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They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  19 reviews
This urgent book offers not only a clear-eyed explanation of the forces that broke our politics, but a thoughtful and, yes, patriotic vision of how we create a government thats truly by and for the people.DAVID DALEY, bestselling author of Ratf**ked and Unrigged

In the vein of On Tyranny and How Democracies Die, the bestselling author of Republic, Lost argues with insight
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ebook, 352 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Dey Street Books
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Mehrsa
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a good overview of some of the flaws in the voting apparatus of democracy. Not all votes matter and money has skewed elections. He has some pretty counter-intuitive claims--like maybe we have a rotating electorate like a jury that has to be informed before they vote (which is sort of odd, but also tempting at this moment of peak misinformation). He is smart and informed, but I think he places too much blame on misinformed voting and not enough on structural issues like inequality and the ...more
Lee Woodruff
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just in time for the election season, accomplished author and Harvard Law professor Lessig has written a compelling book that, even for a political rube like me, held my interest. This isnt about parties or doctrines, its a non-partisan call to arms that argues and explains why our government no longer accurately represents who we are as a country and how we function. This unrepresentativeness has detached our government from we the people. And we the people are increasingly fractured and ...more
Neil McGee
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The American political system is so outdated and extremely complicated.

How can the people of California, the countries second most populous state only have representation from just 2 seniors?

Fix it.!
Tullyn
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really a great description of how unrepresentativeness has broken our democracy. But unlike other books, this one offers some common sense solutions- some of which are contained in the HR1 bill that is sitting in the Senate, as yet untouched. Some sections of the book are dense, but its worth the read just for the anecdotal evidence in the conclusion that supports the idea that voters can use their power to affect change. ...more
Ben
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
There wasn't enough novelty for me in this book. Much of it summarizes other people's ideas (e.g., campaign finance "democracy coupons," quadratic/square-root weighting). It is a good collection and a decent summary, but not that interesting if you are already familiar with them. Lessig isn't naive, but he is definitely an idealist, and his relentlessly positive viewpoint doesn't always fit with the reality of our political situation. In his idea of deliberative polling or civic juries, for ...more
Alex Hall
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Lessig does an impeccable job of identifying a series of problems that plague the United States democracy as we know it, but his ultimate solutions look backward to the forms of representational democracy that have eroded in the last 50 or so years rather than proposing 21st-century solutions. His approach is quite centristhe sees democratic socialists as the polar opposite of tea party extremists, he is in favor of the electoral college, and he even goes so far as to forgive the surveillance ...more
Andsoitgoes
Jan 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
I checked this book out from my local library. I am very interested in political economy, history, economics, basically - why is this world the way it is. When I find a book with a title like this one, I turn to the index first. If I find not one reference to even one of the following - foreign direct investment, investment, globalism, imperialism, corporatism, empire, neoliberalism, neo-conservatism, Wall Street - then I know that book is one I can skip and I will have missed nothing. This is ...more
Eric
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
It was at times meandering, there were several glaring typos that should have been caught by a keener eye than mine, and it was uncomfortably too self-aware (yes, I know Lessig, a Harvard professor, is a NE liberal and believes x and supports/ed candidate y).

The best part of the book was the Conclusionand Im saying that in all honesty. There were good, thought-provoking pieces throughout the book, but it was only in the Conclusion where the book really seemed to find its coherent, cohesive, and
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Daniel Mala
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great description of the ways our political system fails to produce leaders that represent the population. Also has practical ways forward to correct many of these problem with examples of states that have made changes to improve the election system. Lessig is one of the more knowledgeable academics looking to improve our political process and our democracy. Though I think some of his suggestions are more difficult to attain then others they are all aimed at finding that ever so allusive ...more
Lauren Roemer Boehm
Lessig is a genius. I typically avoid politics. To Lessigs point, Im not stupid but am ignorant in some areas due to lack of research and attention to these matters. So many Americans are like me in this way, and thats a problem. We are partisan, and we dont take time to understand the real issues. So much news is fake - do we look into the accuracy of it before judging and forming opinions on important matters? Are we thinking about ourselves or society as a whole?

I highly recommend this book
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Marcus Wright
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I like Lessig's diagnoses of what is wrong and how we got here. I wish he had more compelling solutions. The first book of his I read, _Republic Lost_, brought up the insidious nature of our current campaign finance system. This book adds other representational problems we have and opens new categories of life-threatening problems our democracy suffers, but as I said above...I'd like to see more comprehensive, workable solutions.

If I were President, I'd have Lessig on a council to fix these
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Christine
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Found the opening premise our countrys problems are deeper than the occupant of the WH interesting but too many inconsistencies for me ie hes suspicious of polling but then points to polling to back up his claims thats what the populace wants. Denounced social media, but the three network anchors had other issues. Also found his solutions a bit far fetched the Senate based on population? Uh, thats the House. Lastly, although the book is marketed an nonpartisan, it clearly has biases which is ...more
Margaret
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
Derek pointed out that most of Lessigs books are about money in politics, but I havent read anything of his besides Free Culture (repeatedlyI love that book) so this was like reading a beloved author in a new topic (though it is apparently a well work subject for him). Depressing but enjoyable detailing of the various ways in which our democratic system...isnt...and how we could change it. ...more
Rae Simpson
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janis
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
I just couldn't talk myself into finishing this book. It was very dry and, well, I got the basic idea early on. I don't think he'll sell many people on his idea, though I do understand his thought process.
Hill Krishnan
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Learned so many things!
Ietrio
Nov 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
Democracy as a code word for *my whims*. Lessig is still not content with that. For him the world is split in *us* and *them* and those who are grouped into *them* must be subdued into submission.
Cyber
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read.
Rick Paugh
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent description of why we are not represented equally, and specific was to correct it.

I will probably need to read it two or three more times to make sure I understand it all.
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Feb 10, 2020
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Lawrence "Larry" Lessig 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 rejoining Harvard, he was
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