on June 10, 2004
Robert's Rules of Order is a charming little volume that will temporarily satiate the obsessions of control freaks. If you've ever been involved in an organization and have a keen sense of annoyance at inefficiency and improper democratic process, Robert's Rules of Order is for you. If you have a very systematic, logical mind and like learning new patterns to help bring order to a chaotic world, Robert's Rules of Order is for you. If you are bossy and want to impose "The Right Way" on your organization, buy a copy of Robert's Rules of Order and wave it over their heads.
The book is well-organized, attractive, and easy to read. You might expect that reading a book of rules would be boring, but it actually is quite interesting, because it is easy to see how the intricacies of correct parliamentary procedure can be applied and manipulated.
on January 3, 2002
This book was originally published over a century ago and to this day is still the number one publication on parliamentary procedure. For anyone in the world of business this is a must have book. We NEED rules and order, for without them we have absolute lack of organization and complete and utter chaos. Over the years, I have been a director and chairperson on a great number of boards from charitable organizations and government boards to corporate boards; "Robert's Rules of Order" has always prevailed. Regardless of the type of organization, if you are in a position to sit as a member on a Board of Directors, this book is one you definitely should read. Do not assume the chairperson has all the answers and required expertise. In many cases that expertise is clearly and sadly lacking. Keep a copy of "Robert's Rules of Order" tucked safely in your briefcase, you may need it sooner than you think!
on September 26, 2002
Do not be put off by the size of this book. It is large because it is complete. As you can see by the table of contents, everything is covered-- all the motions , how to write bylaws, boards and committees, conventions, forming new organizations, etc. Nevertheless, it is easy to read and you certainly do not need to read it cover to cover. Read the first 5 chapters (119 pages, ~ 1/5 of the book) straight through, then skim the rest so you know where to find the answers, and also look over the tables in the back. If you are in a big hurry, just read pages 21-78 (as recommended on the books web site: [...])
You need this book.
You need to learn what is in this book to be an effective member of any organization where members have the right to vote. Do you know how to get your idea considered by your organization? Do you know how to make a change to an idea that someone else had? Did you change your mind about what happened at the last meeting and want to rescind it? Well, its all in this book.
on December 21, 2001
As a lawyer, when I am asked about proper procedure at a meeting, my first question is: What rules do you use? Is there an applicable statute, or bylaws or rules that the organization has adopted? Nine times out of ten, the answer is: "Robert's Rules of Order." Robert's is the most widely used parliamentary manual in the United States.
General Henry M. Robert published the original "Robert's Rules" in 1875 and 1876 and, since the copyright on that edition (and the next few editions) has long since expired, there are numerous unofficial editions on the market. The third edition, published in 1893, is still marketed in paperback by more than one publisher as the "original" Robert's Rules. With the copyright expired, even the name "Robert's" has passed into the public domain, and many imitators have slapped the name "Robert's" on books of parliamentary procedure that bear minimal relation to General Robert's work (much as many dictionaries claim the name "Webster's" without any connection to Noah Webster or the Merriam-Webster brand that carries on his work). This book is the real Robert's, composed by an editorial board appointed by General Robert's heirs (including his descendants Sarah and Henry III, both eminent parliamentarians). Now in its tenth edition, published in 2000, this book "supersedes all previous editions and is intended automatically become the parliamentary authority in organizations whose bylaws prescribe 'Robert's Rules of Order' . . . or the like, without specifying a particular edition."
Robert's is not necessarily the best parliamentary manual on the market: "Modern Parliamentary Procedure" by Ray Keesey is far more logical and user-friendly, and "The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure" by Alice Sturgis (commissioned by the American Institute of Parliamentarians as a contemporary alternative to Robert's) is more readable and more rooted in modern practice. But no other book has gained as much as a toehold in Robert's dominance in the market. If you are interested in parliamentary procedure, or figuring out how most organizations work in the twenty-first-century United States, this Robert's is indispensable.
on May 9, 2001
Recently having begun to serve on a board, I've found Robert's manual--a mainstay of legislatures, clubs and other organizations around the world since 1893--to be invaluable. Its comprehensive coverage of motions, rules, procedures and all contingencies has served me well simply in understanding "what's going on"; it has also enabled me to become an active, not a passive, member. Knowledge is power, in this context or in any other. There is no question that members of your organization who have knowledge of the rules of the meeting have the power to control the meeting. If you do not want to get stepped on, this book is essential.
There are several editions of this work. I advise buyers to get one that (a) has a durable binding, able to withstand the rigors of frequent use; (b) has a good introduction or supplementary guide by its editor, as Robert's original manual is, as other reviews here have noted, complex and intimidating to those who are new to it.
on April 2, 2002
Many people will recommed other parliamentary authorities whose primary benefit is that of being shorter. Other authorities I've read ("21st Century Robert's Rules" and "Riddick's Rules of Procedure") are shorter because they've left out substantial parts, or don't include useful examples.
Some other authorities, like Ray Keesey's "Modern Parliamentary Procedure" do not actually reflect current (or past) parliamentary practice, but attempt to redefine procedure based on the author's own bias. Robert's Rules are more obviously the result of centuries of practice, and use.
This book will not get you up and running overnight, but it is indispensable to anyone with a desire for a comprehensive understanding of parliamentary law. And even though it is a more massive work, part of the extra material is instructive on shortening your meetings by acting more efficiently without abridging anyone's rights.
on March 8, 2002
While there certainly are other options to understanding parliamentary procedure, "Robert's Rules of Order (Newly Revised, 10th Edition)" is a traditional key to knowing the ways things are done.
True, true... this isn't exactly the sort of book you bring to a coffeehouse on a Saturday. However, it is also true that if you are part of an organization that has organized meetings, 'Robert's Rules' is a great place to start. The liturgy of meeting procedure starts and finishes with the rules set forth in 'Robert's Rules.'
Get this book, but consider getting one of the plain English versions as well. If you are new to parliamentary procedure, you'll find both books in tandem quite helpful.
I fully recommend, "Robert's Rules of Order (Newly Revised, 10th Edition)" by Henry M. Robert III.
on July 3, 2002
This is the definitive authority on parliamentary procedure I've been studying for over a year. The majority of the 700+ pages will never be used by the average member of an average organization. However, the fact that virtually every situation IS covered, is the reason to have the whole book. Because when it comes to meetings it's like Forrest Gump said "You never know what you're gonna get." Used in conjunction with the forum on their official website (robertsrules), this book can answer almost any question you can come up with.
on August 26, 2003
If you want to know how to do it or how to express it, this is THE book to have.
I have had to refer to it almost daily during the last month due to various items in our chapter, state and National by-laws. The one statement that is found in all three sets of by-laws is, quote, "The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases in which they are no inconsistent with the Bylaws of the National Society."
That pretty much states it in a nutshell
on September 21, 2001
If you are involved with an organization that uses Robert's Rules, you'll need this book.
However, it is still the overly large, cumbersome, and complex parliamentary work as ever.
If you're smart, you'll get your organization to adopt one of the many alternatives out there, like The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure or Modern Parliamentary Procedure. Avoid all the varients of Robert's Rules, however.