Vanderbilt Law Review

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Book Reviews

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Book Reviews:

The Antitrust Penalties: A Study in Law and Economics By Kenneth G. Elzinga and William Breit

Reviewed by George A. Hay

The Antitrust Penalties was published in 1976. Its main mes-sage is that the only efficient antitrust penalty is a heavy fine and that incarceration comes out poorly by any benefit-cost standard.Later that year, in a celebrated and possibly unprecedented appearance, newly appointed Assistant Attorney General Donald I. Baker argued before a federal district judge that jail sentences were the appropriate penalty for a group of defendants who had just been convicted in one of the major price-fixing cases of the past twenty years. Fines, he suggested, offered insufficient deterrence for future would-be criminals. Moreover, after that appearance, the call for jail sentences in price-fixing cases became the dominant theme in Baker's brief but active tenure.' Thus the evidence is clear that Elzinga and Breit's missionary expedition had failed to convert the chief antitrust enforcement official. Why the attempted conversion thus far has failed is a question this review will address.


Antitrust Law: an Economic Perspective - By Richard A. Posner

Reviewed by H. Michael Mann and Teresa Amott

Professor Posner offers an articulation of a viewpoint derived from research and writing in the law and economics of antitrust. His position is that the promotion of vigorous competition can be accomplished by one statute (section 1 of the Sherman Act) that prohibits collusive action designed to restrict output below and concurrently raise prices above the competitive level and that imposes severe fines for violations. We are unconvinced, although we acknowledge that we agree with much of Posner's criticism about the application of antitrust law.


Taking Rights Seriously - By Ronald Dworkin

Reviewed by John D. Hodson

The work of Ronald Dworkin covers a broad range of topics in political and legal philosophy. His Taking Rights Seriously brings together essays on such matters as the nature of law and judicial decision, constitutional theory, justice, civil disobedience, reverse discrimination, and the enforcement of morality. His positions on these issues are closely reasoned, challenging, and often highly plausible. Unifying and underlying these positions is a notion of legal and moral rights. For Dworkin moral rights are fundamental and provide the basis for his views on the normative issues addressed. Moral rights also have an important place in Dworkin's theory of the nature of law and judicial decision, for they, in combination with facts about the particular institution of law in question, form the basis of the judge's interpretation of legal rights. In this review, I shall focus primarily upon Dworkin's theory of moral rights, both because of the way in which the theory affects every aspect of his thinking and because the theory receives more new development in Taking Rights Seriously than any other of his ideas.