Tulsa Law Review
In Margaret Jane Radin's provocative new book, Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law, 1 the author offers scathing observations regarding the motivation and effects of the terms placed in consumer and employee form contracts and on-line agreements. She argues that the current contracting practices make a mockery of consent, and undermine the rule of law. 2 Boilerplate's essential claim is that for many contracting parties, freedom of contract is less an ideal than a sham. 3 The book properly criticizes theories of contract law (and courses in contract law) that largely ignore boilerplate and its problems despite the pervasiveness of such terms in modern contracting practice. 4 In the process of making her argument, Radin offers an impressive tour across modern contracting practices, Contract Law doctrine, Contract Law theory, political theory, and populist advocacy. Boilerplate is a book from which all readers could benefit, whether or not they ultimately agree with every one of the author's analyses and conclusions.
Brian H. Bix, Boilerplate, Freedom of Contract, and "Democratic Degradation", 49 Tulsa L. Rev. 501 (2013), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/196.