Blog

Publication Type: Book Review

November 15th, 2017 | Issue 1 Volume 96

The Boom and Bust of American Imprisonment

A Book Review of: Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal. By Eugene Soltes. 2016. Capital Offenses: Business Crime and Punishment in America’s Corporate Age. By Samuel W. Buell. 2016. Free Market Criminal Justice: How Democracy and Laissez Faire Undermine the Rule of Law. By Darryl K. Brown. 2016. “I’m set […]

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May 16th, 2017 | Issue 6 Volume 95

The Accidental Death Penalty

Mandery considers Carol and Jordan Steiker’s new book, Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, which he calls “an extraordinary scholarly achievement” that “immediately takes its place as the seminal text” on capital punishment. He describes Courting Death “most damningly [as] a condemnation of the way the Supreme Court—and lawyers in general—talk about complicated […]

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April 13th, 2017 | Issue 5 Volume 95

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nudges

Rachlinski considers Cass R. Sunstein’s book—his most recent in a series on behavioral nudging—The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science. Rachlinski views this entry by Sunstein as an effort to consolidate his responses to various ethical critiques of nudging, also known as “libertarian paternalism,” the core concept of which is to […]

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April 13th, 2017 | Issue 5 Volume 95

Is Mass Incarceration History?

Simon reviews Elizabeth Hinton’s book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, a study of federal crime policy from the Kennedy through Reagan Administrations that Simon dubs “the most telling example yet of this new history of the American carceral state.” Hinton draws on confidential […]

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April 05th, 2017 | Issue 4 Volume 95

Kent Greenawalt, Defender of the Faith

Koppelman reviews Kent Greenawalt’s book, Exemptions: Necessary, Justified, or Misguided?, which aims “to explore the complexity of many concerns about [religious] exemptions and implicitly encourage those on opposite sides of particular controversies to recognize, and perhaps even acknowledge, that competing considerations do carry some weight.” Koppelman calls the book “deliberately unhelpful with respect to broader […]

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April 05th, 2017 | Issue 4 Volume 95

A Civics Lesson

Koski reviews Catherine J. Ross’s book, Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights, which argues that “ignorance about, indifference to, and disdain for the speech rights of students permeates society” and leads to “rampant constitutional violations that plague our schools.” Koski says the book is not only “a comprehensive and […]

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March 30th, 2017 | Issue 3 Volume 95

Helpful History and Poetic Mischief

Anderson reviews Wendell Bird’s Press and Speech Under Assault and Burt Neuborne’s Madison’s Music: On Reading the First Amendment. Anderson calls Bird’s book “transformative historical research” that debunks a myth that has hobbled First Amendment jurisprudence for generations: “that the framers could not have understood freedom of speech and press to mean anything more than […]

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March 30th, 2017 | Issue 3 Volume 95

Adultery: Trust and Children

Brinig reviews Deborah L. Rhode’s book, “Adultery: Infidelity and the Law,” which argues that adultery should not be criminalized, should not result in tort liability, and should not affect an adulterer’s employment, assuming job performance was unaffected. Brinig expresses reluctance to disengage adultery and law, citing “the destruction of trust that adultery both signals and […]

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March 30th, 2017 | Issue 3 Volume 95

Deference, Power, and Emerging Security Threats

McNeal considers David Rudenstine’s book, The Age of Deference—a tour de force of constitutional history that recounts the myriad cases involving surveillance, civil liberties, secret courts, and secret laws that have evolved since World War II—and Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum’s book, In The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones, which takes […]

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March 30th, 2017 | Issue 3 Volume 95

Beyond the Carceral State

McLeod reviews Marie Gottschalk’s “Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics,” which ultimately concludes that contemporary carceral reform efforts are woefully inadequate. Though certain constituencies have been motivated to pursue reform by budget deficits, decarceration efforts compelled by costcutting pressures alone are unlikely to bring meaningful change. Bipartisan attempts to reduce sentences […]

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December 20th, 2016 | Issue 1 Volume 95

Immigrant Neighbors, Workers, and Caregivers in Our Midst: What We Owe Each Other

Michael Sullivan reviews David Miller’s new book—Strangers in Our Midst—which, as described by Sullivan, “seeks to balance citizen apprehensions about regulating, integrating, and potentially naturalizing millions of newcomers, while meeting international obligations and safeguarding the basic human rights of all migrants. Miller begins and concludes his account of immigration regulation, integration, and naturalization from what […]

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March 27th, 2016 | Issue 4 Volume 94

The Council and the Court: Law and Politics in the Rise of the International Criminal Court

In his recent book Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics, David Bosco provides an accessible analysis of the International Criminal Court, its evolving role in international law, and its relationship to power politics.  In this Book Review, Professors David Kaye and Kal Raustiala further examine the power politics surrounding […]

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March 10th, 2016 | Issue 2 Volume 94

Implementing Just Mercy

In his recent book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Alabama Equal Justice Initiative lawyer Bryan Stevenson describes the challenges and struggles of representing indigent individuals accused of serious crimes. In this book review, Professor Berry describes Stevenson’s book, highlighting the principles of just mercy latent in his narrative and their connection to […]

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March 10th, 2016 | Issue 2 Volume 94

Invisible Women: Mass Incarceration’s Forgotten Casualties

“Invisible Women: Mass Incarceration’s Forgotten Casualties” is a review of Alice Goffman’s On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City (The University of Chicago Press, 2014) and James Jacobs’ The Eternal Criminal Record (Harvard University Press, 2015). It examines the lack of critical discussion of the impact that the criminal justice system has on […]

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March 10th, 2016 | Issue 2 Volume 94

Marriage Markets and the Price of Masculinity

Professors Cahn’s and Carbon’s book Marriage Markets is a nuanced account of the ways coupling and family formation spur wealth inequality and therefore is a welcome addition to their family law corpus. Professor Rich reframes Marriage Markets using tools from economic theory and masculinity studies to surface the gender story within the class account provided […]

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March 09th, 2016 | Issue 1 Volume 94

Antislavery Women and the Origins of American Jurisprudence

“Antislavery Women and the Origins of American Jurisprudence” is a Review of Sarah Roth’s Gender and Race in Antebellum Popular Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2014). It assesses Roth’s account of the dialogue between antislavery and proslavery writers. Roth finds that the antislavery and proslavery writers were joined in their depiction of enslaved people in the […]

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