The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than Ever

The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than Ever

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by Cass Sunstein
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0465083331

ISBN-13: 9780465083336

Pub. Date: 07/28/2006

Publisher: Basic Books

In 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a State of the Union Address that was arguably the greatest political speech of the twentieth century. In it, Roosevelt grappled with the definition of security in a democracy, concluding that "unless there is security here at home, there cannot be lasting peace in the world." To help ensure that security, he proposed a

Overview

In 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a State of the Union Address that was arguably the greatest political speech of the twentieth century. In it, Roosevelt grappled with the definition of security in a democracy, concluding that "unless there is security here at home, there cannot be lasting peace in the world." To help ensure that security, he proposed a "Second Bill of Rights" — economic rights that he saw as necessary to political freedom. Many of the great legislative achievements of the past sixty years stem from Roosevelt's vision. Using this speech as a launching point, Cass R. Sunstein shows how these rights are vital to the continuing security of our nation. This is an ambitious, sweeping book that argues for a new vision of FDR, of constitutional history, and our current political scene.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465083336
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
07/28/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
784,665
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

The Second Bill of Rightsix
Introduction1
Part IRoosevelt
1The Speech of the Century9
2The Myth of Laissez-Faire17
3Rights from Wrongs: Roosevelt's Constitutional Order35
4The Birth of the Second Bill61
Part IIAmerica
5A Puzzle and an Overview99
6The Oldest Constitution on Earth109
7American Culture and American Exceptionalism127
8America's Pragmatic Constitution139
9How the Supreme Court (Almost) Quietly Adopted the Second Bill149
Part IIIConstitutions and Commitments
10Citizenship, Opportunity, Security175
11Objections: Against the Second Bill?193
12The Question of Enforcement209
Epilogue: Roosevelt's Incomplete Triumph231
Appendix IMessage to the Congress on the State of the Union Address, January 11, 1944235
Appendix IIThe Universal Declaration of Human Rights (excerpts)245
Appendix IIIInternational Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (excerpts)247
Appendix IVExcerpts from Various Constitutions253
Notes263
Bibliographical Note279
Acknowledgments281
Index283

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The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than Ever 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
watkd25 More than 1 year ago
This book was well done. Although the book is labeled as a politics/history book, it covers quite a bit on law, including theoretical law. That said, this book was not a light reading, it took me an extra day to get through it. The author discusses the little known Second (Economic) Bill of Rights that Franklin Roosevelt proposed in 1944. That bill, in a basic sense, was to offer a simple form of economic security for the citizens of the United States obviously inspired by the Great Depression. The bill was never implemented but it set the stage for the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which has influenced the creation of constitutions around the world that carry the Roosevelt legacy of economic security for those countries citizens and is mentioned in the book. Because of the failure to pass the Economic Bill of Rights, people in the United States still do not make a decent living, lack access to a good education, etc. With overwhelming evidence, the author discusses why this Bill of Rights should be implemented and how, as the author claims, it came close to being established. Regardless of the fact that some people will claim the program is socialist it is not, according to Cass Sunstein. Something to think about after reading this book regards the economy itself. What if we had a Second Bill of Rights? Would we have had to deal with the current Great Recession? This book probably is not for people with a right-leaning political preference.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago