Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Book Roundup

There's two new reviews of Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf's Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright): one in the Chicago Tribune, here, and one in The New York Times, here. From the Times:
"At the heart of their study of Jefferson’s life are the questions of freedom and slavery. Jefferson’s earliest memory was being handed up to a slave on a pillow, and the last person who understood his words on his death bed was a slave who at his request adjusted his pillow before he slipped away. “Slavery,” Gordon-Reed and Onuf thus note, “bounded his life from cradle to grave.” For all his travels, “he remained very much a product of Virginia’s plantation society — the society that formed him and the place where he discovered what role he wanted to play in the world.”"
The latest from The Federal Lawyer has a review of Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge edited by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic (Temple University Press).

H-Net adds two reviews on civil rights. The first is a review of Stephen A. Berrey's The Jim Crow Routine: Everyday Performances of Race, Civil Rights, and Segregation in Mississippi (UNC Press). The second is a review of Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement by Emilie Raymond (University of Washington Press).

The sixth edition of Tulsa Law Review's annual book review issue has many reviews worth checking out. One is Kunal M. Parker's multi-book review, "Modernist Forms of Thinking and Their Critics in Mid-Twentieth Century America," reviewing Kevin M. Kruse, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (Basic Books); Adam Laats, The Other School Reformers: Conservative Activism in American Education (Harvard University Press); and Reuel Schiller, Forging Rivals: Race, Class, Law, and the Collapse of Postwar Liberalism (Cambridge University Press).
"In situating Kruse, Laats, and Schiller in terms of a longer intellectual history, I have sought to show how mid-twentieth century law, politics, religion, and education were all, in distinct but also related ways, tied up with the broad attack on foundational thinking, on the one hand, and with the various responses to it, on the other. Notions of tradition, religion, and law were all invoked to counteract modernist developments in the realms of education and politics. But in challenging these modernist developments, there would be no easy or uncomplicated return to the world before modernism. Law, religion, and perhaps tradition would endure a “thinning out” of sorts in their attempt to win back a role for themselves."
Another review from the issue is Adam Mossoff's review, "Patents as Commercial Assets in Political, Legal, and Social Context," reviewing Christopher Beachamp’s Invented by Law: Alexander Graham Bell and the Patent that Changed the World (Harvard University Press).

And, over at The Junto there is a review of Abby Chandler's Law and Sexual Misconduct in New England, 1650-1750: Steering Toward England (Ashgate).
"By examining three jurisdictions not previously studied by historians of law and sexuality, Chandler complicates standard narratives of the extent to which New Englanders adhered to English law. She also engagingly reconstructs the familial and neighborhood conflicts that shaped individual cases."