Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday Book Roundup

Common-Place has posted its Spring 2015 issue online. Included is a review of Robert E. Wright's Corporation Nation (University of Pennsylvania Press).
"In his sweeping new study of the useful rise and moral fall of the American corporation, Robert E. Wright has simultaneously provided a timely means to help us understand the corporate form and corporate behavior, a scathing account of evolving corporate ills and abuses, and a preliminary prescription for their reform. In doing so Wright demonstrates just how, in the matter of corporate governance, history can be Americans' best teacher. Corporation Nation traces the life of the corporate form in America from colonial times to the recent financial debacles of 2007-2009 to show how American corporations have transformed from governable local enterprises into unwieldy, ungovernable entities that have reached a nadir in public opinion and confidence."
The Washington Independent Review of Books has a review of Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb (Algonquin Books).
"In Empire of Deception, Dean Jobb, a Canadian journalist, has written an intriguing story of the rise and fall of Leo Koretz, a Chicago-based swindler in the 1920s. It was a time when that city was plagued with gangland violence and everything in Chicago seemed for sale — from judgeships and other political offices to phony stock in oil companies. Hardly a scandal or murder in Chicago in the 1920s is omitted in this book."
Erwin Chemerinsky reviews Akhil Reed Amar's The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of Our Constitutional Republic (Basic) for the LA Review of Books.
"Every chapter is filled with interesting and important analyses of these topics. But to a large extent, organizing the book around the states is artificial and irrelevant to Amar’s discussion. For example, Amar’s discussion of the Second Amendment is no more linked to Wyoming than to any other state where there is strong opposition to gun control. His discussion of how the composition of the Supreme Court has changed, and how the justices now all come from Harvard or Yale law schools and have a narrow range of experience, really has nothing to do with New York, the chapter in which it is found. Amar has been arguing against the exclusionary rule for years; it is not about Massachusetts in any particular way. The discussion of presidential succession is placed in a chapter about Texas only because Lyndon Johnson was sworn in there after John F. Kennedy’s assassination; the issue of presidential succession has nothing specifically to do with Texas."
Marion Holmes Katz discusses her book, Women in the Mosque: A History of Legal Thought and Social Practice (Columbia University Press) with New Books in History.

A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the 'Mexican Drug War' (O/R Books) by Carmen Boullosa and Mike Wallace is reviewed in the LA Times.
"Boullosa and Wallace connect the savagery as well to our war on drugs. Their binational tale includes U.S. drug prohibitions, Americans' appetite for illegal dope and our childlike refusal to do anything serious to limit the flow of arms south, even as those guns and bullets have daily bathed Mexico in blood.
Their overview — a century of history in a few hundred pages — emerges ornate in detail yet refreshingly concise."