In this brief and powerful book, Philip K. Howard attacks the failed ideologies of both parties and proposes a radical simplification of government to re-empower Americans in their daily choices. Nothing will make sense until people are free to roll up their sleeves and make things work. The first steps are to abandon the philosophy of correctness and our devotion to mindless compliance.

Americans are a practical people. They want government to be practical. Washington can’t do anything practically. Worse, its bureaucracy prevents Americans from doing what’s sensible. Conservative bluster won’t fix this problem. Liberal hand-wringing won’t work either. Frustrated voters reach for extremist leaders, but they too get bogged down in the bureaucracy that has accumulated over the past century. Howard shows how America can push the reset button and create simpler frameworks focused on public goals where officials―prepare for the shock―are actually accountable for getting the job done.

Reviews and Endorsements

“A thunderous little book.”
Gillian Tett, Financial Times

“Howard has a gift for the turn of phrase, and he leaves neither political party untouched by his critiques.…He makes a convincing case that in many ways government doesn’t work.” 
– The Washington Post

A “Book to Read”: “As the rhetoric between American political parties grows more tense, Philip K. Howard offers a solution based in practicality.”
– TIME

“In this compact book, Philip K. Howard picks up where he left off with ‘The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America,’ tapping into bipartisan unrest and prescribing three basic reforms…in an effort to restore power to the people.”
RealClear Books

“Philip K. Howard expertly navigates the unnecessary complexities of the modern regulatory state in his new book, ‘Try Common Sense.’ The status quo is not good for America and Howard proposes practical solutions.”
– Niskanen Center

Try Common Sense will send Washington reeling. Howard provides practical vision certain to offend the political establishment.”
– Alan K. Simpson, U.S. Senator, Wyoming (Ret.)

“With provocative arguments and convincing solutions, Howard offers a fresh, nonpartisan approach that will appeal to anyone frustrated with government’s ongoing failures.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“Masterful …. Engrossingly readable and wise …. Demand that your elected officials read it – and act according to Howard’s advice.”
– Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner

“A breath of fresh air in an America where the political atmosphere has been poisoned by partisan invective.”
– Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law professor and author of Rights Talk and The Forum and the Tower

“[Howard] offers up concrete proposals not just to reform government but to route around it and get on with our lives already.”
– Nick Gillespie, Reason

“Try Common Sense is an engagingly written and never-dull aperçu that pinpoints with deadly accuracy in only a few pages so much that is wrong with the current American administrative state.”

Try Common Sense will appeal “to tomorrow’s statesmen interested in promoting the kind of governing philosophy integral to the design and practical functioning of a good (that is, characterized by and imbued with common sense) society.”
 Marshall B. Kapp, Florida Bar Journal

“If you have the feeling that America and its government and institutions are malfunctioning, then you should read this important book. It is time for us to…try common sense.”
– Jonathan Haidt, New York University Stern School of Business, co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind

“Philip K. Howard has written a transcendent guidebook for life after Trump. This profound and practical new book makes us hope for the particular situation of a Philip Howard presidential candidacy at the head of his exemplary party for the Common Good.”
– George Gilder, author of Wealth and Poverty and Life After Google

“Wonderful ideas beautifully expressed.”
– John Sweller, Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology, University of New South Wales