Books by Cass R. Sunstein

CAN IT HAPPEN HERE? by Cass R. Sunstein
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: March 6, 2018

"Cautionary pieces well-informed by history, legal theory, and patriotism, all bubbling in a cauldron of anxiety."
A renowned legal scholar assembles a dream team of other legal authorities and cultural and political analysists to ponder the title, substance, and current relevance of It Can't Happen Here (1935), Sinclair Lewis' provocative novel about the rise of fascism in America. Read full book review >
IMPEACHMENT by Cass R. Sunstein
Released: Oct. 30, 2017

"A welcome, timely, ideal primer."
A compact, concise, and highly relevant civics lesson. Read full book review >
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO STAR WARS by Cass R. Sunstein
NON-FICTION
Released: May 31, 2016

"Certainly odd but also smart and interesting. For any student who wants to write a term paper on Star Wars, this book could serve as a rich resource."
An exploration of how Star Wars "illuminates childhood, the complicated relationship between good and evil, rebellions, political change, and constitutional law." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 7, 2015

"While accessible to general readers with some familiarity with leading cases and justices of the past century, this discussion will be of interest largely to law students, attorneys, and SCOTUS junkies."
A novel approach to analyzing the majority and dissenting opinions of the Supreme Court. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 20, 2014

"Fascinating insight—though much must be read between the lines—into how the nation's data-mining apparatus works—and how it's supposed to work."
Does keeping America free from harm in the post-9/11 world require that Americans surrender their Fourth Amendment rights? The country's security apparatus behaves as if the answer is yes—the subject of this official report to President Barack Obama. Read full book review >
WHY NUDGE? by Cass R. Sunstein
NON-FICTION
Released: March 25, 2014

"A provocative challenge to the fixed mindsets of left and right alike."
Harvard Law School professor Sunstein (Simpler: The Future of Government, 2013, etc.) takes up the question of the limits to government power in this intriguing revision of the Storrs Lectures on Jurisprudence he gave at Yale in 2012. Read full book review >
CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND OTHER DANGEROUS IDEAS by Cass R. Sunstein
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: March 18, 2014

"Sunstein seemingly never runs out of ideas. Many of them are solid, some of them are debatable and a few are even provocative, but calling them 'dangerous' says more about the bankrupt state of our current civic dialogue than it does about the author and his ideas."
Supposedly controversial essays from an allegedly dangerous man. Read full book review >
SIMPLER by Cass R. Sunstein
NONFICTION
Released: April 9, 2013

"Sunstein's firsthand knowledge and distinct humor give his account a real dynamism."
Obama's former "regulatory czar" examines the reforms that are beginning to transform the government and what they portend for the future. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Not entirely the partisan screed that you'd expect, not especially provocative, but enlightening and in some places fascinating."
Attempting to support his alarmist view of how life would degrade under the sway of extreme right-wing judges, Sunstein (The Second Bill of Rights, 2004, etc.) nevertheless presents a surprisingly balanced history of constitutional law. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 2004

"Sunstein's case suffers from repetitiousness, but it raises many good points worth arguing over as reformists seek to reshape American liberalism—and recapture its former power."
All Americans—all citizens of the world, for that matter—have a right to a decent income, a good education, adequate health care, and freedom from economic domination. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1999

Offering nuanced ideas, Holmes (Political Science/Princeton and New York Univ. Law School) and Sunstein (Law/Univ. of Chicago) defend modern liberalism in the attention-getting guise of arguing for taxation. Liberalism is at heart a system of rights designed to promote and protect individual welfare and self-development. Yet rights are also a "public good." Their well-being is dependent upon the willingness of the community, through government, to protect and enforce them. In turn, the community must also be willing to give a portion of its collective assets in the form of taxes to the government so that government may carry out its enforcement responsibilities. In other words, rights cost money. A truism to be sure, but one, the authors argue, ignored by most everyone. Liberals, for instance, worry that focusing on the cost of rights may lead to further cuts in budgetary allocations for the protection of rights. Conservatives avoid looking at such costs as it may reveal how dependent private wealth is, in the form of myriad protections of private property, on government and taxpayers' contributions. Nevertheless, thinking of rights in terms of cost may reveal much. Arguments over competing rights are often arguments over money; spending more on one right may mean spending less on another. So how public resources are allocated can substantially affect the scope and value of rights. This leads to questions, all examined by the authors, of who decides what resources are spent to protect what rights for the benefit of what groups of individuals. We might want to examine if government spending on rights protection benefits society overall or too often only those groups with strong political influence. Holmes and Sunstein conclude with a call for greater democratic accountability in such spending and more public debate over the priority of rights. Sure to hearten some and irritate others, this work is a valuable contribution to our ongoing debate on rights and justice. Read full book review >