Free and Equal: A Manifesto for a Just Society (Hardcover)

Free and Equal: A Manifesto for a Just Society By Daniel Chandler Cover Image
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Imagine: You are designing a society, but you don't know who you'll be within it—rich or poor, man or woman, gay or straight. What would you want that society to look like?

This is the revolutionary thought experiment proposed by the twentieth century's greatest political philosopher, John Rawls. As economist and philosopher Daniel Chandler argues in this hugely ambitious and exhilarating manifesto, it is by rediscovering Rawls that we can find a way out of the escalating crises that are devastating our world today.

Taking Rawls's humane and egalitarian liberalism as his starting point, Chandler builds a powerful case for a new progressive agenda that would fundamentally reshape our societies for the better. He shows how we can protect free speech and transcend the culture wars; get money out of politics; and create an economy where everyone has the chance to fulfil their potential, where prosperity is widely shared, and which operates within the limits of our finite planet.

This is a book brimming with hope and possibility—a galvanizing alternative to the cynicism that pervades our politics. Free and Equal has the potential to offer a touchstone for a modern, egalitarian liberalism for many years to come, cementing Rawls's place in political discourse, and firmly establishing Chandler as a vital new voice for our time.

About the Author

DANIEL CHANDLER is an economist and philosopher based at the London School of Economics, where he is Research Director of the Programme on Cohesive Capitalism. He has degrees in economics, philosophy, and history from Cambridge and the London School of Economics, and was awarded a Henry Fellowship at Harvard, where he studied under Amartya Sen.

Praise For…

Praise for Daniel Chandler's Free and Equal

“A student of the philosopher John Rawls applies his ideas to a brand of politics capable of shaping a 'good society.' By Chandler’s account, Rawls is 'the towering figure of twentieth-century political thought.' . . . Rawls’ liberalism stands firm on cooperation, reciprocity, and fairness. Thinking through his philosophy, Chandler examines what are called 'basic liberties,' which include not just Bill of Rights guarantees but also 'freedom of choice in questions of sexuality and reproduction' as well as what religion we might want to follow, if any, and what kind of work we might want to do. The central idea is that we may not impose our standards on others simply because they’re our standards, instead respecting the views and practices of others. . . . Chandler brings good cheer and a positive outlook to the work of reshaping society, which marks an advance on the usual gloom and doom. A resounding endorsement of Rawls’ philosophy and a complex recipe for something better than what we have now.”
Kirkus Reviews [starred review]

“A stirring call to make justice and equity a reality by applying the ideas of liberal philosopher John Rawls.”
The Guardian

“Daniel Chandler offers a powerfully argued case for renovating democracy’s tattered social contract.”
Financial Times

“A robust and inspiring case for the philosophy of John Rawls, dragging his theory of justice down from Harvard's ivory towers and into the street with the people. In clear and impassioned style [Chandler] returns Rawls to the center of the conversation, where he belongs, re-establishing his work as a potential agent of radical—and practicable—change . . . Intellectually rigorous and full of hope.”
—Zadie Smith

“This is a fantastic book. More than ever, we need philosophers to participate in the public debate about inequality and sustainability. In Free and Equal Daniel Chandler provides us with the moral basis for an ambitious egalitarian agenda, and a roadmap for putting this into practice. It is a must-read!”
—Thomas Piketty

“Chandler has an excellent background on the philosophical issues that are central to practical policy making, and given the lucidity and reach of what he writes, this book will meet a very important need.”
—Amartya Sen, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

“A beautifully written and compelling argument that Rawlsian political philosophy can heal our broken societies and make us, indeed, free and equal.”
—Sir Angus Deaton, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

“Daniel Chandler's provocative book helps make human possibilities more credible than they have been in our neoliberal age.”
Samuel Moyn, author of Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World

“A beautifully clear, inspiring, wise book with the potential not only to reinvent liberalism, but to transform our societies for the better.”
Johann Hari, author of Stolen Focus and Lost Connections

“A refreshing and useful contribution to envisioning a better world. . . . A model for what politically engaged philosophy should look like.”

“Read Free and Equal and feel hopeful about the future.”
Minouche Shafik, President of Columbia University

“An exceptionally sane, judicious essay on what a viable democracy entails. . . . Realistic, humane - and in its way, revolutionary.”
Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

“Attractively written and strongly argued. . . . This is a welcome reminder of what progressive politics should be.”
Times Literary Supplement

“A shining example of how a lucid writer can develop practical proposals to improve society.”
Irish Times

“An exemplary demonstration of how public reasoning can be done. . . . A welcome respite from the knee-jerk moralism that dominates the op-ed pages and social media.”
New Statesman

“A book full of ideals and ideas, optimism grounded in action. It is as energising as it is timely.”
Andy Haldane, former Chief Economist of the Bank of England

“A morally steadfast book, which liberalism's honest opponents should take for their target, and which will enliven liberal theory and perhaps even reinvigorate liberal political practice.”
Daniel Markovits, author of The Meritocracy Trap

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593801680
ISBN-10: 0593801687
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English

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