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Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop It | [Lawrence Lessig]

Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop It

In an era of ballooning corporate campaign expenditures, unleashed by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, trust in our government is at an all time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress - and that our Republic has been lost.Using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left, Republic, Lost not only makes clear how the economy of influence defeats the will of the people, but offers cogent strategies to correct our course....
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Publisher's Summary

In an era of ballooning corporate campaign expenditures, unleashed by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, trust in our government is at an all time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress - and that our Republic has been lost.

Using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left, Republic, Lost not only makes clear how the economy of influence defeats the will of the people, but offers cogent strategies to correct our course - from a constitutional convention to a Regent Presidency.

A onetime friend of Barack Obama, Lessig, a professor of law at Harvard, is as critical of the president and the Democratic Party as he is of Republicans. Both have allowed the core institution of our democracy to become little more than a shill for the most powerful moneyed interests in our Republic.

America may be divided, argues Lessig, but we must recognize that corruption is our common enemy, and we must find a way to fight against it.

©2011 Lawrence Lessig (P)2011 Hachette Audio

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  •  
    kevmoo United States 12-18-11
    kevmoo United States 12-18-11 Member Since 2011

    I live in Seattle. I write code. I listen when I'm out with the dog.

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    "A profoundly important book. A must read."

    For anyone that is a lover of the American Republic, this is a must read book.

    My only gripe: at times there are some weirdness in the sound production, but Lessig's reading is clear and persuasive.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Nielsen Merritt Island, FL United States 01-18-12
    Richard Nielsen Merritt Island, FL United States 01-18-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Periods. Where there. Should. Not. Be. Periods."

    I am going to write this review. Like the reader. Read. It. Throughout. He would start each sentence with a normal flow. And then. At the end. He. Would. Add. Pauses. This has the effect of making the sentences sound. Like. They had. Periods. Where there were. No. Periods. It would not have been so annoying. If. He only. Did. It. For. Emphasis. But instead, he did it on just about. Every. Single. Sentence.

    I almost could. Not. Make it. Through. The. Book.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. A. Loman St. Louis, MO 01-03-12
    L. A. Loman St. Louis, MO 01-03-12 Member Since 2001

    Tony

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    "Required Listening"

    This book should be required reading (listening) for all Americans of all political persuasions. It is at the top of my list of nonfiction books read or listened to in 2011. Lessig's reading is passionate. His arguments and examples are convincing. You do not have to agree with every argument to be convinced of the basic conclusion of the book--that our government has been corrupted and stolen from the people by large corporate financial interests. Listen to the book and then join and become active in Rootstrikers or one of the several other organizations he lists.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott United States 04-06-13
    Scott United States 04-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A Must read for anyone who wants to know what is w"
    What made the experience of listening to Republic, Lost the most enjoyable?

    Lessig explores the problems associated with campaing finances as they relate to the disfunction in our government. It is a wonderful non-partisan exploration of how the people lost control of our representative govenrment to the monied few. Listen, learn, and act.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Newberg, OR, United States 02-09-12
    Jo Newberg, OR, United States 02-09-12 Member Since 2005

    Eclectic tastes in music and books, drawn to cheerful, beautiful, and gentle things

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    "Very important read, but drags a bit"

    I think Lessig is a brilliant speaker, but a so-so narrator. Without visuals to go with his spoken word, this listen tends to drag a bit here and there as he labors to make his points, though in the end the points are profoundly important to every American regardless of party affiliation. Ignore at your own peril, people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony Saint Louis, MO, United States 01-03-12
    Tony Saint Louis, MO, United States 01-03-12 Member Since 2001

    I do social and policy research--mainly large experimental studies. Many other interests in science, art and literature.

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    "Required Listening"

    This book should be required reading (listening) for all Americans of all political persuasions. It is at the top of my list of nonfiction books read or listened to in 2011. Lessig's reading is passionate. His arguments and examples are convincing. You do not have to agree with every argument to be convinced of the basic conclusion of the book--that our government has been corrupted and stolen from the people by large corporate financial interests. Listen to the book and then join and become active in Rootstrikers or one of the several other organizations he lists.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Sandquist Swedesboro, NJ 06-08-14
    R. Sandquist Swedesboro, NJ 06-08-14 Member Since 2013

    movsrus

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    "Excellent book about money in politics"
    If you could sum up Republic, Lost in three words, what would they be?

    Wake up call. Money in politics is like heroin to a junkie. Our elected members of Congress spend vast amounts of time on the telephone soliciting money- worse than panhandlers on street corners. Once they get the money, there is an acknowledged understanding that the people who gave the money get something in return. That corrupts the political system. Why is it that the managers running the largest hedge funds pay a lower tax rate than only the poorest in this country. Answer- money and their sway over the politicians who write the tax code.

    This is a shameful situation and we should all be up in arms about how our political process is owned by the lobbyists, PACS and special interest groups.


    What other book might you compare Republic, Lost to and why?

    Flash Boys by Michael Lewis. His book shows how the big money people have scammed the stock market and front run the little guy. Just last week the new SEC Mary Jo White spoke about new regulations on the HFT traders but said that the market was not rigged against the little guy. Wrong- it is all a scam and the big money in this country gets to make the rules and circumvent the system.


    What about Lawrence Lessig’s performance did you like?

    Good arguments, lucid explanation of how we need to change things and some good suggestions about how to go about it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book is great. The examples he cites of how money has corrupted the system should make everyone who reads this book begin to demand change to get the cancer that is money in politics out of the system. Public funded elections with limitations on PACs, lobbyists and big money donors is the only way to control the corrosive effects of the system we have now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy BELLEVUE, NE, United States 10-02-13
    Jeremy BELLEVUE, NE, United States 10-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A well thought out look at corruption in America"

    These are good people forced to do what they can in a terrible system. That's the message I picked up from this book and it was strangely heartening. Far from demonizing any one political viewpoint or depicting all law-makers as greedy, self-absorbed, cheats and liars, Lessig instead describes a system where any person, regardless of intentions, will be forced to play the same terrible game that has been played up until now.

    Perhaps the only real downside of this book is that the 'plan to stop it part' is, by his own admission, is improbable. On the other hand, it's a plan and it's the best I've heard so far.

    Highly recommended for anyone trying to understand why our government acts the way it does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Collegeville, pa, United States 06-23-13
    Mike Collegeville, pa, United States 06-23-13 Member Since 2010

    mikeswelsh

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    "We need another constitutional convention soon!"

    Simple and precise unwinding of the complete breakdown of our election, congressional, lobbying and ethical systems and how broke they are. Sadly the constitutional convention is all that is left to correct our broken system.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shonneal Rockledge, FL, United States 02-01-13
    shonneal Rockledge, FL, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Story is worth the narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This purchase was because Dan Carlin (if you don't know him you should Google it) was going to have Lawrence Lessing on his podcast and I wanted to get a good understanding of his thoughs before the interview. I would recommend this book to people who want to know how our system can be so corrupt even though decent people make up the majority of the system.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Republic, Lost?

    His description on how the presence of money in the wrong place is enough to bring doubt and corruption without there necessarily being corruption. Also, the Author showed how well intentioned people who are elected to position can follow through with campaign promises, but that what proportion of their time they spend to each campaign issue is skewed heavily to the amount of money in the system interested in that issue.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The Author read the title himself. In some cases this can be good as the author should know the tones he/she is trying to convee. I find that this works much better in fiction. The Author is objiously knowledgable, but his reading skills seemed to introduce pauses in very strange places (I did not see the text of this book so for all I know there are many strangley placed commas).


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This book could make a good documentary, but not a good movie. As a documentary it would just keep the name of the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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