Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America

Walter Olson, Author
Walter Olson, Encounter (NBN, dist.), $25.95 (330p) ISBN 978-1-59403-233-2
Reviewed on: 02/28/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Open Ebook - 293 pages - 978-1-59403-534-0
Paperback - 492 pages - 978-1-4596-1272-3
Open Ebook - 296 pages - 978-1-283-00857-0
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The latest book from Olson (The Excuse Factory) is part historical overview and part cutting-edge commentary examining corporate case studies and public and tort law with a sharp analysis of the academic system and the internal and external forces shaping its agenda. Law schools mould the future leaders of America, shaping the nation and influencing consensus. Recent legal scholars have infiltrated politics, journalism, and broadcasting, claiming greater authority and creating potentially serious social repercussions. The author explores perceived political bias at Harvard and Yale, their dependence on "left-tilting philanthropy," and the tendency of professors to permeate the curriculum with their own values. Additionally, Olson argues, the commercialization of American universities creates markets of intellectual property and a culture of one-upmanship. Often with tongue firmly in-cheek, Olson addresses the "American disease" of dubious injury claims and product liability lawsuits, the ever-spurious "recovered memory" litigation, and other legal precedents. This hard-hitting, witty account reveals the effect of law on the individual and the collective and astutely forecasts the future of law reform, in the academy, in politics, and across the globe. (Feb.)
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