Featured Acquisitions - June 2013


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Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
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Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive. And he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. The very idea of a modern metropolis evokes visions of bustling sidewalks, vital mass transit, and a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban core. But in the typical American city, the car is still king, and downtown is a place that's easy to drive to but often not worth arriving at. Making walkability happen is relatively easy and cheap; seeing exactly what needs to be done is the trick. In this essential new book, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can all make the right choices for our communities. Bursting with sharp observations and real-world examples, giving key insight into what urban planners actually do and how places can and do change, Walkable City lays out a practical, necessary, and eminently achievable vision of how to make our normal American cities great again.

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The Roberts Court: The Struggle for Constitution by Marcia Coyle
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013
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The Roberts Court, seven years old, sits at the center of a constitutional maelstrom. Through four landmark decisions, Marcia Coyle, one of the most prestigious experts on the Supreme Court, reveals the fault lines in the conservative-dominated Court led by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.

Seven minutes after President Obama put his signature to a landmark national health care insurance program, a lawyer in the office of Florida GOP attorney general Bill McCollum hit a computer key, sparking a legal challenge to the new law that would eventually reach the nation’s highest court. Health care is only the most visible and recent front in a battle over the meaning and scope of the U.S. Constitution. The battleground is the United States Supreme Court, and one of the most skilled, insightful, and trenchant of its observers takes us close up to watch it in action.

Marcia Coyle’s brilliant inside account of the High Court captures four landmark decisions—concerning health care, money in elections, guns at home, and race in schools. Coyle examines how those cases began—the personalities and conflicts that catapulted them onto the national scene—and how they ultimately exposed the great divides among the justices, such as the originalists versus the pragmatists on guns and the Second Amendment, and corporate speech versus human speech in the controversial Citizens United campaign case. Most dramatically, her analysis shows how dedicated conservative lawyers and groups are strategizing to find cases and crafting them to bring up the judicial road to the Supreme Court with an eye on a receptive conservative majority.

The Roberts Court offers a ringside seat at the struggle to lay down the law of the land.

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Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy by Gary May
New York: Basic Books 2013
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Celebrated historian May describes how activists surmounted long-standing obstacles for the African-American vote, overcoming centuries of bigotry to secure--and preserve--the right of black citizens to full participation in American democracy in a vivid narrative history.


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A Principled Stand: The Story of Hirabayashi v. United States by Gordon Hirabayashi
Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013
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In 1943, college student Gordon Hirabayashi defied the curfew and mass removal of Japanese Americans on the West Coast and was subsequently convicted and imprisoned. Gordon's brother James and nephew Lane have brought together his prison diaries and voluminous wartime correspondence, along with family photographs and archival documents, to tell the story of the Supreme Court case that in 1943 upheld, and on appeal in 1987, vacated his conviction. Details of his religious faith, involvement in student movements, and experiences in jail give texture to his storied life.

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Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation Among Disciplines and Professions edited by Brandin Cormack, Martha C. Nussbaum, and Richard Strier
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013
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William Shakespeare is inextricably linked with the law. Legal documents make up most of the records we have of his life, and trials, lawsuits, and legal terms permeate his plays. Gathering an extraordinary team of literary and legal scholars, philosophers, and even sitting judges, Shakespeare and the Law demonstrates that Shakespeare’s thinking about legal concepts and legal practice points to a deep and sometimes vexed engagement with the law’s technical workings, its underlying premises, and its social effects.

Shakespeare and the Law opens with three essays that provide useful frameworks for approaching the topic, offering perspectives on law and literature that emphasize both the continuities and contrasts between the two fields. In its second section, the book considers Shakespeare’s awareness of common law thinking and common law practice through examinations of Measure for Measure and Othello. Building and expanding on this question, the third part inquires into Shakespeare’s general attitudes toward legal systems. A judge and a former solicitor general rule on Shylock’s demand for enforcement of his odd contract; and two essays by literary scholars take contrasting views on whether Shakespeare could imagine a functioning legal system. The fourth section looks at how law enters into conversation with issues of politics and community, both in the plays and in our own world. The volume concludes with a freewheeling colloquy among Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Judge Richard Posner, Martha C. Nussbaum, and Richard Strier that covers everything from the ghost in Hamlet to the nature of judicial discretion.

Celebrating the sometimes fractious intellectual energy produced by scholars and practitioners tackling the question of Shakespeare and the law, this collection is a resource and provocation for further thinking and ongoing discussion.

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The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis by Steven J. Harper
New York: Basic Books, 2013
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In this meticulously researched and passionately argued book, Harper exposes the dirty secrets behind the legal profession's malaise, disregard for new lawyers, and explains what steps can be taken to repair the damage before it's too late.


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The Death of Corporate Reputation: How Integrity Has Been Destroyed on Wall Street by Jonathan R. Macey
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: FT Press, 2013
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Why did the financial scandals really happen? Why are they continuing to happen? In The Death of Corporate Reputation, Yale's Jonathan Macey reveals the real, non-intuitive reason, and offers a new path forward. For over a century law firms, investment banks, accounting firms, credit rating agencies and companies seeking regular access to U.S. capital markets made large investments in their reputations. They treated customers well and sometimes endured losses in transactions or business deals in order to sustain and nurture their reputations as faithful brokers and “gate-keepers.” This has changed completely. The existing business model among leading participants in today’s capital markets no longer treats customers as valued clients whose trust must be earned and nurtured, but as one-off “counter-parties” to whom no duties are owed and no loyalty is required. The rough and tumble norms of the market-place have replaced the long-standing reputational model in U.S. finance.

This book describes the transformation in American finance from the old reputational model to the existing laissez faire model and argues that the change came as a result of three factors: (1) the growth of reliance on regulation rather than reputation as the primary mechanism for protecting customers and (2) the increasing complexity of regulation, which made technical expertise rather than reputation the primary criterion on which customers choose who to do business with in today’s markets; and (3) the rise of the “cult of personality” on Wall Street, which has led to a secular demise in the relevance of companies’ reputations and the concomitant rise of individual “rain-makers” reputation as the basis for premium pricing of financial services .This compelling book will drive the debate about the financial crisis and financial regulation for years to come--both inside and outside the industry.

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Legal Integration of Islam: A Transatlantic Comparison by Christian Joppke and John Torpey
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2013
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The status of Islam in Western societies remains deeply contentious. Countering strident claims on both the right and left, Legal Integration of Islam offers an empirically informed analysis of how four liberal democracies - France, Germany, Canada, and the United States - have responded to the challenge of integrating Islam and Muslim populations. Demonstrating the centrality of the legal system to this process, Christian Joppke and John Torpey reject the widely held notion that Europe is incapable of accommodating Islam and argue that institutional barriers to Muslim integration are no greater on one side of the Atlantic than the other.

While Muslims have achieved a substantial degree of equality working through the courts, political dynamics increasingly push back against these gains, particularly in Europe. From a classical liberal viewpoint, religion can either be driven out of public space, as in France, or included without sectarian preference, as in Germany. But both policies come at a price - religious liberty in France and full equality in Germany. Often seen as the flagship of multiculturalism, Canada has found itself responding to nativist and liberal pressures as Muslims become more assertive. And although there have been outbursts of anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States, the legal and political recognition of Islam is well established and largely uncontested.

Legal Integration of Islam brings to light the successes and the shortcomings of integrating Islam through law without denying the challenges that this religion presents for liberal societies.

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A Death at Crooked Creek: The Case of the Cowboy, the Cigarmaker, and the Love Letter by Marianne Wesson
New York: New York University Press, 2013
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One winter night in 1879, at a lonely Kansas campsite near Crooked Creek, a man was shot to death. The dead man's traveling companion identified him as John Hillmon, a cowboy from Lawrence who had been attempting to carve out a life on the blustery prairie. The case might have been soon forgotten and the apparent widow, Sallie Hillmon, left to mourn—except for the $25,000 life insurance policies Hillmon had taken out shortly before his departure. The insurance companies refused to pay on the policies, claiming that the dead man was not John Hillmon, and Sallie was forced to take them to court in a case that would reach the Supreme Court twice. The companies' case rested on a crucial piece of evidence: a faded love letter written by a disappeared cigarmaker, declaring his intent to travel westward with a "man named Hillmon."

In A Death at Crooked Creek, Marianne Wesson re-examines the long-neglected evidence in the case of the Kansas cowboy and his wife, recreating the court scenes that led to a significant Supreme Court ruling on the admissibility of hearsay evidence. Wesson employs modern forensic methods to examine the body of the dead man, attempting to determine his true identity and finally put this fascinating mystery to rest. This engaging and vividly imagined work combines the drama, intrigue, and emotion of excellent storytelling with cutting-edge forensic investigation techniques and legal theory. Wesson's superbly imagined A Death at Crooked Creek will have general readers, history buffs, and legal scholars alike wondering whether history, and the Justices, may have misunderstood altogether the events at that bleak winter campsite. Marianne Wesson is Professor of Law and President's Teaching Scholar, University of Colorado Law School. She is the author of best-selling and prize-winning legal novels including Render up the Body, A Suggestion of Death, and Chilling Effect.

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Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists by Jeffery Kahn
Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2013
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Today, when a single person can turn an airplane into a guided missile, no one objects to rigorous security before flying. But can the state simply declare some people too dangerous to travel, ever and anywhere? Does the Constitution protect a fundamental right to travel? Should the mode of travel (car, plane, or boat) or itinerary (domestic or international) make a constitutional difference? This book explores the legal and policy questions raised by government travel restrictions, from passports and rubber stamps to computerized terrorist watchlists.

In tracing the history and scope of U.S. travel regulations, Jeffrey Kahn begins with the fascinating story of Mrs. Ruth Shipley, a federal employee who almost single-handedly controlled access to passports during the Cold War. Kahn questions how far national security policies should go and whether the government should be able to declare some individuals simply too dangerous to travel. An expert on constitutional law, Kahn argues that U.S. citizens’ freedom to leave the country and return is a fundamental right, protected by the Constitution.