Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard A. Posner  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1939 in New York City, New York


-- Richard A. Posner on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=richard+a.+posner


Illinois Connection

Posner is a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

In 1969, Posner moved to the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School. He was a founding editor of the Journal of Legal Studies and is currently a Senior Lecturer.In 1981, Posner was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Posner was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission in the same year. He served as Chief Judge of that court from 1993 to 2000 while remaining a part-time professor at the University of Chicago.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy
ISBN: 0674055748

Harvard University Press. 2010

Following up on his timely and well-received book, A Failure of Capitalism, Richard Posner steps back to take a longer view of the continuing crisis of democratic capitalism as the American and world economies crawl gradually back from the depths to which they had fallen in the autumn of 2008 and the winter of 2009.

By means of a lucid narrative of the crisis and a series of analytical chapters pinpointing critical issues of economic collapse and gradual recovery, Posner helps non-technical readers understand business-cycle and financial economics, and financial and governmental institutions, practices, and transactions, while maintaining a neutrality impossible for persons professionally committed to one theory or another. He calls for fresh thinking about the business cycle that would build on the original ideas of Keynes. Central to these ideas is that of uncertainty as opposed to risk. Risk can be quantified and measured. Uncertainty cannot, and in this lies the inherent instability of a capitalist economy.

As we emerge from the financial earthquake, a deficit aftershock rumbles. It is in reference to that potential aftershock, as well as to the government’s stumbling efforts at financial regulatory reform, that Posner raises the question of the adequacy of our democratic institutions to the economic challenges heightened by the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The crisis and the government’s energetic response to it have enormously increased the national debt at the same time that structural defects in the American political system may make it impossible to pay down the debt by any means other than inflation or devaluation.

How Judges Think (Pims - Polity Immigration and Society Series)
ISBN: 0674048067

Harvard University Press. 2010

A distinguished and experienced appellate court judge, Richard A. Posner offers in this new book a unique and, to orthodox legal thinkers, a startling perspective on how judges and justices decide cases. When conventional legal materials enable judges to ascertain the true facts of a case and apply clear pre-existing legal rules to them, Posner argues, they do so straightforwardly

that is the domain of legalist reasoning. However, in non-routine cases, the conventional materials run out and judges are on their own, navigating uncharted seas with equipment consisting of experience, emotions, and often unconscious beliefs. In doing so, they take on a legislative role, though one that is confined by internal and external constraints, such as professional ethics, opinions of respected colleagues, and limitations imposed by other branches of government on freewheeling judicial discretion. Occasional legislators, judges are motivated by political considerations in a broad and sometimes a narrow sense of that term. In that open area, most American judges are legal pragmatists. Legal pragmatism is forward-looking and policy-based. It focuses on the consequences of a decision in both the short and the long term, rather than on its antecedent logic. Legal pragmatism so understood is really just a form of ordinary practical reasoning, rather than some special kind of legal reasoning.

Supreme Court justices are uniquely free from the constraints on ordinary judges and uniquely tempted to engage in legislative forms of adjudication. More than any other court, the Supreme Court is best understood as a political court.

Economic Analysis of Law
ISBN: 0735563543

Aspen Publishers. 2007

Lucid, comprehensive, and definitive in its field, this text covers every aspect of economic analysis of the law, from common law, corporate and commercial law, and public international law to family law, evidence law, and the economic theory of democracy. Updated in its Seventh Edition, <

b>ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF LAW<

/b> is the preeminent work in its field, covering the legal-economic perspective on all key areas, from common law to the Constitution. Authored by the pioneer in law and economics analysis, this user-friendly and accessible text sustains itself as a favorite among students and professors, alike.<

p class=copymedium> <

p class=copymedium><

b>Many great features make this text an ideal option for your classroom:<

/b><

p class=copymedium> <

li class=copymedium>Maintains itself as the preeminent work in the field, covering the legal-economic perspective on all key areas, from common law to the Constitution <

li class=copymedium>Presents the expertise of a highly distinguished author, the pioneer in law and economics analysis <

li class=copymedium>Offers accessible, lucid, and user-friendly writing and organization: a. Non-quantitative approach does not assume or require prior knowledge of economics or mathematics b. Part and chapter organization based on legal, not economic concepts <

li class=copymedium>Includes end-of-chapter sections to reinforce and extend learning through problems and suggested further readings<

/ul> <

p class=copymedium><

b>This edition highlights a variety of new information, keeping it timely and topical:<

/b><

p class=copymedium> <

li class=copymedium>The corporations chapter is revised and updated significantly in light of Enron and other corporate scandals

and Congress's response in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act <

li class=copymedium>An exciting new field of economicsorganizational economicsis now included, with particular reference not only to corporations but also to nonprofits, law firms, and the judiciary <

li class=copymedium>The rapidly expanding interest in the legal regulation of national security and foreign affairs (torture issues, executive power, the USA Patriot Act, etc.) requires the addition of the interesting economic issues presented by such regulation <

li class=copymedium>Expanded coverage of foreign law, of which there is increased interest, both substantive and institutional, and both national and supranational (e.g., European Union) throughout the book. <

li class=copymedium>New insights in the chapter on contracts are drawn from the authors recent scholarly work on contract law <

li class=copymedium>Since intellectual property is perhaps the hottest field in law today, the author incorporates some ideas from a book he recently coauthored with William Landes on the economic structure of intellectual property law <

li class=copymedium>The chapter on finance is revised and updated to reflect the growing importance of behavioral finance. <

li class=copymedium>Novel legal-economic issues relating to the Internet are added to several chapters<

/ul>

A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of '08 and the Descent into Depression
ISBN: 0674060393

Harvard University Press. 2011

The financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 is the most alarming of our lifetime because of the warp-speed at which it is occurring. How could it have happened, especially after all that we’ve learned from the Great Depression? Why wasn’t it anticipated so that remedial steps could be taken to avoid or mitigate it? What can be done to reverse a slide into a full-blown depression? Why have the responses to date of the government and the economics profession been so lackluster? Richard Posner presents a concise and non-technical examination of this mother of all financial disasters and of the, as yet, stumbling efforts to cope with it. No previous acquaintance on the part of the reader with macroeconomics or the theory of finance is presupposed. This is a book for intelligent generalists that will interest specialists as well.Among the facts and causes Posner identifies are: excess savingsflowing in from Asia and the reckless lowering of interest rates by theFederal Reserve Board

the relation between executive compensation,short-term profit goals, and risky lending

the housing bubble fuelled bylow interest rates, aggressive mortgage marketing, and loose regulations

the low savings rate of American people

and the highly leveraged balance sheets of large financial institutions.

Posner analyzes the two basic remedial approaches to the crisis, which correspond to the two theories of the cause of the Great Depression:the monetarist―that the Federal Reserve Board allowed the money supply to shrink, thus failing to prevent a disastrous deflation―and the Keynesian―that the depression was the product of a credit binge in the 1920’s, a stock-market crash, and the ensuing downward spiral in economic activity. Posner concludes that the pendulum swung too far and that our financial markets need to be more heavily regulated.Read Richard Posner's blog, and his latest article in The Atlantic.

Sex and Reason
ISBN: 0674802802

Harvard University Press. 1994

Sexual drives are rooted in biology, but we don't act on them blindly. Indeed, as the eminently readable judge and legal scholar Richard Posner shows, we make quite rational choices about sex, based on the costs and benefits perceived.

Drawing on the fields of biology, law, history, religion, and economics, this sweeping study examines societies from ancient Greece to today's Sweden and issues from masturbation, incest taboos, date rape, and gay marriage to Baby M. The first comprehensive approach to sexuality and its social controls, Posner's rational choice theory surprises, explains, predicts, and totally absorbs.

Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism
ISBN: 0226041026

University of Chicago Press. 2010

On December 5, 2004, the still-developing blogosphere took one of its biggest steps toward mainstream credibility, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner announced the formation of the Becker-Posner Blog.

In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, thought-provoking commentary on current events, its pithy and profound weekly essays highlighting the value of economic reasoning when applied to unexpected topics. Uncommon Sense gathers the most important and innovative entries from the blog, arranged by topic, along with updates and even reconsiderations when subsequent events have shed new light on a question. Whether it’s Posner making the economic case for the legalization of gay marriage, Becker arguing in favor of the sale of human organs for transplant, or even the pair of scholars vigorously disagreeing about the utility of collective punishment, the writing is always clear, the interplay energetic, and the resulting discussion deeply informed and intellectually substantial.

To have a single thinker of the stature of a Becker or Posner addressing questions of this nature would make for fascinating reading

to have both, writing and responding to each other, is an exceptionally rare treat. With Uncommon Sense, they invite the adventurous reader to join them on a whirlwind intellectual journey. All they ask is that you leave your preconceptions behind.

Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency (Inalienable Rights)
ISBN: 0195304276

Oxford University Press. 2006

Eavesdropping on the phone calls of U.S. citizens

demands by the FBI for records of library borrowings

establishment of military tribunals to try suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens--many of the measures taken by the Bush administration since 9/11 have sparked heated protests. In Not a Suicide Pact, Judge Richard A. Posner offers a cogent and elegant response to these protests, arguing that personal liberty must be balanced with public safety in the face of grave national danger.

Critical of civil libertarians who balk at any curtailment of their rights, even in the face of an unprecedented terrorist threat in an era of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Posner takes a fresh look at the most important constitutional issues that have arisen since 9/11. These issues include the constitutional rights of terrorist suspects (whether American citizens or not) to habeas corpus and due process, and their rights against brutal interrogation (including torture) and searches based on less than probable cause. Posner argues that terrorist activity is sui generis--it is neither "war" nor "crime"--and it demands a tailored response, one that gives terror suspects fewer constitutional rights than persons suspected of ordinary criminal activity. Constitutional law must remain fluid, protean, and responsive to the pressure of contemporary events. Posner stresses the limits of law in regulating national security measures and underscores the paradoxical need to recognize a category of government conduct that is at once illegal and morally obligatory.

One of America's top legal thinkers, Posner does not pull punches. He offers readers a short, sharp book with a strong point of view that is certain to generate much debate.

OXFORD'S NEW INALIENABLE RIGHTS SERIES

This is inaugural volume in Oxford's new fourteen-book Inalienable Rights Series. Each book will be a short, analytically sharp exploration of a particular right--to bear arms, to religious freedom, to free speech--clarifying the issues swirling around these rights and challenging us to rethink our most cherished freedoms.

Antitrust Law, Second Edition
ISBN: 0226675769

University of Chicago Press. 2001

When it was first published a quarter of a century ago, Richard Posner's exposition and defense of an economic approach to antitrust law was a jeremiad against the intellectual disarray that then characterized the field. As other perspectives on antitrust law have fallen away, Posner's book has played a major role in transforming the field of antitrust law into a body of economically rational principles largely in accord with the ideas set forth in the first edition. Today's antitrust professionals may disagree on specific practices and rules, but most litigators, prosecutors, judges, and scholars agree that the primary goal of antitrust laws should be to promote economic welfare, and that economic theory should be used to determine how well business practices conform to that goal.

In this thoroughly revised edition, Posner explains the economic approach to new generations of lawyers and students. He updates and amplifies his approach as it applies to the developments, both legal and economic, in the antitrust field since 1976. The "new economy," for example, has presented a host of difficult antitrust questions, and in an entirely new chapter, Posner explains how the economic approach can be applied to new industries such as software manufacturers, Internet service providers, and those that provide communications equipment and services.

"The antitrust laws are here to stay," Posner writes, "and the practical question is how to administer them better-more rationally, more accurately, more expeditiously, more efficiently." This fully revised classic will continue to be the standard work in the field.

Catastrophe: Risk and Response
ISBN: 0195306473

Oxford University Press. 2005

Catastrophic risks are much greater than is commonly appreciated. Collision with an asteroid, runaway global warming, voraciously replicating nanomachines, a pandemic of gene-spliced smallpox launched by bioterrorists, and a world-ending accident in a high-energy particle accelerator, are among the possible extinction events that are sufficiently likely to warrant careful study. How should we respond to events that, for a variety of psychological and cultural reasons, we find it hard to wrap our minds around? Posner argues that realism about science and scientists, innovative applications of cost-benefit analysis, a scientifically literate legal profession, unprecedented international cooperation, and a pragmatic attitude toward civil liberties are among the keys to coping effectively with the catastrophic risks.

Law and Literature: Third Edition
ISBN: 0674032462

Harvard University Press. 2009

Hailed in its first edition as an “outstanding work, as stimulating as it is intellectually distinguished” (New York Times), Law and Literature has handily lived up to the Washington Post’s prediction that the book would “remain essential reading for many years to come.” This third edition, extensively revised and enlarged, is the only comprehensive book-length treatment of the field. It continues to emphasize the essential differences between law and literature, which are rooted in the different social functions of legal and literary texts. But it also explores areas of mutual illumination and expands its range to include new topics such as the cruel and unusual punishments clause of the Constitution, illegal immigration, surveillance, global warming and bioterrorism, and plagiarism.

In this edition, literary works from classics by Homer, Shakespeare, Milton, Dostoevsky, Melville, Kafka, and Camus to contemporary fiction by Tom Wolfe, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, and Joyce Carol Oates come under Richard Posner’s scrutiny, as does the film The Matrix.

The book remains the most clear, acute account of the intersection of law and literature.


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