The Second Bill of Rights by Cass Sunstein
FDR'S Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever

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In 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a State of the Union Address that was arguably the greatest political speech of the twentieth century. In it, Roosevelt grappled with the definition of security in a democracy, concluding that "unless there is security here at home, there cannot be lasting peace in the world." To help ensure that security, he proposed a "Second Bill of Rights" -- economic rights that he saw as necessary to political freedom. Many of the great legislative achievements of the past sixty years stem from Roosevelt's vision. Using this speech as a launching point, Cass R. Sunstein shows how these rights are vital to the continuing security of our nation. This is an ambitious, sweeping book that argues for a new vision of FDR, of constitutional history, and our current political scene.

About Cass Sunstein

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Cass Sunstein is Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, Law School and Department of Political Science, University of Chicago.
Published March 25, 2009 by Basic Books. 306 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Sunstein characterizes the later speech as marking “the utter collapse of the (ludicrous) idea that freedom comes from an absence of government.” Yet Roosevelt did not press for constitutional amendments to secure these rights, apparently in the belief that American society was headed toward acce...

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The New York Times

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It included ''the whole range from the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilized being according to the standards prevailing in the society.'' The celebrated intellectual historian Isaiah Berlin...

Sep 19 2004 | Read Full Review of The Second Bill of Rights: FD...

Publishers Weekly

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While it doesn't succeed in making Franklin Roosevelt into a constitutional innovator, this disheveled book does bring into focus FDR's forgotten effort to address domestic "security," as WWII neared its climax.

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The first was the 'right to life,' which means 'also a right to make a comfortable living.' It followed that the government 'owes to everyone an avenue to possess himself of [its] plenty sufficient for his needs, through his own work.' The second right was to property, 'which means a right to be ...

Apr 19 2006 | Read Full Review of The Second Bill of Rights: FD...

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