The seas of American politics have been rocky over the past few years. A tidal wave of hopeful enthusiasm carried Barack Obama to the White House, but in its wake his administration has been beset by seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Is there something wrong with our government, or is politics simply a messy business? As Michael Sandel demonstrates in his enjoyable and thought-provoking Justice, puzzling out the problems of democracy may not require an examination of politics as usual, but rather an investigation of our own notions of right and wrong.
The exciting insight here is that the battles that rage in the halls of congress are intimately linked to those we each fight within our own conscience, and part of the reason it's so hard to come to agreement on the basic questions facing society is that...
Beyond the Book
Justice on PBS
Sandel's writing style bears the unmistakable imprint of an accomplished teacher and lecturer. While reading certain passages you can almost see him pacing beside the lectern, pausing to give emphasis to a particular thought or casting his eyes over the audience in search of a willing volunteer for questioning. Interested readers can now take a seat in the lecture hall alongside Harvard College students, thanks to a 2009 PBS lecture series.
You can access the complete episodes, plus a wealth of related material on the series website: justiceharvard.org