Rights Gone Wrong How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality

Richard Thompson Ford




Trade Paperback

288 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Since the 1960s, ideas developed during the civil rights movement have been astonishingly successful in the fight against overt discrimination. But can they combat the whole spectrum of social injustice---including conditions that aren't directly caused by bigotry? In Rights Gone Wrong, Richard Thompson Ford argues that extremists on both sides of the political divide have hijacked civil rights for personal advantage, diverting our attention from serious social injustices. Is equality really served by endless litigating and legislating against every grievance or slight? Brilliantly argued, shrewd, and lively, Rights Gone Wrong offers "a crisp analysis of the limits of our civil rights laws and a prescription for how to move beyond them" (Kirkus Reviews).


Praise for Rights Gone Wrong

"Rights Gone Wrong is sharp and surprising, and casts the discrimination debate in a clarifying new light."—Jeffrey Rosen, The New York Times Book Review

"Ford has written a highly accessible narrative that underscores the need for Americans to roll up their sleeves and do the heavy lifting necessary to address persistent economic and racial inequality . . . With this book, Ford has in effect contributed a new placard to the American protest march."—America magazine

"Persuasive . . . This subject tends to produce polemical writing on both sides, but Ford is consistently measured and thought-provoking. Recommended to anyone interested in public affairs."—Library Journal

"Cogent…A rationalist analysis of the efficacy of a multitude of antidiscrimination laws . . . All sides can learn much from Ford's thinking."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt


Entitlement and Advantage

Now you want me to tell you my opinion on autism…? A fraud, a racket. For a long while we were hearing that every minority child had asthma … Why was there an asthma epidemic amongst...

Read the full excerpt


  • Richard Thompson Ford

  • Richard Thompson Ford is the George E. Osborne Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He is a regular contributor to Slate and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • Richard Thompson Ford ©Acey Harper


    Richard Thompson Ford

    Macmillan Speakers Bureau

    represents thought-provoking authors and experts. We can find a speaker uniquely positioned for your audience and budget.

    More info