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The Collapse of the Common Good: How America's Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  48 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In pursuit of fairness at any cost, we have created a society paralyzed by legal fear: Doctors are paranoid and principals powerless. Little league coaches, scared of liability, stop volunteering. Schools and hospitals start to crumble. The common good fades, replaced by a cacophony of people claiming their "individual rights."
By turns funny and infuriating, this startlin
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 29th 2002 by Ballantine Books
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Vichmd
Jan 15, 2009 Vichmd rated it really liked it
The title sums up the premise of this book and to anybody who has been paying attention for the past several decades, this should not be a startling theme. There is no doubt that our tort system is out of control and the costs are spread throughout society. Most consumer products come with a "lawsuit tax" in the form of higher retail prices to offset the costs associated with litigation. Often, the "lawsuit" tax increases the costs of consumer goods where the inherent dangers of using such goods ...more
Mike Kowalczyk
Feb 15, 2008 Mike Kowalczyk rated it really liked it
Finally a voice of reason among the insanity! I found this book to be enlightening on a subject I have long taken interest in. The first half of the book was especially intruiging, in which Philip Howard discusses the culture of lawsuits that has taken hold in the last 20-30 years. People sue each other for every minor infraction and as a result it has come to the point where people have to watch every minor move they make. Through examples, historical cases, a history, he shows the evolution of ...more
Heather
May 21, 2015 Heather rated it liked it
Well-written, but I think I might've missed the point (or I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it). I think the morale of the story was to stop people who sue for stupid reasons, we need to each step up and demand more individual rights/get away from Big Government. I think. Right?
Colin
Apr 09, 2009 Colin rated it it was ok
Man bites dog.

Therefore, the world is going to hell.

A Treatise by Philip K. Howard.

The author raises some interesting issues regarding the (hyper and negative)interaction between laws and society. I understand where he is coming from. A system of laws is definitely not perfect. However, by definition, laws derived from an imperfect source are bound to be imperfect.

But a system without laws similarly fails. So let's resolve to work on the balance. I won't resolve to be friends though, Mr. Howard.
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Philip K. Howard, a lawyer, advises leaders of both parties on legal and regulatory reform. He is chair of Common Good and a contributor to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Philip K. Howard is a well-known leader of government and legal reform in America. His new book, The Rule of Nobody (W. W. Norton & Company, April 2014), has been praised by Fareed Zakaria as “an utterly compe
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