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Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality
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Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  8 reviews
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011

Since the 1960s, ideas developed during the civil rights movement have been astonishingly successful in fighting overt discrimination and prejudice. But how successful are they at combating the whole spectrum of social injustice — including conditions that aren't directly caused by bigotry? How do they stand up to segregation, for i

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published September 27th 2011)
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3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  70 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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Oct 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Very interesting, totally new perspective on a topic that's dear to me. Whether I agree with the author or not is beside the point - it was thought-provoking and that's what I want out of my non-fiction.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was interesting because it forced you to take a new perspective on the application of civil rights laws in the U.S.. That being said, I'm not sure I agreed with everything the author had to say -- perhaps because the issue is so complex.
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very good report listing examples of where the interpretation of human rights turned into an appeal for privilege, advantage or downright fraud.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
The title and description of this book are misleading. The book is not about how the civil rights legal framework undermines the struggle for equality. The majority of the book is the author's oversimplification of discrimination issues in an intellectually dishonest way. He never mentions strict or intermediate scrutiny or rational review, which, as essential parts of the civil rights legal framework, bear mentioning since he is purporting to critique their efficacy in achieving equality. The a ...more
Michael Pahr
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
My rating here is definitely following the Goodreads rubric: it was ok. I initally wanted to give it 3 stars, but I saw that was listed as "I liked it," and I really wouldn't go that far. Some of the ideas introduced were really interesting and well worth thinking about, but I found the writing (and reasoning) to be sloppy. Still, if the topic of the book sounds interesting to you, there's a decent chance you'll be glad you read it once you've finished it.
Aug 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
It was like reading a news paper feature. So I discarded it. I was hoping something along the lines with 'Lucifer Effect'. Frowned upon, because lulled me with dubious title.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Kind of an interesting thesis, that framing social-justice efforts in a legal "rights" mode has perverse, counterproductive effects and often isn't the best way to achieve equality. Finding instances of seemingly trivial issues dragged clunkily through the courts isn't too hard (he must have a friend who complains bitterly about "ladies' night" at bars as discrimination against men, as this issue arises often), but to his credit he also takes on tougher cases (school districts' spending on speci ...more
Eliane Mitchell
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading this book I really appreciated how well Ford explains legal concepts / jargon in an easy-to-understand way, and I definitely think he makes convincing arguments with regard to how pop-activism and misuse of asserting one's "inalienable rights" have contradicted the sentiments/laws which the Civil Rights Movement first tried to instill. His analysis too of the ACTUAL impacts of Brown Vs Board of Education (and how later Supreme Court decisions came to sabotage Brown's aims) is quite telli ...more
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Richard Thompson Ford is the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He has published regularly on the topics of civil rights, constitutional law, race relations, and antidiscrimination law. He is a regular contributor to Slate and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the author of Racial Culture: A Cri ...more