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Book Review

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Nearly forty years ago, Professor James 0. Freedman described the American administrative state as haunted by a "recurrent sense of crisis." "Each generation has tended to define the crisis in its own terms," and "each generation has fashioned solutions responsive to the problems it has perceived." Yet "a strong and persisting challenge to the basic legitimacy of the administrative process" always returns, in a new guise, to trouble the next generation. On this account, the American people remain perennially unconvinced that administrative decisionmaking is "appropriate, proper, and just," entitled to respect and obedience "by virtue of who made the decision" (executive officials) and "how it was made" (the administrative process).


Administrative Law | Law | Legal History


Tocqueville's Nightmare: The Administrative State Emerges in America, 1900-1940 by Daniel R. Ernst, New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 240, $39.95.