Urban sprawl. Disappearing wetlands. Historic preservation. Eminent domain. These and related land-use issues have put private-property rights on the public agenda in a contentious, visible way. In this provocative book, legal scholar and conservationist Eric T. Freyfogle presents the private-property debate in a surprising new light while suggesting how we can both respect private property and achieve communal goals.
Freyfogle's argument culminates in an intriguing Landowner Bill of Rightsfar different from property-rights measures now being discussed.
About the Author
Eric T. Freyfogle has written widely on the many links between people and land, and on the need for a more land-sensitive culture, including the recent books Agrarianism and the Good Society and Why Conservation Is Failing and How It Can Regain Ground. His nonlegal writings have appeared in various publications, from Conservation Biology, Wild Earth, and Orion to Dissent and The New York Times. Freyfogle has appeared widely as a speaker, not just at academic gatherings, but at land-related conferences sponsored by major federal agencies, major national conservation organizations, and such professional organizations as the Society of American Foresters, the George Wright Society, and the Natural Areas Association. In January 2004 he was appointed editor of the Leopold Conservation Papers Project, an effort to edit and publish in thematic volumes the conservation writings of Aldo Leopold. He teaches at the University of Illinois College of Law at Urbana-Champaign.
Freyfogle's new book, which probably should have been titled Roll Over, John Locke, is just what the public debate over property rights needs: straight talk, and an invitation to open a conversation about the real issues.—Joseph L. Sax, author of Playing Darts with a Rembrandt: Public and Private Rights in Cultural Treasures
"In a work that eschews easy slogans, Eric Freyfogle proves the truth about American property rights-that original intent, early court opinions, and the realities of modern society all mandate that ownership brings with it weighty but reasonable responsibilities to the larger community. This beautifully articulated book, at once bold and thoughtful, is bound to become a classic in American constitutional and property law."—Charles Wilkinson, author of Crossing the Next Meridian: Land, Water, and the Future of the West
"Packed cover-to-cover with well-reasoned arguments that take both public and private needs into account, On Private Property is a welcome contribution to an ongoing dispute."—Midwest Book Review
"A fresh perspective and penetrating legal and historical analysis of an issue that will continue to be in the forefront of land policy in the twenty-first century."—Anthony Flint, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, author of This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America