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Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How to End It
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Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How to End It

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  175 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The American political system has been foundationally weakened by a corrupt campaign funding system, creating a dangerously unstable and inequitable design that could destroy our republic — if we let it. In Le$terland: The Corruption of Congress and How To End It, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes on the deep flaws in our campaign finance system and lays out a pl ...more
ebook, 129 pages
Published April 3rd 2013 by TED Conferences
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Feb 14, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
It's a wonderful manifesto-like book(ette) about political corruption in the U.S.

But NOT quid pro quo (e.g. cash in a brown bag under the table to a Senator) corruption.

Professor Lessig uses "Lesterland" to illustrate a second type of corruption: "dependence corruption". Lesterland is like the U.S., a representative democracy. In Lesterland elections, there is first a primary in which only people named "Lester" can vote; Lesters constitute .05% of the population. After this "Lester primary", th
Jan 20, 2014 Book rated it really liked it
Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress And How to End It by Lawrence Lessig

"Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress And How to End It" is a compelling plea for action. It's a concise explanation on the nature of corruption in Congress today, and what we can do as citizens to correct it.
Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, Lawrence Lessig provides the readers with a very good complementary piece to his TED Talk on this very important topic. This provocative 102-page book include
Felipe Borges
May 09, 2013 Felipe Borges rated it really liked it
This is one of these books which tell you things you already knew but were somehow "disconnected" from each other. The author manages to subtly portray the American political environment tieing it all up. It is "a trigger to get you to recollect what you have already recognized a million times over", in the writer's words.
As a non-US citizen living outside the US I have come to feel that crony corruption is a global problem. Professor Lawrence Lessig could easily replace "Le$terland" with most
Bill Sleeman
Jun 05, 2013 Bill Sleeman rated it really liked it

“Lesterland: The Corruption of Congress and How to End It” by Lawrence Lessig was my first TED e-book. While the book starts off very, very slowly with a much belabored (to the point of almost making me give up on the book after only 40 pages) comparison of ‘Lesterland’ and the United States. I actually found myself talking back to my Nook‘YES, I GET IT, COULD WE PLEASE MOVE ON?’ Happily the work does eventually take off and readers who stick with it will, once Lessig gets into the meat of his p

Michael Koby
May 12, 2013 Michael Koby rated it really liked it
This books is about the corruption within politics in the United States. This isn't about bribery, lobbyists, or those kinds of corruption, instead it's about .05% of the top 1% choosing who we (The People) get to vote for in general elections. It's about who Lessig calls "The Funders" and how the politicians that are suppose to represent us (The People) instead pander to these "funders" because they're the ones that can give large coffers of cash to fund campaigns.

Said even shorter, this book
Dallas Hockley
Jun 09, 2015 Dallas Hockley rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
It's an informative and eye opening book by Lessig about the state of the Union in the USA. I do not envy them the challenge they face. I hope they succeed in righting the Republic back to being responsible to the people alone. I worry that Canada can too easily slip further down this path. We have limits on contributions. $1200 per person and non-living beings like corporations and unions cannot donate. But the current 2014 government eroded the equality by removing a per vote stipend to electe ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Will rated it really liked it
Though I wouldn't say it's fun to read, it's an Important Book (capitalization and all). You can think of Lesterland as a kind-of extended magazine article that deftly dissects the cadaver of our current political system, highlighting that, while there is sickness ("corruption," not in the illegal sense, but in the sense that its purpose to serve the common good has become corrupted) everywhere, it is concentrated among how campaigns are funded, and the economic incentives in place for congressp ...more
Andrew Doran
Sep 30, 2015 Andrew Doran rated it it was amazing
Great dissection of institutionalised corruption in the U.S. government and what to do about it. Feels like a very important work. Based on what has been happening so far with the next U.S. election I cannot see that anything has materially moved forward.

Interesting to read this whilst the Labour Party in the UK have been going through their leadership election and contrasting the U.S. process with how U.K. political parties end up with candidates for the general election.

I listened to the audio
Sep 30, 2013 Ari rated it really liked it
A great concise summary of Republic, Lost, plus a few updated points. I'd still recommend the full book since it gives more context and data behind the current era of corruption, but this is a much easier read and a great companion to the TED talk of the same name. This is also freely redistributable under CC-BY-NC.
Trevor Denton
Jan 28, 2014 Trevor Denton rated it it was amazing
The most nail-on-the-head book about government and politics I've read in the last 5-10 years. Lawrence Lessig sees the big picture problem and makes petty political dispute look like chickens in a coop.

He explains the corruption of the American government step-by-step, illustrates how it affects every person equally, regardless of ideology, how it makes us all paralyzed and unable to do anything about changing politics.. and how we can get around all that and actually do something.
Brian Wilcox
Mar 08, 2014 Brian Wilcox rated it really liked it
A brief manifesto on our corrupt campaign financing system and how it is at the root of most of the problems confronting our policy making apparatus. It may not sound like a sexy topic, but it is the core problem that must be fixed before any of the "big" policy issues such as tax reform, immigration, financial system regulation, etc. can be dealt with in a manner that reflects public sentiment rather than corporate interests.
May 21, 2013 I rated it it was amazing
Simple, clear, urgent, and correct! Watch the TED talk Other than expanding on the substantive points in the talk, the ebook has a lot of interesting consideration of how the scaling of a p2p reform movement would work.
Dave Lefevre
Apr 09, 2013 Dave Lefevre rated it it was amazing
This is a book a hope a lot of people read and think about. Corruption of Congress (the institution, not individual members) is the issue behind every issue we see in our political lives today. You wonder why everything coming out of Congress is irrational (to everyone by the lobbyists) this is it.
Apr 09, 2013 Pavel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history_policy
Good short book that makes you think; many topics not covered in great depth, but that was done to avoid a book that would be over 1000 pages.

A good introduction to the problems and a potential solution.
Mar 19, 2014 Dominik rated it liked it
Great book, full of really interesting concepts. Unfortunately most of them can only be applied in US. After TED talk I hoped book would be more universal (as Lessig works on open culture). Anyway it's must-read for anyone even slightly interested in politics or political science.
May 13, 2016 Matt rated it liked it
You can just watch his TED talk - it's the same topic. A bit more information/elaboration in the book but main points are the same.
Andy Tischaefer
Apr 27, 2013 Andy Tischaefer rated it really liked it
Sickening, but also hopeful. Lessig doesn't just push a screed against money in politics, he offers up real paths ahead and pushes the reader for true action. Highly recommended
Apr 24, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
I think every one should read it. He does a nice job of explaining what's wrong with our government, and he's proposing a solution that might work if enough folks get on board soon.
Trey Hunner
Powerful summary of the systemic corruption plaguing the U.S. with a call-to-action for all political reformers.
Christopher rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2013
Toni Travis
Toni Travis rated it liked it
Apr 18, 2015
Barry Solow
Barry Solow rated it really liked it
May 10, 2013
Wesley Krug
Wesley Krug rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2016
Brendan Brown
Brendan Brown rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2013
Andreas rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2015
David J Martin
David J Martin rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2015
Joe L. Beck
Joe L. Beck rated it it was ok
May 01, 2015
Tom rated it really liked it
May 24, 2014
Jonathan Sari
Jonathan Sari rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2013
Devin rated it it was amazing
May 15, 2016
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Lawrence "Larry" Lessig (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic and political activist. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark, and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.
He is a director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and a professor of law at Harvard Law School. Prior to rejoi
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