Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Book Roundup

To follow up on last week's post, here's a few more posts on the Nixon tapes, all at The Daily Beast. There's an interview with Ken Hughes, author of Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate (University of Virginia Press). White House counsel and author of The Nixon Defense (Viking Adult), John Dean is interviewed, as well. And, Douglas Brinkley talks to The Daily Beast  about The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which he co-edited with Luke Nichter. 

The New York Times follows up on the debates inspired by Rick Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge (Simon & Schuster), which was also heavily covered in the reviews last week.

Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It (Counterpoint) by Lisa Bloom is reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
"In Suspicion Nation, best-selling author Lisa Bloom has written two books and put them under one cover. The first book is a dissection of the Trayvon Martin case with a highly critical analysis of the prosecution’s presentation in People v. George Zimmerman. The second book is Bloom’s thoughts on hot-button issues, from gun control to the role of race in our criminal justice system. While Bloom may have intended for her examination of the Zimmerman prosecution to be the primary focus of her book, she really just uses it as a vehicle to share her opinions on a wider range of issues confronting the legal system today."

 Up on H-Net is a review of Robert B. Rakove's Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World (Cambridge University Press).
"The central historical problem that Robert B. Rakove sets out to solve in Kennedy, Johnson, and the Nonaligned World is how to explain the remarkable transformation in the relationship between the United States and much of the postcolonial world over the course of the 1960s."
Also on H-Net is a review of The State Trial of Doctor Henry Sacheverell (Wiley-Blackwell) by Brian Cowan, and a review of Noriko Aso's Public Properties: Museums in Imperial Japan (Duke University Press).

Gavin Wright's Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South (Belknap Press) is reviewed on HNN.
"Granting that the movement was “a moral and legal revolution,” (2) Wright asks the provocative and important question whether it can be declared an economic one as well. Now that enough time has passed to allow for both sufficient historical distance and the accumulation of enough relevant data, he is able to argue convincingly that the “record shows strong gains…for African Americans in the South—relative to earlier levels, relative to southern whites, and relative to national standards.” (26) To those who do not specialize in economic analysis or the history of the Civil Rights Movement, this point might seem fairly obvious: It would seem difficult to argue that blacks’ economic situation has not improved since the days of Jim Crow. But to emphasize that point is to commit the fallacy–so often warned against by economists–of confusing correlation with causation. The fact that African Americans have enjoyed economic improvement since segregation does not necessarily mean that they have done so because ofthe Civil Rights Movement.
But Wright believes that the movement was the primary catalyst for these changes, and one of the major purposes of his book is to contest two alternative explanations for this improvement."
The Federal Lawyer has a couple of reviews to note as well. Nicholas R. Parrillo's Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780-1940 (Yale University Press) is reviewed online, here. There's more of the publication's reviews available here, including The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy by Michael J. Gerhardt (Oxford University Press).