W. W. Norton & Company, 2009
Americans are losing the freedom to make sense of daily choices – teachers can’t maintain order in the classroom, managers are trained to avoid candor, schools ban the game of tag, and companies plaster inane warnings on everything: “Remove Baby Before Folding Stroller.”
Philip K. Howard’s urgent and elegant argument is full of examples, often darkly humorous. He describes the historical and cultural forces that led to this mess, and he lays out the basic shift in approach needed to fix it. Today we are flooded with rules and legal threats that prevent us from taking responsibility and using our common sense. We must rebuild boundaries of law that affirmatively protect an open field of freedom. The stories here will ring true to every reader. The analysis is powerful, and the solution unavoidable. What’s at stake, Howard explains in this seminal book, is the vitality of American culture.
Download PDF (316K)