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The Nonsense Factory: The Making and Breaking of the American Legal System

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A withering and witty examination of how the American legal system, burdened by complexity and untrammeled growth, fails Americans and threatens the rule of law itself, by the acclaimed author of A Generation of Sociopaths.

Our trial courts conduct hardly any trials, our correctional systems do not correct, and the rise of mandated arbitration has ushered in a shadowy syst
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Hachette Books
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Thomas Ray
The Nonsense Factory, Bruce Cannon Gibney, 2019, 504pp (379pp text) ISBN 9780316475266

Lots about what's wrong with U.S. law, from legal education to congress, courts, executive agencies, compulsory arbitration, and policing. It's a comprehensive catalog of failures in our legal system. Marred by author's focus on creating a world that would transfer wealth from the rest of us to himself even faster than it now does.

The changes the author /wants/ are those that would enrich venture capitalists su
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alarming and Yet Also Hilarious. Even as someone who was once a political activist with some fairly high level (if State, rather than Federal) access to the halls of legislative deliberation, this book was pretty shocking in revealing just how much of a mess the American legal system truly is. While the author himself is clearly in favor of some form of ideal government that works, this book just as easily makes the case that anarchy would at least be preferable to the current system. Yet throug ...more
Will A
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting critique of US law because it looks into some less prominent but nevertheless important issues:

State immunity from civil suits: is it appropriate in a republic?
Bureaucratic regulation-writing and agency courts: do they unconstitutionally blur powers that ought to be separate?
Arbitration and plea-bargaining: is justice served by avoiding trials?
Congress: does the idea of legislative intent make sense coming from a legislature where most of the intellectual work is done by staff and lo
Fraser Kinnear
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: policy
Over the past century, whole fields of [American] law have become so bloated and confused that not even a subset of their rules can be administered consistently. To cope, law modifies or ignores its own rules on the fly, and the entire legal system is backsliding toward a regime in which the arbitrary supplants the absolute.

The book is broken into chapters that span the entire legal system, from what’s wrong with law schools and legal journals, to the legislative flaws of an understaffed Congre
Jamie Jack
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p-2020, nonfiction
A Book You Should Read

If you pay attention to the news at all, you have a feeling, most likely, that something is inherently flawed with our legal system, whether it's racial injustice as has been the focus lately or what we see of the legal system when called in for jury duty. If there's ever been that niggle (or more) in the back of your mind, this book takes a close and intense look at the entire legal system, from law schools to prosecutorial procedure to our prisons and other subjects as we
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"To understand law in trivial terms, as a mere instrument to oppress and exploit, or a transient artifact of capitalist evolution, does society a disservice. The purpose of law is not to add a civilized veneer to the whims of the powerful; law helps save us from that. Law also maximizes our ability to create while protecting others from our creations. Law can be tiresome, of course, just like flossing and cardio days, but like these chores it has greater purpose." (2)

The Nonsense Factory is noth
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, law
A comprehensive description of the ills of the modern American legal system, one set of actors at a time. I was familiar with many parts of this story and already had a pretty dismal view of the state of affairs, yet this book showed me it was even worse than I thought. Well-researched, if at times a bit meandering- I only noted a couple of instances of questionable evidence or potential mistakes.
I appreciated Gibney’s willingness to note positives on the rare occasions he sees them and how he a
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Netgalley and Hachette Press for an ARC Copy of The Nonsense Factory: The Making and Breaking of the American Legal System. Here is my honest review:

Gibney takes on a towering task in examining the entire legal system and then adroitly rips it down at the foundation brick by brick and does so with wit and rumination. It will be hard to pledge allegiance without a little smirk when you finish.
Monster problems require monster solutions and Gibney provides some interesting ones, but o
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic critique of the American legal system - in the process, breaking down nearly every element of the legal process (e.g. jurisprudence / rule of law, law school, evidence standards, every branch of government, private arbitration, and so on). This content by default is dry and complicated, but this author brings it to life through searing criticism of everywhere law fails its citizens - creating a very-digestible overview of law with an entertaining narrative voice.

The basic gist of this
Dan Connors
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
I enjoyed Mr. Gibney's first book, A Generation of Psychopaths, about how the baby boomers have messed things up, so I was eager to pick up this book about how the legal system has messed things up.
It does not disappoint.
According to the author, our legal system is a huge, unwieldy and expensive mess, and a lot of the people who run it are given too much power without any real accountability.
- Congressmen who write the laws don't bother to read what they vote on anymore because their jobs have b
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is a thick book that consists of piling up all the nonsense found in how we produce and maintain our legal system. There is a LOT of nonsense and as I sifted through Gibney's pile I found things that entertained. Some well chosen statistics to illustrate his points. I found his prose to be pithy and well informed. Yet, somehow, I didn't find this to be a very satisfying indictment of the system. It just seemed to be rehashing old ground and offering up critiques that have been made elsewhere ...more
Caroline Kelemen
Everyone who cares about democracy in America needs to read this!
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book left me daydreaming of a Bernie Sanders presidency, though I'm certain this was not the author's intended effect. ...more
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Bruce Cannon Gibney is an American venture capitalist and author. He was one of the first investors at PayPal. His first book, A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America, was published by Hachette in 2015.

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