Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cass R. Sunstein  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1954 in Concord, MA

-- Website --
-- Cass R. Sunstein on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Professor Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago from 1981 through 2008.

Biographical and Professional Information

Professor legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who was the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. For 27 years, Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School. Sunstein is currently the Robert Walmsley University Professor and Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Published Works

  • The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes (With Stephen Holmes), W.W. Norton, 2000
  • Risk and Reason: Safety, Law, and the Environment, Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution--And Why We Need It More Than Ever, Basic Books , 2006
  • Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle , Cambridge University Press, 2005
  • Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge, Oxford University Press, 2008
  • On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done , Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (With Richard Thaler), Penguin Books, 2009
  • Simpler: The Future of Government, Simon and Schuster, 2013

Selected Titles At Your Library

The cost of rights :
ISBN: 0393320332. OCLC Number:

W.W. Norton,. New York :. 2000.

Risk and reason :
ISBN: 0521016258. OCLC Number:

Cambridge University Press,. Cambridge [England] ;. 2002.

"Risk and Reason shows how individual thinking and social interactions lead us in foolish directions. Offering sound proposals for social reform, it explains how a more sensible system of risk regulation, embodied in the idea of a cost-benefit state, could save many thousands of lives and many billions of dollars - and protect the environment in the process."--Jacket.

The second bill of rights :
ISBN: 0465083331. OCLC Number:

. .

Using FDR's 1944 State of the Union Address as a starting point, the author delves deeply into the revolutionary mind that penned this remarkable declaration of economic rights and illuminates the demise of this ambitious program for reform in the wake of the president's death.

Laws of fear :
ISBN: 0521615127. OCLC Number:

Cambridge University Press,. Cambridge, UK ;. 2005.

"What is the relationship between fear, danger, and the law? Cass R. Sunstein attacks the increasingly influential Precautionary Principle - the idea that regulators should take steps to protect against potential harms, even if causal chains are uncertain and even if we do not know that harms are likely to come to fruition. Focusing on such problems as global warming, terrorism, DDT, and genetic engineering, Professor Sunstein argues that the Precautionary Principle is incoherent. Risks exist on all sides of social situations, and precautionary steps create dangers of their own. Diverse cultures focus on very different risks, often because social influences and peer pressures accentuate some fears and reduce others. Instead of adopting the Precautionary Principle, Professor Sunstein argues for three steps: a narrow Anti-Catastrophe Principle, designed for the most serious risks; close attention to costs and benefits; and an approach called 'libertarian paternalism, ' designed to respect freedom of choice while also moving people in directions that will make their lives go better. He also shows how free societies can protect liberty amidst fears about terrorism and national security."--Jacket.

Infotopia :
ISBN: 0195340671. OCLC Number:

Oxford University Press,. New York ;. 2008.

The rise of the "information society" offers not only considerable peril but also great promise. Beset from all sides by a never-ending barrage of media, how can we ensure that the most accurate information emerges and is heeded? In this book, Cass R. Sunstein develops a deeply optimistic understanding of the human potential to pool information, and to use that knowledge to improve our lives. In an age of information overload, it is easy to fall back on our own prejudices and insulate ourselves with comforting opinions that reaffirm our core beliefs. Crowds quickly become mobs. The justification for the Iraq war, the collapse of Enron, the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia--all of these resulted from decisions made by leaders and groups trapped in "information cocoons," shielded from information at odds with their preconceptions. How can leaders and ordinary people challenge insular decision making and gain access to the sum of human knowledge?Stunning new ways to share and aggregate information, many Internet-based, are helping companies, schools, governments, and individuals not only to acquire, but also to create, ever-growing bodies of accurate knowledge. Through a ceaseless flurry of self-correcting exchanges, wikis, covering everything from politics and business plans to sports and science fiction subcultures, amass--and refine--information. Open-source software enables large numbers of people to participate in technological development. Prediction markets aggregate information in a way that allows companies, ranging from computer manufacturers to Hollywood studios, to make better decisions about product launches and office openings. Sunstein shows how people can assimilate aggregated information without succumbing to the dangers of the herd mentality--and when and why the new aggregation techniques are so astoundingly accurate. In a world where opinion and anecdote increasingly compete on equal footing with hard evidence, the on-line effort of many minds coming together might well provide the best path to infotopia.

On rumors :
ISBN: 0809094738. OCLC Number:

Farrar, Straus and Giroux,. New York :. 2009.

Offers ways to recognize and respond to misinformation and rumor propagation, explaining how its practice compromises political and professional reputations, in a guide that proposes specific free-speech legislation.

Nudge :
ISBN: 014311526X. OCLC Number:

Yale University Press,. New Haven, Conn. :. ©2008.

"A Caravan book"--Title page verso.

Simpler :
ISBN: 1476726590. OCLC Number:

. .

The co-author of the best-selling Nudge and regulatory advisor to President Obama draws on cutting-edge work in behavioral psychology and economics to trace behind-the-scenes, life-saving policy changes that reflect smarter and simpler government practices while preserving freedom of choice for everyday people in areas ranging from mortgages and student loans to food labeling and health care.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (No)