Republic, Lost by Lawrence Lessig
How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It

97%

12 Critic Reviews

Mr. Lessig’s analysis of the distorting effects of money is, in the main, dead on.
-NY Times

Synopsis

Revised and updated for the 2016 election with 75% new material.
@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Geneva"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; color: black; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } In an era when special interests funnel huge amounts of money into our government-driven by shifts in campaign-finance rules and brought to new levels by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission-trust in our government has reached an all-time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress, and that business interests wield control over our legislature.

With heartfelt urgency and a keen desire for righting wrongs, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig takes a clear-eyed look at how we arrived at this crisis: how fundamentally good people, with good intentions, have allowed our democracy to be co-opted by outside interests, and how this exploitation has become entrenched in the system. Rejecting simple labels and reductive logic-and instead using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left-Lessig seeks out the root causes of our situation. He plumbs the issues of campaign financing and corporate lobbying, revealing the human faces and follies that have allowed corruption to take such a foothold in our system. He puts the issues in terms that nonwonks can understand, using real-world analogies and real human stories. And ultimately he calls for widespread mobilization and a new Constitutional Convention, presenting achievable solutions for regaining control of our corrupted-but redeemable-representational system. In this way, Lessig plots a roadmap for returning our republic to its intended greatness.

While America may be divided, Lessig vividly champions the idea that we can succeed if we accept that corruption is our common enemy and that we must find a way to fight against it. In REPUBLIC, LOST, he not only makes this need palpable and clear-he gives us the practical and intellectual tools to do something about it.
 

About Lawrence Lessig

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Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school's Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of Creative Commons, MapLight, Brave New Film Foundation, The American Academy, Berlin, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and on the advisory board of the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation's Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries. Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.
 
Published October 20, 2015 by Twelve. 323 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Republic, Lost
All: 12 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Sep 01 2011

A well-reasoned argument on the structural problems now paralyzing American government, with a less-convincing proposed solution.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by THOMAS EDSALL on Dec 14 2011

Mr. Lessig’s analysis of the distorting effects of money is, in the main, dead on.

Read Full Review of Republic, Lost: How Money Cor... | See more reviews from NY Times

Huffington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by John Wellington Ennis on Dec 29 2011

Republic, Lost offers the blueprint many are searching for, with chapter titles such as "How So Damn Much Money Defeats the Left," and "How So Damn Much Money Defeats the Right."

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Chicago Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Margaret Carlson on Dec 26 2011

One of the many charms of "Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress — and a Plan to Stop It," a new book from Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, is its sympathy for the people involved.

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The New York Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Ezra Klein on Mar 22 2012

Lessig’s book is a theory of how decent souls have come together to create an indecent system. At its core is the idea of the “gift economy.”

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The Atlantic

Excellent
Reviewed by ALESH HOUDEK on Nov 16 2011

But his real gift is in the art of stringing them together into a story. That means that this book is as persuasive as it is enjoyable to read.

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The Agony Column

Excellent
Reviewed by Rick Kleffel on Nov 03 2011

He lets his readers join him in a journey to understanding. He works out the ideas for himself and lets readers come along for the ride.

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The Coffin Factory

Excellent
Reviewed by The Coffin Factory. on Feb 19 2012

Republic, Lost masterfully illustrates how this form of “legalized bribery” is the cause of the paralysis of our government, and why most Americans have lost faith in the possibility of democracy.

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The American Prospect

Excellent
Reviewed by Matthew Yglesias on Oct 05 2011

Republic, Lost is a powerful reminder that this problem goes deeper than poor legislative tactics or bad character.

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ZDNet

Excellent
Reviewed by Book Reviews on Jan 09 2012

...Americans should pick a strategy (if not one of the ones he proposes, then one of their own) to fight to retrieve the US's vanishing democracy. We can't just give up — not if saying we love our country means anything. The story starts with money…

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Crooked Timber.

Good
Reviewed by HENRY on Jun 25 2012

If you are looking for a good account of the systematic corruption of American politics, this is that account.

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Library of Law and Liberty

Good
Reviewed by Edward Lopez on Apr 29 2012

Lessig’s pen is at its best when demonstrating why the usual approaches to neutralizing money always fail, and when advancing instead the idea that candidates need to be removed from the fundraising equation.

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