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When one of Mr. Obama's Harvard Law Professors publicly declares our current president "an enemy of Progressive causes," it is time to examine in more detail why such an august person would make such a public declaration? For in my view, that comment is at least as incendiary as the claim made by Mr. Obama's Minister of two decades, the Right Doctor and Reverend Wright, who backhandedly referred to Mr. Obama in equally disparaging terms as "just another Chicago politician." And while Reverend Wright's claim also deserves further attention, for the moment at least, I wish to focus on Professor Unger's claim. That is why I ordered all of his books from Amazon about a year ago and have now completed reading all of them. This review is of the first of his five books.
The above criticism of Mr. Obama aside, there are several other reasons why Professor Unger's books deserve to be read: First when he completed this his first book in 1975, barely twenty, he was already a certified...
This book was justly considered a masterpiece when written in the mid 1970s. Of course, history, philosophy, epistomology, and everything else moves on, so it seems pointless to criticize the book based on what has evolved in our thinking since it was written---particulary because this book has influenced much of that thinking. Unger, however, took a great step forward in applying (primarily to law) Foucault's ideas about the political value judgments inherent in every choice we make between degrees of particularity and degrees of abstraction. In simple terms, do we describe a car as a four-wheeled motor vehicle or as a 1998 red Dodge two-door coupe? Unger demonstrates that we have the choice to describe it either way, depending on what values we are trying to promote. He can be---and has been---fairly criticized for not attributing the obvious influence Foucault must have had on his thinking. But it is definitely a book worth reading, first for its own merits and second for a...
Here it is, from "Mr. Relentless" whose after-dinner speeches at Harvard-sponsored dinner meetings circulate like so many sacred artifacts among devoted followers of the Critical Legal Studies movement (aka "Crits"). Unger is famous for speaking without notes, and without pausing. Kind of a Richard Epstein of the left. This is his big book. It goes well with his major Harvard Law Review article of about 17 years ago. The book is an examination of law and action, the same theme explored by Thomas Sowell from a more deontological, constrained perspective in his book "Knowledge and Decisions." You know something? Is it the same as what you do? You know how society could be best? Well, does it play out that way in society, that Aristotelian sphere of the polis? Also known as politics, where things are reduced to debates between Nixons and Kennedys, Bushes and Gores. Clintons and....well, let's move on. Here's my criticism of this Crit...
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