Cover: When Americans Complain: Governmental Grievance Procedures, from Harvard University PressCover: When Americans Complain in E-DITION

When Americans Complain

Governmental Grievance Procedures

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674491694

Publication Date: 01/01/1966

239 pages


Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

In this book, Walter Gellhorn explores possible applications of the ombudsman concept in the United States. He describes the present American arrangements—national, state, and local—for protecting the rights of citizens and handling their discontents with official acts. He finds them far from adequate. The study begins with a general introduction to the subject of non-judicial means of settling disagreements between citizens and officials—both abroad and in America. (The author also discusses judicial means in order to show that only a fraction of the populace can really use the courts to challenge their treatment by government.) New material is presented concerning Congressmen’s work for constituents. The author details recent steps toward stronger procedures. The national government is far too big for a single ombudsman, but this is not necessarily true, Gellhorn points out, of states and localities, which need better means of protecting individuals in their encounters with all manner of public servants, including police, prison authorities, welfare officers, and public housing officials. Gellhorn brilliantly pinpoints the deficiencies in the system.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Cover: A Theory of Justice: Original Edition, by John Rawls, from Harvard University Press

John Rawls: Speaking in a Shared Political Language

On the occasion of the anniversary of the publication of A Theory of Justice, Andrius Gališanka, author of John Rawls: The Path to a Theory of Justice, reflects on some of Rawls’s ideas on moral and political reasoning