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The Nonsense Factory

The Nonsense Factory

The Making and Breaking of the American Legal System

A withering and witty examination of how the American legal system, burdened by complexity and untrammeled growth, fails Americans and threatens the rule of law itself, by the acclaimed author of A Generation of Sociopaths.

Our trial courts conduct hardly any trials, our correctional systems do not correct, and the rise of mandated arbitration has ushered in a shadowy system of privatized “justice.” Meanwhile, our legislators can’t even follow their own rules for making rules, while the rule of law mutates into a perpetual state of emergency. The legal system is becoming an incomprehensible farce.

How did this happen? In The Nonsense Factory, Bruce Cannon Gibney shows that over the past seventy years, the legal system has dangerously confused quantity with quality and might with legitimacy. As the law bloats into chaos, it staggers on only by excusing itself from the very commands it insists that we obey, leaving Americans at the mercy of arbitrary power. By examining the system as a whole, Gibney shows that the tragedies often portrayed as isolated mistakes or the work of bad actors-police misconduct, prosecutorial overreach, and the outrages of imperial presidencies-are really the inevitable consequences of law’s descent into lawlessness.

The first book to deliver a lucid, comprehensive overview of the entire legal system, from the grandeur of Constitutional theory to the squalid workings of Congress, The Nonsense Factory provides a deeply researched and witty examination of America’s state of legal absurdity, concluding with sensible options for reform.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Political Science / Commentary & Opinion

On Sale: May 14th 2019

Price: $25.98 / $33.98 (CAD)

ISBN-13: 9781478994114

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"The Nonsense Factory is a provocative polemic on the sorry state of American law. Whether you chiefly blame the Supreme Court or Congress or law professors or We The People ourselves--and whether or not you buy into every count of his indictment--Gibney's book raises serious questions about how we govern ourselves."—David A. Kaplan, author of The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution
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"A keen, lively deconstruction of the American legal system's seemingly countless flaws."
Kirkus Reviews
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"Gibney is ... often funny, and his criticisms are serious, well-argued, and provocative."—Publishers Weekly
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