The most controversial essays from the bestselling author once called the most dangerous man in America—collected for the first time.
The nation’s most-cited legal scholar who for decades has been at the forefront of applied behavioral economics, and the bestselling author of Nudge and Simpler, Cass Sunstein is one of the world’s most innovative thinkers in the academy and the world of practical politics. In the years leading up to his confirmation as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Sunstein published hundreds of articles on everything from same-sex marriage to cost-benefit analysis. Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas is a collection of his most famous, insightful, relevant, and inflammatory pieces. Within these pages you will learn:
• Why perfectly rational people sometimes believe crazy conspiracy theories • What wealthy countries should and should not do about climate change • Why governments should allow same-sex marriage, and what the “right to marry” is all about • Why animals have rights (and what that means) • Why we “misfear,” meaning get scared when we should be unconcerned and are unconcerned when we should get scared • What kinds of losses make us miserable, and what kinds of losses are absolutely fine • How to find the balance between religious freedom and gender equality • And much more...
Cass Sunstein is a unique, controversial, and exciting voice in the political world. A man who cuts through the fog of left vs. right arguments and offers logical, evidence-based, and often surprising solutions to today’s most challenging questions.
Cass R. Sunstein is the nation’s most-cited legal scholar who, for the past fifteen years, also has been at the forefront of behavioral economics. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School. His book, Nudge, coauthored with Richard Thaler, was a national bestseller.
“Glenn Beck has described Cass Sunstein as ‘the most dangerous man in America,’ but the 11 essays collected in ‘Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas’ actually reveal him to be a pretty reasonable guy. He is often provocative but never extreme, and the foaming at the mouth he induces says more about our polarized politics than it does about his ideas…Sunstein is an advocate for what works and a skeptic of grand ideologies that sound good on paper but then wreak havoc in the real world…Throughout the 11 essays in this book, Sunstein is a clear-eyed guide through some of the thornier issues of our day.”
– Boston Globe
“Sunstein seemingly never runs out of ideas….He is a careful thinker and a clear writer.”
"Sunstein will infuriate partisans on both sides with his even-handedness and his simultaneous embrace of active government and criticism of its excesses. The result is a stimulating exposition of the virtues—and dynamism—of moderation."
– Publishers Marketplace
“A book written to make you think, not tell you what to think…. Neither the devil of Glenn Beck's nightmares nor the revolutionary of radical left, [Sunstein] uses his studies to navigate the chaos of public policy in the modern age."
“Sunstein has done more than any other scholar to bring cognitive insights to bear on basic questions of law and public policy, and for that he deserves our thanks…He is careful, deliberative, and painstaking.”