Sunday, March 31, 2013

Supreme Court Histories, Gideon After 50 Years, and More on Justice and Injustice in the Courts: This Week in the Book Pages

In the New York Times Adam Liptak reviews Out of Order: Stories From the History of the Supreme Court (Random House) by Sandra Day O'Connor.  Here's a sample:
She has a lot to say. But, the provocative title of her new book notwithstanding, she is not saying it here. Instead, she has delivered a disjointed collection of anodyne anecdotes and bar-association bromides about the history of the Supreme Court. “Out of Order” is a gift shop bauble, and its title might as well refer to how disorganized and meandering it is.
Read the full review here.

Abbe Smith, a law professor at Georgetown, reviews two books that "put a damper on the celebration" of the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright.  Kids For Cash: Two Judges, Thousands of Children, and a $2.8 Million Kickback Scheme (The New Press) by William Ecenbarger is "a harrowing tale" of two Pennsylvania judges who "accepted millions of dollars in kickbacks from a private juvenile detention facility" for sending girls and boys to jail.  The Injustice System: A Murder in Miami and a Trial Gone Wrong (Viking) by Clive Stafford Smith "makes a strong case" that a man sentenced to death in Miami 26 years ago is innocent.

Also in the NY Times this week: a review of Jonathan Sperber's Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life (Liveright), a book that according to reviewer Jonathan Freedland has the "express purpose" of dispelling "the dominant notion of a timeless Marx-- less man, more ideological canon-- and relocate hime where he lived and belonged, in his own time, not ours."  And, Amy Wilentz reviews Sugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire (Knopf) by Andrea Stuart.

Nell Irvin Painter reviews Jeanne Theoharis's The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (Beacon Press).  "This first comprehensive biography" is, Painter writes, "[r]ichly informative, calmly passionate, and much needed."  Read on here.

And, in case you missed it, Adam Liptak reviews Stuart Banner's The Baseball Trust: The History of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption (Oxford).

In the LA Times this week, you'll find a review of Barry Siegel's Manifest Injustice: The True Story of a
Convicted Murderer and the Lawyers Who Fought for His Freedom (Henry Holt), and a review of Jack Nelson's Scoop: The Evolution of a Southern Reporter (University Press of Mississippi).

In the Washington Post Dina Temple-Raston reviews Jess Bravin's The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay" (Yale), a comprehensive account of the creation of the [military] commissions" at Guantanomo Bay "in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks."