Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Mere Machine: The Supreme Court, Congress, and American Democracy

Anna Harvey (New York University).  A Mere Machine (Yale University Press, 2013).

"In this groundbreaking new work, Anna Harvey reports evidence showing that the Supreme Court is in fact extraordinarily deferential to congressional preferences in its constitutional findings.  Analyzing cross-national evidence, Harvey also finds that the rights protections we enjoy in the United States appear to be largely due to the fact that we do not have an independent Supreme Court."
A Mere Machine Book Jacket

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Endtimes of Human Rights

Stephen Hopgood (University of London).  The Endtimes of Human Rights (Cornell University Press, 2013).  

"This barnstormer of a book is both rigorous and a page-turner, both provocative and careful, both deconstructive and constructive. Stephen Hopgood challenges all fans of human rights with the prospect that the human rights movement is collapsing in its moral authority. Whether readers shake or nod their heads as they make their way through the pages—and I find myself doing both—they will find themselves engaged in a sparkling conversation with a lively intellect."
—Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime

Dylan Rodrigues (UC Riverside). Forced Passages (University of Minnesota Press, 2005).

"In Forced Passages, Dylan Rodríguez argues that the cultural production of such imprisoned intellectuals as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Angela Davis, and Leonard Peltier should be understood as a unique social movement. Dylan Rodríguez traces the lineage of radical prison thought since the 1970s, one formed by the logic of state violence and by the endemic racism of the criminal justice system."
Publisher's Website  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century

 Alex Sayf Cummings (Georgia State University). Democracy of Sound (Oxford University Press, 2013).

"This book is for music lovers and those of a certain age who remember artists from the Jazz and Rock days of the 1960s when tape recorders and vinyl were in place and bootlegged recordings of Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin were the in-thing to have. You can see how [Cummings] has enjoyed researching the detailed background of music piracy which makes this book a jolly good read providing the history of music piracy from the late 19th century onwards."
Entertainment Law Review

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

Ian Haney López (University of California, Berkeley). Dog Whistle Politics (Oxford University Press, 2014).

"Read this book to understand how dog whistle politics enables the wealth gap to stay the same and even to get worse not just for blacks or other people of color but for the white working class as well. As Haney López demonstrates, the vocabulary of race has changed. Nonetheless, race is still skillfully used to distract our attention from ongoing and pernicious disparities in economic opportunities." 

—Lani Guinier, Harvard Law School