that not all lawyers are hopeless.
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on June 1, 2013
Well written and researched book! All educators should read this book. Education is in serious trouble in the U.S.! Thanks lawyers!
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on July 8, 2015
A good book like the others he has written.
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on April 24, 2015
Too many stories, details making the same points.
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