Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend Booknotes: constitutional design, Rorty, animal protection, and more

Borrowing Constitutional Designs: Constitutional Law in Weimar Germany and the French Fifth Republic (Princeton University Press) by Cindy Skach is noted in Lawrence Solum's Legal Theory Bookworm. Sandy Levinson has this to say on the book jacket:

Cindy Skach's book on Weimar Germany and the French Fifth Republic is a treasure trove of insights not only about the politics of these two countries, but also about the more general significance of constitutional design for the effective functioning of a political system. It brings to the fore the particular political system of 'semi-presidentialism' and offers cautionary analyses for those tempted to believe that it is the perfect 'third way' between parliamentarianism and presidentialism. It deserves wide readership among historians, political scientists, and legal academics.
Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders (Atlas & Co.) by Eric Etheridge was reviewed earlier this month in the Los Angeles Times.

Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America, 1492–1830 by J.H. Elliott (Yale University Press) is reviewed by Linda Colley in the New York Review of Books (subscription required).

Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher by Neil Gross (University of Chicago Press) gets an unhappy review from the President of Wesleyan University, Michael S. Roth, in the San Francisco Chronicle. But Publishers Weekly suggested that "a specialized sociological study of the academy, this book will appeal to all those concerned with the state of research in higher education."

In the Washington Post today is a review of FOR THE LOVE OF ANIMALS: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement (Henry Holt & Co.) by Katherine Shevelow, which Jonathan Yardley calls an "exceptionally interesting history of the animal protection movement in 18th and 19th century England."