Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

Making Marie Curie: Intellectual Property and Celebrity Culture in an Age of Information by Eva Hemmungs Wirten (Chicago University Press) is reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, without a pay-wall. 
"Intriguingly, the author suggests that the ineligibility of women to own property under French law might have shaped Curie’s perspective. “Because the law excluded her from the status of person upon which these intellectual property rights depend,” Ms. Wirtén writes, “the ‘property’ road was closed to Marie Curie. The persona road was not.”"

The Times Literary Supplement reviews The Making of the Modern Police, 1780-1914 edited by Paul Lawrence (Pickering & Chatto).

Last Sunday's The New York Times Sunday Book Review was a special issue on "The Secret Life of Money," and it included reviews of books such as The Summit: Bretton Woods, 1944: JM Keynes and the Reshaping of the Global Economy by Ed Conway (Pegasus).

In The New York Review of Books reviewer Christopher Jencks asks, "The War on Poverty: Was It Lost?" when reviewing Legacies of the War on Poverty edited by Martha Bailey and Sheldon Danziger (Russell Sage).

Doug McAdam and Karina Kloos discuss their 2014 book, Deeply Divided: Racial Politics and Social Movements in Postwar America (Oxford University Press) with the New Books series.
"What has gotten us to this point of high political polarization and high income inequality? McAdam and Kloos offer a novel answer to what divides us as a country that focuses on the role social movements have in pulling parties to the extremes or pushing parties to the middle. They argue that the post-World War II period was unusual for its low levels of social movement activities and the resulting political centrism of the 1950s. The Civil Rights movement that followed – and the related backlash politics of the Southern Democrats – pushed the parties away from the center and toward regional realignment. Along the way, activists re-wrote party voting procedures that reinforced the power of vocal minorities within each party, thereby entrenching political polarization for the decades to come."
The New Books series has other interviews to check out as well. Another is an interview with Michelle Nickerson, who discusses her book, Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (Princeton University Press).

A third interview from New Books is with Linda Gordon about her recently co-written work (with Dorothy Sue Cobble and Astrid Henry), Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women's Movements (Liveright).

H-Net brings us several reviews as well. H-Net reviews Sacred Scripture, Sacred War: The Bible and the American Revolution by James P. Byrd (Oxford University Press).

Securing the West: Politics, Public Lands, and the Fate of the Old Republic, 1785-1850 by John R. Van Atta (Johns Hopkins University Press) is also reviewed.
"In Securing the West: Politics, Public Lands, and the Fate of the Old Republic, 1785-1850, historian John R. Van Atta examines ideological and political debates surrounding land policy in the United States from the early Republic to the 1850s. The book is a fine discussion of the complexity and importance of policymaking at the federal level in these years. The book is well written and engagingly presented, but it overlooks some important pieces of the story."
A review of another land-use book, Sonia Hirt's Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land-Use Regulation (Cornell University Press) is also up on H-Net.
"This is an excellent book and an impeccable introduction to American zoning for anyone interested in US city planning and urban geography. In one sense, it is a primer on US zoning theory and practice: it provides all the basic elements and history in a mercifully succinct manner in under two hundred pages. This would be an ideal book to give to a student or colleague just cutting his or her teeth in urban studies. Yet, at the same time, Sonia Hirt makes some original contributions to the field by clearly placing American practices in international and historical perspective. The book worked for me on both levels."
Last but not least, The Federal Lawyer has its April issue up online with a review by Henry Cohen of Lincoln on Law, Leadership, and Life by Jonathan W. White (Cumberland House).
"Jonathan White, the author of Lincoln on Law, Leadership, and Life, told me that he had wanted the title of this book to be Lincoln’s Advice for Lawyers, but that the publisher wished to secure a broader audience for it. Although this book is largely about Lincoln’s advice for lawyers, the broader title is legitimate, because much of Lincoln’s advice for law- yers can apply to life in general. As White writes, “Lincoln believed that the highest duty of a lawyer was to be a peacemaker in his community. Therefore, any read- er who deals with interpersonal conflict can learn from Lincoln’s insights. Indeed, Lincoln’s lessons for attorneys can apply to almost any walk of life.”"