April 2012 Vol. 110 No. 6 THE REVIEW

Cute Prickly Critter With Presbyopia

Don Herzog

Ronald Dworkin's latest, long-awaited, and most ambitious book Justice for Hedgehogs is a puzzle. Truth in advertising first: despite the title, this isn't centrally a book about justice. It's a book about the realm of value — all of that realm. Dworkin is most interested here in morality, but really touches on all of it, as a matter of the application of the abstract argument and sometimes in black and white right on the page, from aesthetics to prudence to morality to politics to law to . . . . It's fun to read, also frustrating. It stretches out lazily in handling some issues but zooms over others. Readers of Dworkin's essays, which are often published in The New York Review of Books and often collected in prior volumes, know that he can be a compelling prose stylist whether or not they're persuaded by his arguments. Stretches of this book are like that, too. But sometimes the book reads as if he's hastily jotted down notes to himself.

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