How Rights Went Wrong: Why Our Obsession with Rights Is Tearing America Apart

(Author) (Foreword by)

Product Details

$28.00  $26.04
Mariner Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

JAMAL GREENE is Dwight Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School and a former law clerk to Hon. John Paul Stevens, he was a reporter for Sports Illustrated from 1999-2002. He lives in New York City.


"Essential and fresh and vital . . . It is the argument of this important book that until Americans can reimagine rights, there is no path forward, and there is, especially, no way to get race right. No peace, no justice."--from the foreword by Jill Lepore, New York Times best-selling author of These Truths: A History of the United States

"When Americans talk about rights, we think in absolutist terms: my right prohibits or preempts your action. But as Jamal Greene observes in this deftly argued book, that notion betrays how our rights were originally conceived. Paying special attention to the issues that most vex us, Greene offers an attractive alternative to one of the most troubling aspects of our constitutional jurisprudence."--Jack Rakove, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution

"Fastidiously researched and immensely readable, How Rights Went Wrong offers important strategies for advancing human rights in an era when the Supreme Court cannot be counted on to do so. Jamal Greene has written a superb, important book--and a well-timed one, in its plea that we not vest so much power in courts, and that we secure fundamental rights through the political process rather than through constitutional litigation."--Nadine Strossen, past president, American Civil Liberties Union

"A provocative argument for more humility and listening, and less arrogance and dogmatism. Greene urges that we litigate too much and discuss too little--and that 'rightsism' is the problem. Perfectly timed and passionately presented, his argument deserves widespread attention."--Cass R. Sunstein, author of How Change Happens

"Greene delves deeply into the legal, cultural, and political matters behind rights conflicts, and laces his account with feisty legal opinions and colorful character sketches. This incisive account persuades."--Publishers Weekly