FindLaw book reviewer, attorney and author Julie Hilden recommends and
describes nine books on or related to the law, as well as a particularly
interesting legal blog. Hilden eschews classics like Democracy and Distrust
in favor of some less-noted but valuable works, and some she believes are
more contemporary, or more visionary.
Friday, Sep. 13, 2002
Many of us know the phrase "the Scottsboro Boys," but not their full story --
and few of us recall the civil rights struggle of the 30's as clearly as we
do that of the 60's. FindLaw book reviewer and attorney Matthew Herrington
attempts to remedy that -- telling the Boys' story as he reviews a
newly-unearthed and published collection of 1935 artwork/propaganda
concerning their trials and appeals, and the civil rights struggle in which
they were enmeshed.
Friday, Sep. 06, 2002
FindLaw book reviewer and attorney Rodger Citron reviews Speaking Our Minds,
a book by Professor Joseph Russomanno that seeks to provide the human story,
in the form of an oral history, behind ten historic First Amendment cases.
The book covers cases involving issues ranging from press freedoms to hate
speech, and from Internet "indecency" to parody. Citron finds it insightful
but incomplete, for reasons he explains in the review.
Friday, Aug. 30, 2002
FindLaw book reviewer and attorney Sam Williamson renders his verdict as to whether lawyers -- and readers in general -- are likely to enjoy Yale Law professor Stephen Carter's recent thriller. The book's hero is a law professor whose father, a judge, has just died and who must find out who is responsible for his death, but the book, as Williamson notes, is far more than just a "whodunnit." Williamson explains why he believes Carter is more like Le Carre than Grisham -- and contends that Carter and Grisham could learn a great deal from each other.
Friday, Aug. 23, 2002
FindLaw book reviewer, attorney and author Adam Freedman discusses a new companion guide to the trial of Slobodan Milosevic before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The guidebook, authored by law professors Michael P. Scharf and William A. Schabas, aims to provide historical and legal context for the Tribunal's proceedings. Freedman discusses the book's merits and flaws, as well as the obstacles Milosevic's prosecutors will face, the lack of U.N. General Assembly authorization for the tribunal, and the troubling consequences of head-of-state war crimes prosecutions.
Friday, Aug. 16, 2002
Attorney and national security law expert Mark Zaid reviews a new book, based on recently-revealed documents, that recounts the FBI's counterintelligence efforts against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. The book, by Marquette professor Athan Theoharis, helps to answer fascinating and key questions such as: What did the long-secret Venona Project do, specifically? Did Joseph McCarthy's claims of Communist infiltration of the U.S. have a kernel of truth? What were the specific illegal activities in which Hoover's FBI engaged, and which prosecutions were made impossible because they would have revealed these activities? Was Ethel Rosenberg guilty of conspiracy, or was she only an accessory? Theoharis's book offers evidence on all these issues, and Zaid comments on what it may mean.
Friday, Aug. 09, 2002
FindLaw columnist and Hofstra law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a fascinating trial that rivals O.J. Simpson's for the title of trial of the century. The 1924 case is chronicled in the recent book by Earl Lewis and Heidi Ardizzone, Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White. As Grossman explains, in the trial a wealthy white man tried to annul his marriage based on his claim that his wife had concealed her race from him prior to their marriage -- leading to surprising evidence being put forward by both sides. Grossman explains the wife's trial strategy, and contrasts annulments then and now.
Monday, Aug. 05, 2002
FindLaw book reviewer, attorney and writer Laura Hodes discusses a veteran civil lawyer's memoir of his first criminal trial -- a felony murder case in Chicago. The account -- a mix of ruminations and commentary on the law, and a narrative of the trial -- gets mixed reviews from Hodes, who takes issue with how persuasive Geoghegan's suggestions for the improvement of American law really are.
Friday, Aug. 02, 2002
FindLaw book reviewer, George Mason law professor, and Green Bag
editor-in-chief Ross Davies evaluates a recent collection, edited by James P.
Lucier, of the political writings of underrated Founder James Monroe. It is
the first new treatment of those writings in 100 years. In the course of
assessing the writings Lucier included and left out, Davies explains Monroe's
importance -- including the ways in which he risked his life and fortune for
his country -- and his prescience in anticipating the British threat that
imperiled even the White House (then called the President's House).
Friday, Jul. 26, 2002
FindLaw book reviewer and attorney Matthew Herrington evaluates Washington Post writer Benjamin Wittes's provocative recent book on Kenneth Starr's tenure as Indepedent Counsel. Wittes, as Herrington explains, had the benefit of hours of interviews with Starr. Partially on that basis, Wittes offers novel and often contrarian explanations of, and arguments about, Starr's motivations and behavior. Herrington weighs in on whether Wittes makes a convincing case for reassessing a widely-reviled figure. (An interview of Wittes can also be found on this site.)
Friday, Jul. 19, 2002