Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality

Katherine Franke (Columbia University), Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality (N.Y.U. Press 2015).

"Wedlocked turns to history to compare today’s same-sex marriage movement to the experiences of newly emancipated black people in the mid-nineteenth century, when they were able to legally marry for the first time. Maintaining that the transition to greater freedom was both wondrous and perilous for newly emancipated people, Katherine Franke relates stories of former slaves’ involvements with marriage and draws lessons that serve as cautionary tales for today’s marriage rights movements. While 'be careful what you wish for' is a prominent theme, they also teach us how the rights-bearing subject is inevitably shaped by the very rights they bear, often in ways that reinforce racialized gender norms and stereotypes."

Publisher's description

Monday, March 20, 2017

White Trash : The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

Nancy Isenberg, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America (Penguin Books 2017).

"Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society–where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility . . . Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity."
Publisher's description

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Good Tax: Legal and Policy Issues for the Property Tax in the United States

 Joan M. Youngman, A Good Tax: Legal and Policy Issues for the Property Tax in the United States (Lincoln Inst. of Land Pol. 2016).

"The property tax has great strengths, particularly as an independent source of nearly half of all general revenue for local governments. However, it is undermined by inaccurate valuations, preferences that reduce the tax base and raise tax rates, and exaggerated rhetorical attacks. Addressing this situation requires attention to policy, administration, and communication. Tax expert Joan Youngman skillfully considers how to improve the operation of the tax and supply the information missing in public debate."Publisher's description

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Inside Rwanda's Gacaca Courts: Seeking Justice after Genocide

Bert Ingelaere (University of Antwerp), Inside Rwanda's Gacaca Courts: Seeking Justice after Genocide (University of Wisconsin Press, 2016).


"After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, victims, perpetrators, and the country as a whole struggled to deal with the legacy of the mass violence. The government responded by creating a new version of a traditional grassroots justice system called gacaca. Bert Ingelaere, based on his observation of two thousand gacaca trials, offers a comprehensive assessment of what these courts set out to do, how they worked, what they achieved, what they did not achieve, and how they affected Rwandan society." 
Publisher's description
 


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Julius Chambers: A Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights

Richard A. Rosen & Joseph Mosnier, Julius Chambers: A Life in the Legal Struggle for Civil Rights (Univ. North Carolina Press 2016).

"Born in the hamlet of Mount Gilead, North Carolina, Julius Chambers (1936–2013) escaped the fetters of the Jim Crow South to emerge in the 1960s and 1970s as the nation’s leading African American civil rights attorney. Following passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Chambers worked to advance the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s strategic litigation campaign for civil rights, ultimately winning landmark school and employment desegregation cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Undaunted by the dynamiting of his home and the arson that destroyed the offices of his small integrated law practice, Chambers pushed federal civil rights law to its highwater mark."
Publisher's description