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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

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

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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.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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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

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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

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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

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  • Tony
  • Saint Louis, MO, United States
  • 01-03-12

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Lawrence Lessig is a rockstar!

Really interesting book, narrated by the author. It almost feels like what I imagine his lectures are like. He uses good examples and the material has cross-party appeal. Reagan and Obama credit where it is due, as speakers and communicators of powerful ideas, but Lessig holds them to account for their failings. He's particularly critical of Obama, whom he obviously likes personally and supported strongly at the outset of his time in office. Overall a really informative book full of ideas. I recommend it for anyone interested in how our current system slowed to stagnation and what citizens might do to get it moving again.

  • Overall

A must read!

I loved it! some of the examples seem like overkill. That could be because the claims they support seem pretty intuitive and obvious to me. it's hard to think of a more important topic in politics, especially right now. I think everyone could benefit from reading this book.

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WAKE UP AMERICA

Lawrence Lessig is a professor of law at Harvard Law School. In “Republic, Lost” Lessig crystallizes the reasons for American apathy about voting in general elections; i.e. the state of America’s current “moneyocracy” makes a vote hardly worth exercising. Wake up America.

Though one appreciates Lessig’s critical evaluation of the American election system, his ivory tower solutions only reinforce voter apathy. Like the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, Lessig’s book is mired in a fantasy. Neither the inchoate “Occupy” movement nor Lessig’s intellectual exercise can change the inborn cause of American inequality; i.e., pursuit of money, power, and prestige, the unchanging nature of humankind.

Rights inherent in the freedom of American capitalism reward greed and denigrate or ignore altruism. The burgeoning gap between rich and poor aggravates and insures an American aristocracy of wealth. As long as corporations continue to endorse executive pay at 50 to 500 times the income of average employees, money will continue to distort democratic policy. Lessig presents the idea of paying legislators higher salaries to blunt corruption. To suggest, which Lessig does, paying a million dollars a year to a congressman to mitigate undue influence by corporations will only raise the stakes for moneyed interest’s distortion of public policy; not to mention, increase the chasm between haves and have-nots.

Capitalism is not a perfect system and people like Lessig are important because they reveal those imperfections. Americans are frustrated with politicians and the current political environment. People like Lessig and Obama give reason for hope that change for the better will come; never fast enough but always incrementally forward.

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Corruption simplified

Lessig breaks down how money corrupts politicians and leads to legislation that does not benefit the public. His non-partisan approach gives an eye-opening look into corruption spanning across all political parties.