17 Sep 2011

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Adam Winkler, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America

Adam Winkler’s Gunfight is a book of contradictions: a dispassionate book about a passionately debated topic, a sane book about competing insanities, a page-turner about legal doctrine and obscure bits of history, a piece of serious scholarship combined with journalistic flair.

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17 Sep 2011

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Adam Winkler, Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America

Host, Mark Kleiman:

Adam Winkler’s GunFight is a book of contradictions: a dispassionate book about a passionately debated topic, a sane book about competing insanities, a page-turner about legal doctrine and obscure bits of history, a piece of serious scholarship combined with journalistic flair. Someone coming in to the debates about gun policy would have no problem following the argument; I, as a minor-league expert on pieces of the topic, learned something new to me on about every second page, on average.

The topic is the gun-rights-advocates-vs.-gun-controllers front in the culture wars. The narrative thread concerns the Heller case which finally led the Supreme Court to say that – yes indeed – the Second Amendment confers an individual, and not exclusively a collective, right “to keep and bear arms.” Ironically, the National Rifle Association, the heart of the gun lobby, did everything it could to derail the case and to take it away from the obscure young lawyer who first brought it.

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05 Apr 2009

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Richard Thaler – Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge, by Richard Thaler (today’s guest) and Cass Sunstein, is an exposition of the set of ideas its authors call “Libertarian Paternalism.” At first blush this might seem as oxymoronic a combination as “dry water,” and it is a major part of the project of the book to show why it is not.

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