Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Cass R. Sunstein  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: 1954 in Concord, MA

Sites:


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 Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes
ISBN: 0393320332

W. W. Norton & Company. 2000

To "fight for your rights," or anyone else's, is not just to debate principles but to haggle over budgets.

The simple insight that all legally enforceable rights cost money reminds us that freedom is not violated by a government that taxes and spends, but requires it―and requires a citizenry vigilant about how money is allocated. Drawing from these practical, commonsense notions, The Cost of Rights provides a useful corrective to the all-or-nothing feel of much political debate nowadays (The Economist).

Risk and Reason: Safety, Law, and the Environment
ISBN: 0521016258

Cambridge University Press. 2004

What should be done about airplane safety and terrorism, global warming, polluted water, nuclear power, and genetically engineered food? Decision-makers often respond to temporary fears, and the result is a situation of hysteria and neglect--and unnecessary illness and death. Risk and Reason explains the sources of these problems and explores what can be done about them. It 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 too--and protect the environment in the process. Cass R. Sunstein is the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. Appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Advisory Committee on the Public Interest Obligations of Television Broadcasters. His many books include Republic.com (Princeton, 2001) and Designing Democracy (Oxford, 2001). He has worked in the United States Department of Justice and advised on law reform and constitution-making in many nations.

The Second Bill of Rights
ISBN: 0465083331

Basic Books. 2006

In 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a State of the Union Address that was arguably the greatest political speech of the twentieth century. In it, Roosevelt grappled with the definition of security in a democracy, concluding that "unless there is security here at home, there cannot be lasting peace in the world." To help ensure that security, he proposed a "Second Bill of Rights" -- economic rights that he saw as necessary to political freedom. Many of the great legislative achievements of the past sixty years stem from Roosevelt's vision. Using this speech as a launching point, Cass R. Sunstein shows how these rights are vital to the continuing security of our nation. This is an ambitious, sweeping book that argues for a new vision of FDR, of constitutional history, and our current political scene.

Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (The Seeley Lectures)
ISBN: 0521615127

Cambridge University Press. 2005

This book is about the complex relationship between fear, danger, and the law. Cass Sunstein argues that the precautionary principle is incoherent and potentially paralyzing, as risks exist on all sides of social situations and there is no 'general' precautionary principle as such. His insight into The Laws of Fear represents a major statement for the contemporary world from one of the most influential political and legal theorists writing today.

Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge
ISBN: 0195340671

Oxford University Press. 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: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done
ISBN: 0809094738

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2009

Book by Sunstein, Cass R.

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
ISBN: 014311526X

Penguin Books. 2009

From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s

Blink

and Daniel Kahneman’s

Thinking Fast and Slow

New York Times

bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by The

Economist and the

Financial Times

Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. But by knowing how people think, we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice.

More than 750,000 copies sold

Simpler: The Future of Government
ISBN: 1476726590

Simon & Schuster. 2013

For nearly four years, Cass R. Sunstein, bestselling author and President Obama’s “Regulatory Czar,” helped to oversee a revolution in better government. He explains how and why—and what comes next.

Simpler government arrived four years ago. It helped put money in your pocket. It saved hours of your time. It improved your children’s diet, lengthened your life span, and benefited businesses large and small. It did so by issuing fewer regulations, by insisting on smarter regulations, and by eliminating or improving old regulations. Cass R. Sunstein, as administrator of the most powerful White House office you’ve never heard of, oversaw it and explains how it works, why government will never be the same again (thank goodness), and what must happen in the future.

Cutting-edge research in behavioral economics has influenced business and politics. Long at the forefront of that research, Sunstein, for three years President Obama’s “regulatory czar” heading the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, oversaw a far-reaching restructuring of America’s regulatory state. In this highly anticipated book, Sunstein pulls back the curtain to show what was done, why Americans are better off as a result, and what the future has in store.

The evidence is all around you, and more is coming soon. Simplified mortgages and student loan applications. Scorecards for colleges and universities. Improved labeling of food and energy-efficient appliances and cars. Calories printed on chain restaurant menus. Healthier food in public schools. Backed by historic executive orders ensuring transparency and accountability, simpler government can be found in new initiatives that save money and time, improve health, and lengthen lives. Simpler: The Future of Government will transform what you think government can and should accomplish.