Justice by Michael J. Sandel
What's the Right Thing to Do?

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Synopsis

What are our obligations to others as people in a free society? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Is the free market fair? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? Do individual rights and the common good conflict?

Michael J. Sandel's "Justice" course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. Up to a thousand students pack the campus theater to hear Sandel relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day, and this fall, public television will air a series based on the course. Justice offers readers the same exhilarating journey that captivates Harvard students. This book is a searching, lyrical exploration of the meaning of justice, one that invites readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways. Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, patriotism and dissent, the moral limits of markets--Sandel dramatizes the challenge of thinking through these con?icts, and shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well. Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise--an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the hard questions of our civic life.

 

About Michael J. Sandel

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Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1980. He has taught his undergraduate course "Justice" to more than 15,000 Harvard students over the years, and video footage of the course was adapted into a PBS television series. Sandel graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University and received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He served on the George W. Bush administration's President's Council on Bioethics. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
 
Published September 15, 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 324 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference, Romance. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Justice

Kirkus Reviews

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A Harvard law professor explores the meaning of justice and invites readers on a journey of moral and political reflection, "to figure out what they think, and why."

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

Publishers Weekly

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Harvard government professor Sandel (Public Philosophy ) dazzles in this sweeping survey of hot topics—the recent government bailouts, the draft, surrogate

Aug 31 2009 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

The New York Times

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A professor of government reviews what he has taught in one of the most popular courses at Harvard.

Nov 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

Book Reporter

Sandel shows readers that debates on issues ranging from abortion to affirmative action and gay marriage can be conducted in an adult and non-polemic manner that does not reduce every argument to an ad hominem political attack.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

The Economist

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Michael Sandel of Harvard university had come back to the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) for a second year running.

Jan 21 2014 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

The Economist

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Mr Sandel brings abstruse-sounding ethical puzzles down to earth with vivid examples taken from the news: price gouging in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, affirmative-action programmes at American universities, large bank bonuses paid with public money.

Sep 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

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Jan 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Every year a thousand or so Harvard undergraduates seeking an answer to this question sign up for Moral Reasoning 22: Justice, Professor Sandel's renowned introductory course and the most popular offering in that university's history.

Sep 18 2009 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

20Something Reads

Sandel, through his book and his teaching, has made a major contribution to raising the level of political debate for all of us.

Jan 21 2015 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

Shelf Awareness

As Franz Kafka says 'A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.' How I wish we could stop selling and buying books from soulless places."

Sep 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

HSJ

He also says that in order to resolve the lifeboat case, as well as many less extreme dilemmas people commonly encounter, the readers need to explore the challenging question: “Is morality a matter of counting lives and weighing costs and benefits, or are certain moral duties and human rights so ...

Nov 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

Ludwig von Mises Institute

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?, based on a famous course that Sandel teaches, offers a discussion of what Sandel regards as the three main competing views of justice.

| Read Full Review of Justice: What's the Right Thi...

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