Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Unwritten Constitution, Boilerplate Contracts, the Second Amendment, and More: This Week in the Book Pages

This week in the New York Times, Robert P. George reviews America's Unwritten Constitution:The Precedents and Principles We Live By (Basic Books) by Akhil Reed Amar.  As George writes, Amar "contends that the written Constitution points to an unwritten one, and he argues that we can interpret with both intellectual honesty and analytical rigor."  Read on here.

Also in the New York Times this week, a review of Craig R. Whitney's Living With Guns: A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment (PublicAffairs), and Richard Aldous reviews The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm 1940-1965 (Little, Brown & Company).

In the LA Times, Tony Perry reviews two books on the war in Afghanistan: Jake Tapper's The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor (Little, Brown), and Dakota Meyer and Bing West's Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War (Random House).  And in the Washington Post, H.W. Brands reviews Robert M. Utley's Geronimo (Yale).

In the Wall Street Journal this week, Robert F. Nagel reviews Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law (Princeton) by Margaret Jane Radin.  As Nagel writes, Radin "effectively debunks legal abstractions designed to reconcile boilerplate with contract theory."

And in TNR: The Book this week, Geoffrey Kabaservice reviews Robert O. Self's All in the Family: the Realignment of American Democracy Since the 1960s (Hill and Wang): "Self argues that the 'explosive issues surrounding gender, sex, and family" were not peripheral "culture war" matters, but were central to the political struggles over power, equality, and economics during the past five decades."  The Book also has Linda Colley's review of Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit (Simon and Schuster) by Joyce E. Chaplin.  Round About the Earth, Colley writes, is "strikingly original and wonderfully researched."