What Money Can’t Buy

“In a culture mesmerized by the market, Sandel’s is the indispensable voice of reason…. What Money Can’t Buy…must surely be one of the most important exercises in public philosophy in many years.”

–John Gray, New Statesman


Sandel, “the most famous teacher of philosophy in the world, [has] shown that it is possible to take philosophy into the public square without insulting the public’s intelligence…. [He] is trying to force open a space for a discourse on civic virtue that he believes has been abandoned by both left and right.”

–Michael Ignatieff, The New Republic 


Brilliant, easily readable, beautifully delivered and often funny,…an indispensable book on the relationship between morality and economics.”

–David Aaronovitch, The Times (London)

Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?

“More than exhilarating; exciting in its ability to persuade this student/reader, time and again, that the principle now being invoked—on this page, in this chapter—is the one to deliver the sufficiently inclusive guide to the making of a decent life.” (Vivian Gornick, Boston Review)


“Sandel explains theories of justice…with clarity and immediacy; the ideas of Aristotle, Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Robert Nozick and John Rawls have rarely, if ever, been set out as accessibly…. In terms we can all understand, ‘Justice’ confronts us with the concepts that lurk, so often unacknowledged, beneath our conflicts.”  (Jonathan Rauch, New York Times)


“Sandel dazzles in this sweeping survey of hot topics…. Erudite, conversational and deeply humane, this is truly transformative reading.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

The Case against Perfection

“In the future, genetic manipulation of embryos is expected to have the potential to go beyond the treatment of diseases to improvements: children who are taller, more athletic, and have higher IQs… In The Case against Perfection, Michael Sandel argues that the unease many people feel about such manipulations have a basis in reason… This beautifully crafted little book…quickly and clearly lays out the key issues at stake.”—Gregory M. Lamb, The Christian Science Monitor


“Sandel worries that more genetic choice will undermine our appreciation of the gifted character of human life—our sense that the way we are is not solely the product of our own doing…. Many of us feel uneasy about such a future, without being quite able to say why.  Michael Sandel’s graceful and intelligent new book, The Case against Perfection, is an extended effort to diagnose that unease.”—Carl Elliott, The New England Journal of Medicine

Public Philosophy

“Michael Sandel…believes that liberal appeals to individual rights and to the broad values of fairness and equality make a poor case for the progressive case, both as a matter of strategy and as a matter of principle. The country and the Democratic party would be better off, he thinks, if progressives made more of an effort to inspire the majority to adopt their vision of the common good and make it the democratic ground for public policy and law… Anyone concerned over the political success of conservatism in recent years must be interested in this critical analysis.”Thomas Nagel, The New York Review of Books


“Two messages for progressives sear like bullets through Sandel’s collection of essays.  Firstly,…inevitable disagreement about the nature of the good society calls for progressives to engage with controversial moral questions—not to try to avoid them…. Secondly, by seeking to justify egalitarianism in individualistic, rights-based terms, Rawlsian liberals neglect cultivating the citizenship, solidarity and community on which liberty and equality depend…. In recapturing a moral voice for the liberal-left, it is Sandel who seems to offer a more persuasive way forward.” – Graeme Cook, Public Policy Research

Democracy’s Discontent

“Michael Sandel… has written an important book about the meaning of liberty. Sandel argues that over the last century, Americans have abandoned an earlier communitarian view of liberty, rooted in participation in self-government, for a narrower, individualistic definition, based on the power of personal choice. That has led to the great paradox of American politics: Just as Americans have become freer in the conduct of their personal lives, they have become more constrained in their public lives. The strength of Sandel’s book is his account of how this definition of liberty has changed over the last 200 years. He argues persuasively that the new definition reinforces undesirable trends in court decisions and public policy… Sandel argues brilliantly that the change in this definition of liberty took place after the Civil War and was based primarily on economic change… His analysis is superb… By revealing the shallowness of liberal and conservative views of democracy, [this book] inspires us to reevaluate what American politics is really about.”—John B. Judis, Washington Post Book World

Liberalism and the Limits of Justice

“His is a new and authentic philosophical voice…. Michael Sandel’s elegantly argued book…describes what I take to be the reality of moral experience.” – Michael Walzer, The New Republic


“Sandel’s Liberalism and the Limits of Justice is a gracefully—even beautifully—written book that I would imagine is destined to be something of a classic on the subject.” – Chilton Williamson, Jr., National Review


“Sandel’s book is exemplary.  It is passionate and unrelenting, and yet meticulous and scrupulous in its argumentation…. [A]lways fair to its target, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice develops the best and most constructive interpretations with which to disagree…. It is the great virtue of this book, of its justness and generosity of spirit, that…one can come away from this book moved to deepen and improve the vision he criticizes.” – Charles Fried, Harvard Law Review

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