Featured Acquisitions - April 2010


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This Book is Overdue! : How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All  by Marilyn Johnson
New York : Harper, c2010  1st ed
Z716.4 .J65 2010   Basement

Buried in info? Cross-eyed over technology? From the bottom of a pile of paper and discs, books, e-books, and scattered thumb drives comes a cry of hope: Make way for the librarians! They want to help. They're not selling a thing. And librarians know best how to beat a path through the googolplex sources of information available to us, writes Marilyn Johnson, whose previous book, The Dead Beat, breathed merry life into the obituary-writing profession. This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the clichés and stereotyping of librarians. Blunt and obscenely funny bloggers spill their stories in these pages, as do a tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian; a fresh-scrubbed Catholic couple who teach missionaries to use computers; a blue-haired radical who uses her smartphone to help guide street protestors; a plethora of voluptuous avatars and cybrarians; the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI; and a boxing archivist. These are just a few of the visionaries Johnson captures here, pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need. Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us--neither the experts nor the hopelessly baffled--can get along without human help. And not just any help--we need librarians, who won't charge us by the question or roll their eyes, no matter what we ask. Who are they? What do they know? And how quickly can they save us from being buried by the digital age?

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Breaking the Logjam : Environmental Protection That Will Work by David Schoenbrod, Richard B. Stewart, Katrina M. Wyman
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2010
KF3775 .S365 2010  Balcony

After several decades of significant but incomplete successes, environmental protection in the United States is stuck. Administrations under presidents of both parties have fallen well short of the goals of their environmental statutes. Schoenbrod, Stewart, and Wyman, distinguished scholars in the field of environmental law, identify the core problems with existing environmental statutes and programs and explain how Congress can fix them. Based on a project the authors led that incorporated the work of more than fifty leading environmental experts, this book is a call to action through public understanding based on a nonpartisan argument for smarter, more flexible regulatory programs to stimulate the economy and encourage green technology.

Book Jacket Photo Evicted! : Property Rights and Eminent Domain in America by David Schultz
Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2010
KF5599 .S38 2010   Balcony

Evicted! is a practical and critical look at the vulnerability of Americans' property rights to eminent domain abuse since the Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo decision.

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The Autobiography of an Execution by David R. Dow
New York : Twelve, 2010 1st ed
KF373.D635 A3 2010    Balcony

In an argument against capital punishment, Dow's capable memoir partially gathers its steam from the emotional toll on all parties involved, especially the overworked legal aid lawyers and their desperate clients. The author, the litigation director of the Texas Defender Service and a professor at the University of Houston Law Center, respects the notion of attorney-client privilege in this handful of real-life legal outcomes, some of them quite tragic, while acknowledging executions are "not about the attorneys," but "about the victims of murder and sometimes their killers." While trying to maintain a proper balance in his marriage to Katya, a fellow attorney and ballroom dancer, he spells out the maze of legal mumbo-jumbo to get his clients stays or released from confinement in the cases of a hapless Vietnam vet who shot a child, another man who beat his pregnant wife to death and another who killed his wife and children. In the end, Dow's book is a sobering, gripping and candid look into the death penalty.

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Sex, Love, and Money : Revenge and Ruin in the World of High-Stakes Divorce by Gerald Nissenbaum and John Sedgwick
New York : Hudson Street Press, c2010
KF535.Z9 N57 2010   Balcony

 One of the nation's top divorce lawyers opens his case files to share true stories that rival the most outrageous fiction. This memoir is by turns cathartic, vengeful, and hilarious as it describes the high-end, high-conflict divorces that ruin the lives of everyone involved.

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The Language of Defamation Cases by Roger W. Shuy
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
KF1266 .S54 2010   Balcony

Slander and libel cases are largely about how one party uses language in ways that are claimed to defame one another. Linguistic expertise can be central to the case. In The Language of Defamation Cases, Roger W. Shuy describes eleven representative lawsuits--involving newspapers, television stations, religious leaders, physicians, teachers, entertainers, unions, insurance companies, and manufacturers--for which he served as a consultant. Shuy's linguistic analysis illustrates how grammatical referencing, speech acts, discourse structure, framing, conveyed meaning, intentionality, and malicious language affected the outcome of these cases. The Language of Defamation Cases shows how linguistics can be used to help resolve libel and slander cases. It will appeal to students and scholars of applied linguistics and forensic linguistics

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Root and Branch : Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation by Rawn James, Jr
New York : Bloomsbury Press, c2010  1st U.S. ed
KF372 .J36 2010   Balcony

Root and Branch tells the epic story of the two fiercely dedicated lawyers who lead the fight from county courthouses to the marble halls of the Supreme Court, and, in the process, lay the legal foundations of the Civil Rights movement.

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Before Eminent Domain : Toward a History of Expropriation of Land For the Common Good by Susan Reynolds
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2010
K3511 .R49 2010  Balcony

In this concise history of expropriation of land for the common good in Europe and North America from medieval times to 1800, Susan Reynolds contextualizes the history of an important legal doctrine regarding the relationship between government and the institution of private property. Before Eminent Domain concentrates on western Europe and the English colonies in America. As Reynolds argues, expropriation was a common legal practice in many societies in which individuals had rights to land. It was generally accepted that land could be taken from them, with compensation, when the community, however defined, needed it. She cites examples of the practice since the early Middle Ages in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, and from the seventeenth century in America. Reynolds concludes with a discussion of past and present ideas and assumptions about community, individual rights, and individual property that underlie the practice of expropriation but have been largely ignored by historians of both political and legal thought.

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Supreme Power : Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court by Jeff Shesol
New York : W.W. Norton, c2010  1st ed
KF8742 .S495 2010  Balcony

Franklin Delano Roosevelt owes his presidential greatness to his handling of the Great Depression and World War II, but he was also capable of blunder. This book considers his first major political mistake in the White House-how he dealt with the Supreme Court, which had begun to declare his New Deal economic reforms unconstitutional. Though this story is well known, Shesol (Mutual Contempt) presents it in a fuller and more balanced manner, pitting a great President against an equally great justice, Charles Evans Hughes. Unlike James MacGregor Burns's recent Packing the Court, on the same topic, Shesol sides with Hughes while recognizing FDR's multiple talents. Both books are necessary to appreciate the tug of war between the elected and nonelected branches of government, with Shesol's the more complete account of FDR's ill-fated court-packing plan. If a dimension is missing here, it's that FDR inherited a "mom and pop" presidency at a time when many abroad and some at home considered democracy outdated, so although Shesol mentions that FDR's judicial reorganization was tied to his executive reorganization effort, he doesn't explain its context or fate. VERDICT An accessibly written page-turner; essential reading for both general readers and specialists.

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The United Nations Secretariat and the Use of Force in a Unipolar World : Power v. Principle by Ralph Zacklin
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010
KZ5036 .Z33 2010  Basement

The end of the Cold War appeared to revitalize the Security Council and offered the prospect of restoring the United Nations to its central role in the maintenance of international peace and security. Between the Gulf War of 1990 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the UN Secretariat found itself in the midst of an unprecedented period of activity involving authorized and unauthorized actions leading to the use of force. Ralph Zacklin examines the tensions that developed between the Secretariat and member states, particularly the five permanent members of the Security Council, concerning the process and content of the Council's actions in the Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Iraq War as the Secretariat strove to give effect to the fundamental principles of the Charter.

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A Nation of Laws : America's Imperfect Pursuit of Justice by Peter Charles Hoffer
Lawrence, Kan. : University Press of Kansas, c2010
KF352 .H64 2010  Balcony

Hoffer (history, Univ. of Georgia) here takes a philosophical and conceptual approach to the history of American law. Thematic rather than chronological, his six chapters each explore something that has impacted the development of American law from Colonial times to the present. The first three chapters discuss the politics of law and the impact of legal education. Chapter 4 discusses the Salem witch trials of 1692 as a landmark criminal trial because church law and civil law were in conflict, with other trials highlighted including the 1872 trial of Susan B. Anthony for illegal voting because it shows the historic conflict between natural rights and civil law. Chapters 5 and 6 explore critical turning points in American law, episodes that eventually led to lasting change. In Chapter 6, Hoffer also explores events that provoked debate about the nature of the law, particularly the 1994 murder trial of O.J. Simpson, which renewed a fierce debate over the role of race and money in the judicial system.

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Article 82 EC : Reflections on its Recent Evolution edited by Ariel Ezrachi
Oxford ; Portland, OR. : Hart Publishing, 2009
KJE6456 .A978 2009  Basement

The landscape of European competition law has seen significant changes in the past decade, both in terms of enforcement and substantive application. One of the last frontiers to be subjected to scrutiny has been Article 82. In recent years the European Commission has pushed forward the debate on the nature and scope of Article 82. Of major significance to this debate were the Commission's Consultation Paper on an economic approach to Article 82, the Discussion Paper on the application of Article 82 to exclusionary abuses, and the Commission's recent Guidance on its enforcement priorities in applying Article 82. The debate over the realm of Article 82 EC has raised important questions as to its past and present application. This collection of essays by international experts explores the changing boundaries of Article 82 EC and considers its recent evolution. The chapters cover a range of subjects, including the legal and economic implications of an effects-based approach to Article 82 EC, the recent Commission Guidance on Article 82 EC, the interface between intellectual property rights and competition law, licensing, tying, excessive pricing, and the protection of the consumer interest.