Jen's Reviews > Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights

Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann
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's review
Apr 07, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: book_club, unfinished
Read in April, 2008

For me, the appalling thing about the author's topic was not that corporations are in some cases regulated as if they are individual people. One of the big book club ideas was that problems with monopolies and irresponsible corporate behavior have more to do with lack of regulation and enforcement, and not that because a corporation is legally a person. Rather, it was the shocking and insulting misuse of the 14th amendement (all persons should receive equal protection under the law...). In theory (though who can say what the 19th century Congressmen who authored it thought) this was indended to provide equal treatment to all races, particularly newly freed slaves - and yet in the 50 years after its ratification the majority of the cases brought to the Supreme Court (and I think a greater percentage of the ones that won) were corporations arguing that they, as "persons," deserved equal treatment.

Wasn't crazy about the style of writing. I think a bit more editing would have done some good. One peeve (but some in book club liked it) was that every time he went and looked something up, he had to describe it - how the book was so old, what bookstore he found it in, how many cents he paid for the photocopies...felt like he was trying to validate his arguement by describing the actual process of research. On the other hand, though, he probably just really likes old books.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 09, 2008 09:57PM) (new)

Hi Jen,

This book sounds very much like "Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy.
Gangs is a thoughtful, well researched and pretty unbiased account. If the topic is of interest to you I would suggest you try reading Gangs. I'm curious to know who copied who.

message 2: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Thanks for the recommendation, Maureen. I'll keep it in mind.

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