Journal Title

Northwestern University Law Review





First Page


Document Type

Book Review

Publication Information



That all is not well with tort law cannot seriously be doubted. In Liability: The Legal Revolution and Its Consequences, Peter Huber attempts to chronicle the changes in tort doctrine over the past thirty or so years that have brought tort law to its present crisis, and to prescribe sweeping remedial actions capable of defining a more intelligent course of accident compensation. Drastic measures are necessary, Huber argues, because of the magnitude of the emergency.

Huber’s critique of modern tort law is always provocative and often perceptive and enlightening. The book identifies many jurisprudential trouble-spots which cry out for reform, and the examination raises many important questions about the current state of tort law. Unfortunately, Huber forfeits many opportunities to persuade or enlighten by engaging in unwarranted exaggeration and indulging in unsubstantiated and inaccurate assertions. His efforts to write in a vivid, colorful style frequently degenerate into unfair caricature, heavy sarcasm, and one-sided argumentation.

Huber’s book should be read, but not because it is an even-handed, accurate portrayal of modern tort law, nor because its proffered remedies are an adequate solution to current problems. Rather, it should be read because it forces one to think deeply about liability issues, and that, of course, is an essential step in curing all that is not well with tort law.

Recommended Citation

Vincent R. Johnson, Liberating Progress and the Free Market from the Specter of Tort Liability (book review), 83 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1026 (1989).

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.