Free and Equal

What Would a Fair Society Look Like?

Daniel Chandler author


Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd

Published:20th Apr '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

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Free and Equal cover

'A tremendous book, timely, wise, authoritative and clear' Stephen Fry
'A brilliantly eloquent, incredibly insightful reimagining of liberalism' Owen Jones
'Clear, brave, compelling' David Miliband

'Inspiring ... impassioned ... full of hope' Zadie Smith
'This is a fantastic book'Thomas Piketty

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 intervention, 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 careful and ultimately irresistible case for a 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 galvanising alternative to the cynicism that pervades our politics. Free and Equal has the potential not only to transform contemporary debate, but 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.

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
A beautifully written and compelling argument that Rawlsian political philosophy can heal our broken societies and make us, indeed, free and equal -- Professor Sir Angus Deaton, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Deaths of Despair
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
A tremendous book, timely, wise, authoritative and clear. The world will fall on it like tired labourers falling on a tray of donuts -- Stephen Fry
A brilliantly eloquent, incredibly insightful reimagining of liberalism, and by such a compelling writer -- Owen Jones
An exceptionally sane, judicious essay on what a viable democracy entails... [Chandler] develops a realistic, humane - and in its way, revolutionary - vision of a society committed to equity, inclusion and accountability. It should become an indispensable tool in political debate in the years ahead -- Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
So many of the answers to our dilemmas about democracy and inequality can be found in the philosophy of John Rawls. Daniel Chandler brings those answers to life with contemporary evidence and solutions. Read Free and Equal and feel hopeful about the future -- Minouche Shafik
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
Many of us wonder idly why we can't live in a kinder world. Daniel Chandler has done us all a significant favour by devising a powerful analysis of exactly why the world is not presently kind and how it might become more so. An inspiring work which returns political philosophy to its rightful position: that of working out how to make things better -- Alain de Botton
Clear, brave, compelling. This book shows how to put values at the heart of politics in a rigorous way, and is an important contribution to the future of progressive politics -- David Miliband
This is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of the left, and indeed the future of liberal democracy -- Jon Cruddas MP
A magnificent attempt to apply fundamental philosophical principles to the practical building of a better world. Far-reaching and well-evidenced, it offers a new, coherent, principles-based approach to policy design -- Professor Lord Richard Layard
In this very timely and refreshing book, Daniel Chandler argues that rather than abandon liberalism we must reimagine it. Free and Equal asks big questions about how human society should be organised, and offers answers all of us should take seriously, whatever our politics -- Jesse Norman MP
Daniel Chandler is the most exciting new thinker on the scene, making the most complex of ideas digestible even for idiots like me. Free and Equal provides a refreshingly hopeful tonic for our cynical times. I gulped it down -- Hadley Freeman
Invaluable... Chandler takes a set of universal principles around fairness, based on the philosophy of John Rawls, and applies them to the real world of liberal democracy -- Sir Vince Cable, former leader of the Liberal Democrats
A beautifully clear, inspiring, wise book with the potential not only to reinvent liberalism, but to transform our societies for the better -- Johann Hari
Daniel Chandler's provocative book helps make human possibilities more credible than they have been in our neoliberal age. Free and Equal doubles as an accessible guide to a leading philosophical system, and a call for a new agenda for justice in our time -- Samuel Moyn, author of Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World
Thank God Daniel Chandler has written this fine and necessary book. He is an important voice for the lost ideals of liberalism, and if liberal democracy is to be saved the arguments so well presented here will be vital -- Russell Brand
Thought-provoking -- Linda Yueh, author of The Great Economists and The Great Crashes
Lucid and well-informed -- Philippe Van Parijs
Let's hope it is as widely read as it needs to be -- Kate Pickett, author of The Spirit Level
This is superb work, in both explaining Rawls for general readers and in applying Rawlsian principles to contemporary problems of social and political justice ... It is impressive - clear, concise, thorough, and accessible -- Professor Samuel Freeman, author of Rawls and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Rawls
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
This is 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
A rousing and original argument against hopelessness which will convince even the most jaded among us that a better public debate and a more just world are indeed within reach -- Ryan Avent
A timely and thought-provoking look into society, Chandler's insights are much needed in today's world. Free and Equal offers a well-written perspective on how we live today and provides hope in practical ways for economies to operate for the better in the future -- Rupal Patel
A stirringly hopeful book ... An exemplary demonstration of how public reasoning can be done ... This is a kind of erudite public intellectualism reminiscent of Amartya Sen, and is a welcome respite from the knee-jerk moralism that dominates the op-ed pages and social media * New Statesman *
Powerfully argued and lucidly written * Financial Times *
Inspiring ... A stirring call for egalitarian liberalism based on the ideas of John Rawls * Guardian *
A breath of fresh air... Engaging, clear and persuasive * Literary Review *
Serious, progressive, and grounded in a great political philosopher ... Such a contrast to the trivia about liberal elites -- Will Hutton (via Twitter)
Fascinating -- Matt Lucas (via Twitter)
Important... skilful... Free and Equal is a shining example of how a lucid writer can make complex arguments clearer and develop practical proposals to improve society -- Paschal Donohoe * Irish Times *
Attractively written and strongly argued ... This is a welcome reminder of what progressive politics should be -- Jonathan Wolff * Times Literary Supplement *
Genuinely original... An inspiring catalogue of fresh ideas each with a clear and jargon-free philosophical underpinning drawn from Rawls' work -- John Mitchinson * Byline Times *

ISBN: 9780241428382

Dimensions: 236mm x 154mm x 42mm

Weight: 640g

416 pages