Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Book Roundup

We have a robust offering of reviews this week:

The New York Times has run a number of pertinent reviews this week.   Meg Jacobs' Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s is reviewed in a larger piece about recent writing on energy politics.  Also reviewed is Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul, Clara Bingham's collection of oral histories about America in 1969.

Paula Fass' The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child is also reviewed.  The reviewer suggests that "The material Fass provides on America in the 19th and ­early-20th centuries is important, and highly relevant to the really essential issues driving parenting behavior in our day."  Finally, there is a review of Who Cooked Adam Smith's Dinner?: A Story About Women and EconomicsKatrine Marçal's history of economics and the field's tendency to render invisible women's care work.

Brad Snyder, Wisconsin Law, reviews Jeffrey Rosen's new biography of Louis Brandeis in the Washington Post.  Snyder describes it as "an excellent introduction to Brandeis’s ideas about government regulation and big business, free speech, technology and privacy, and Zionism" that ultimately "makes a difficult intellectual feat look easy," but he also argues that Brandeis's views on race left him with "nothing to say about one of the century's most important constitutional issues, how the 14th Amendment protects the rights of African Americans."  Rosen was also on NPR's Fresh Air to talk about Brandeis and the biography.

H-Net has a review of John Compton's The Evangelical Origins of the Living Constitution, in which Compton demonstrates that "the roots of the diametrically opposed legal doctrine of the “living Constitution”... can be traced not only to liberal jurists in the early twentieth century, but to conservative evangelical reformers in the nineteenth."

Also on H-Net is a review of Making the Empire Work: Labor and United States Imperialism, a new volume of essays edited by Dana Bender and Jana Lipman.  Though their "nuanced analyses of power" the essays in the volume show "that the labor migrations and patterns of labor control on which the US imperial state was built crossed the boundaries of other empires, as well as those of ostensibly sovereign nations" and that "from workers’ perspectives, the distinction between formal and informal empire was essentially meaningless."

The Los Angeles Review of Books has a review of Dirty Words and Filthy Pictures: Film and the First Amendment.  Also in the LARB is a review of The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America’s Liberties by Carol Berkin.  Berkin's work is described as "a relatively brief but erudite account" that "combines prodigious research and an engaging writing style to provide a fresh look at the fierce political battles over amending the brand new Constitution to add express protections for individual rights."

The New Rambler Review has a review of Saving the Neighborhood: Racially Restrictive Covenants, Law, and Social Norm.  The reviewer is compelled by the book's argument "that restrictive covenants were valuable not because they could be enforced but because they played important expressive roles" and describes it as "legal history at its best." Also in the New Rambler Review is Martha Minow's review of Let the People Rule: Theodore Roosevelt and the Birth of the Presidential Primary by Geoffrey Cowan.

The New York Review of Books has a review of David Cole's Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law.  

At the New Books Network, Karl Jacoby is interviewed about The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionairehis new history of Gilded-Age color line crossing.

This month's edition of The Federal Lawyer has a review of Imperial from the Beginning: The Constitution of the Original Executive by Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash.

Finally, Lael Weinberger reviews The Making of Tocqueville’s America: Law and Association in the Early United States by Kevin Butterfield.