Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Book Round-up

NPR looks at "when fashion and law collide" in an author interview with Ruthann Robson. Her new book is Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes (Cambridge University Press). Here's an excerpt:
"On local laws that ban 'cross-dressing' 'It often acts as a cipher for other sorts of problems, right. So that if people dress decently, then there won't be gambling, then there won't be theft, then there won't be muggings — as if those two things go together. And of course, people's notions of what's 'decent' really varies across class, varies across time, and varies across age. And one way to look at some of these is really about older people policing the sexuality of younger people."
The new August issue of The Federal Lawyer has a couple of book reviews of interest this week. Michael Ariens reviews Joanna Grossman and Lawrence Friedman's Inside the Castle: Law & the Family in 20th Century America (Princeton University Press, 2011). Louis Fisher reviews Robert Bork's Saving Justice: Watergate, the Saturday Night Massacre, and Other Adventures of a Solicitor General (Encounter Books).

Over at The New Republic Andrew Delbanco has written a review essay of several works on Lincoln and slavery in "Lincoln's Long Game: The morally painful road to slavery's end."

NPR reviews March (Top Shelf) which has been co-written by civil rights activist and member of the U.S. House of Representatives John Lewis, his staffer Andrew Aydin, and graphic novelist Nate Powell. Reviewer Jody Arlington writes:
"And yet March is a fresh and sometimes shocking work, even for those familiar with Lewis' life. Not just for its violence and its graphic re-creation of a dark time, but for its inside look at the leaders of the civil rights movement. In one disturbing scene, they shout insults at each other and enact other indignities as a way to prepare for the resistance and abuse they'll face in public."

The New York Times's David Garrow also takes up the topic of civil rights in his review of William Jones's The March on Washington (Norton)

Jeannette Cockroft has reviewed Keira V. Williams's Gendered Politics in the Modern South: The Susan Smith case and the Rise of a New Sexism (Louisiana State University Press) for H-Net here.

Excerpts from Evan Mandery's book on death penalty lawyers in the 1960s and 1970s, A Wild Justice (Norton), can be found on Salon here. Salon has also published adapted excerpts from an e-book essay about the history of forced sterilization, For the Public Good (New New South).

This week the Guardian has reviewed another book about American death penalty policy, Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America by Clive Stafford Smith.

Finally, John Yoo reviews A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. United States (University of Washington Press) by Gordon K. Hirabayashi in the Wall Street Journal.