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Fall 2021 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for fall 2021 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Planning for Serfdom
Legal Economic Discourse and Downtown Development

Robin Paul Malloy

208 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 1991 | ISBN 9780812230550 | $79.95s | Outside the Americas £64.00
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512809527 | Buy from Combined Academic Publishers £64.00
An Anniversary Collection volume

Robin Paul Malloy examines efforts at urban development and revitalization as prototypical examples of a monumental transformation in American law. His investigation reveals that America has rejected a belief in the marketplace, individual freedom, and autonomy, and has instead opted for an ideological commitment to concepts contrary to the rhetoric upon which this country was founded. The urban landscape and its ideological infrastructure are being corrupted by greedy special interest groups and a political system unable to avoid its own excesses.

This book is unique in its blending of legal and economic analysis. With a detailed and fresh new interpretation of Adam Smith, Malloy undertakes to challenge some of the most highly promoted urban panning devices and concludes that American law and values are in transformation. He also examines the legal and economic arrangements that have led America down this path of ideological drift and focuses on examples of urban revitalization efforts in several cities, including Indianapolis, Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Louisville.

Recommendations for change are provided. Fundamentally, however, he concludes that change must begin with the reinvigoration of individual values—values that respect individual freedom, liberty, and human dignity—values being readily displaced by the current ideological drift of American legal and economic culture.

Planning for Serfdom is an important and controversial book that will be of interest to scholars and students of law, economics, politics, and philosophy.

Robin Paul Malloy is E. I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law, and the Kauffman Professor of Entreprenuership and Innovation, at Syracuse University.

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