“For Michael Sandel, justice is not a spectator sport,” The Nation’s reviewer of Justice remarked. In his acclaimed book—based on his legendary Harvard course—Sandel offers a rare education in thinking through the complicated issues and controversies we face in public life today. It has emerged as a most lucid and engaging guide for those who yearn for a more robust and thoughtful public discourse. “In terms we can all understand,” wrote Jonathan Rauch in The New York Times, Justice “confronts us with the concepts that lurk . . . beneath our conflicts.”
Check out the first episode of the twelve-part WGBH and PBS series on Professor Sandel and his legendary course at Harvard.
Professor Michael J. Sandel previews his series and book "Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?", taken from his popular course at Harvard University.
Listen to this audiobook excerpt and hear Michael J. Sandel read from his book Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? What are our obligations to others as people in a free society? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Is the free market fair? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? Do individual rights and the common good conflict? These questions are at the core of our public life today—and at the h
“Sandel dazzles in this sweeping survey of hot topics . . . Erudite, conversational and deeply humane, this is truly transformative reading.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A spellbinding philosopher . . . For Michael Sandel, justice is not a spectator sport . . . He is calling for nothing less than a reinvigoration of citizenship.” —Samuel Moyn, The Nation
“Michael Sandel, perhaps the most prominent college professor in America, . . . practices the best kind of academic populism, managing to simplify John Stuart Mill and John Rawls without being simplistic. But Sandel is best at what he calls bringing ‘moral clarity to the alternatives we confront as democratic citizens’ . . . He ends up clarifying a basic political divide—not between left and right, but between those who recognize nothing greater than individual rights and choices, and those who affirm a ‘politics of the common good,’ rooted in moral beliefs that can’t be ignored.” —Michael Gerson, Washington Post
“Justice, the new volume from superstar Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel, showcases the thinking on public morality that has made him one of the most sought-after lecturers in the world.” —Richard Reeves, Democracy
“Hard cases may make bad laws, but in Michael Sandel’s hands they produce some cool philosophy . . . Justice is a timely plea for us to desist from political bickering and see if we can have a sensible discussion about what sort of society we really want to live in.” —Jonathan Ree, The Observer (London)
“Every once in a while, a book comes along of such grace, power, and wit that it enthralls us with a yearning to know what justice is. This is such a book.” —Jeffrey Abramson, Texas Law Review
“Using a compelling, entertaining mix of hypotheticals, news stories, episodes from history, pop-culture tidbits, literary examples, legal cases and teachings from the great philosophers—principally, Aristotle, Kant, Bentham, Mill and Rawls—Sandel takes on a variety of controversial issues—abortion, same-sex marriage, affirmative action—and forces us to confront our own assumptions, biases and lazy thought. Sparkling commentary from the professor we all wish we had.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Michael Sandel is . . . one of the world’s most interesting political philosophers. Politicians and commentators tend to ask two questions of policy: will it make voters better off, and will it affect their liberty? Sandel rightly points out the shallowness of that debate and adds a third criterion: how will it affect the common good?” —Guardian
“Michael Sandel transforms moral philosophy by putting it at the heart of civic debate . . . Sandel’s insistence on the inescapably ethical character of political debate is enormously refreshing.” —Edward Skidelsky, New Statesman
“A remarkable educational achievement . . . Generations of students and educated citizens will be very well served by Sandel’s introductory overviews.” —Amitai Etzioni, Hedgehog Review
“Reading Justice by Michael Sandel is an intoxicating invitation to take apart and examine how we arrive at our notions of right and wrong . . . This is enlivening stuff. Sandel is not looking to win an argument; he’s looking at how a citizen might best engage the public realm.” —Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A road map for negotiating modern moral dilemmas . . . For those seeking a short course through moral philosophy from a witty writer, fast on his feet, and nimble with his pen, this thin volume is difficult to beat.” —Kevin J. Hamilton, Seattle Times
“Michael Sandel, political philosopher and public intellectual, is a liberal, but not the annoying sort. His aim is not to boss people around but to bring them around to the pleasures of thinking clearly about large questions of social policy. Reading this lucid book is like taking his famous undergraduate course ‘Justice’ without the tiresome parts, such as term papers and exams.” —George F. Will, syndicated columnist
“Justice is Sandel at his finest: no matter what your views are, his delightful style will draw you in, and he’ll then force you to rethink your assumptions and challenge you to question accepted ways of thinking. He calls us to a better way of doing politics, and a more enriching way of living our lives.” —E. J. Dionne, syndicated columnist
What's the Right Thing to Do?
Michael J. Sandel