Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Hasday, Intimate Lies and the Law

Out any day now from Oxford University Press: Intimate Lies and the Law, by Jill Elaine Hasday (University of Minnesota). In canvassing and analyzing the current law of "intimate deception," the book devotes significant attention to history. Specifically, the book explores why the remedies available to deceived intimates contracted significantly over the course of the twentieth century. Here’s a description from the Press:
Intimacy and deception are often entangled.  People deceive to lure someone into a relationship or to keep her there, to drain an intimate’s bank account or to use her to acquire government benefits, to control an intimate or to resist domination, or to capture myriad other advantages.  No subject is immune from deception in dating, sex, marriage, and family life.  Intimates can lie or otherwise intentionally mislead each other about anything and everything.
Suppose you discover that an intimate has deceived you and inflicted severe—even life-altering—financial, physical, or emotional harm.  After the initial shock and sadness, you might wonder whether the law will help you secure redress.  But the legal system refuses to help most people deceived within an intimate relationship.  Courts and legislatures have shielded this persistent and pervasive source of injury, routinely denying deceived intimates access to the remedies that are available for deceit in other contexts.
Jill Elaine Hasday’s Intimate Lies and the Law is the first book that systematically examines deception in intimate relationships and uncovers the hidden body of law governing this duplicity.  Hasday argues that the law has placed too much emphasis on protecting intimate deceivers and too little importance on helping the people they deceive.  The law can and should do more to recognize, prevent, and redress the injuries that intimate deception can inflict.
Entering an intimate relationship should not mean losing the law’s protection from deceit.
A few blurbs:
"Intimate Lies and the Law is rigorous, bold, and carefully researched, yet terrifically readable. Hasday has dug far and deep into the law and social science of intimate deception to give us an authoritative volume on this wrenching human domain. Whereas the law often blames victims for being duped, Hasday imagines a world in which trust is supported and rewarded. Her proposal for change-that the law treat intimate deception more like other kinds of deception-is powerful and sweeping, yet practical and workable. Timely and important, Intimate Lies and the Law has the potential to reshape not only the legal terrain but the very human relationships that live and breathe in the law's shadow." -- Elizabeth Emens

"In Intimate Lies and the Law, Jill Hasday maps a big, fascinating, sobering subject: the law's regulation (including neglect) of deceptions amongst those closest to us. She explores this difficult terrain masterfully with verve, thoroughness, and a keen eye for the telling detail. She casts in a new light a huge and influential body of law that teems with experiences and lessons that are simultaneously familiar and odd. This is an important book that will be of interest not only to academics but also to general readers. Impressively rigorous, it is also exceptionally accessible." -- Randall Kennedy
More information, including a preview of the book's introduction, is available here, at Professor Hasday's website. 

-- Karen Tani