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Featured Acquisitions - March 2010

See also:  Recent Acquisitions in Selected Subject Areas

 

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  by Rebecca Skloot
New York : Crown Publishers, c2010  1st ed
RC265.6.L24 S55 2009  Basement

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they would weigh more than 50 million metric tons-as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia - a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo - to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family - past and present - is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family-especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother's cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.


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Private Security, Public Order : The Outsourcing of Public Services and its Limits edited by Simon Chesterman and Angelina Fisher
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
K3465 .C44 2009  Balcony

Private actors are increasingly taking on roles traditionally arrogated to the state. Both in the industrialized North and the developing South, functions essential to external and internal security and to the satisfaction of basic human needs are routinely contracted out to non-state agents. In the area of privatization of security functions, attention by academics and policy makers tends to focus on the activities of private military and security companies, especially in the context of armed conflicts, and their impact on human rights and post-conflict stability and reconstruction. The first edited volume emerging from New York University School of Law's Institute for International Justice project on private military and security companies, From Mercenaries to Market: The Rise and Regulation of Private Military Companies broadened this debate to situate the private military phenomenon in the context of moves towards the regulation of activities through market and non-market mechanisms. Where that first volume looked at the emerging market for use of force, this second volume looks at the transformations in the nature of state authority. Drawing on insights from work on privatization, regulation, and accountability in the emerging field of global administrative law, the book examines private military and security companies through the wider lens of private actors performing public functions. In the past two decades, the responsibilities delegated to such actors - especially but not only in the United States - have grown exponentially. The central question of this volume is whether there should be any limits on government capacity to outsource traditionally "public" functions. Can and should a government put out to private tender the fulfillment of military, intelligence ,and prison services? Can and should it transfer control of utilities essential to life, such as the supply of water? This discussion incorporates numerous perspectives on regulatory and governance issues in the private provision of public functions, but focuses primarily on private actors offering services that impact the fundamental rights of the affected population.


Book Jacket Photo Tabula Picta : Painting and Writing in Medieval Law by Marta Madero
Philadelphia, Pa. : University of Pennsylvania Press, c2010
KJA2438.I58 M3313 2010  Basement

To whom does a painted tablet--a tabula picta--belong? To the owner of the physical piece of wood on which an image is painted? Or to the person who made the painting on that piece of wood? By extension, one might ask, who is the owner of a text? Is it the person who has written the words, or the individual who possesses the piece of parchment or slab of stone on which those words are inscribed? In Tabula Picta Marta Madero turns to the extensive glosses and commentaries that medieval jurists dedicated to the above questions when articulating a notion of intellectual and artistic property radically different from our own. The most important goal for these legal thinkers, Madero argues, was to situate things--whatever they might be--within a logical framework that would allow for their description, categorization, and placement within a proper hierarchical order. Only juridical reasoning, they claimed, was capable of sorting out the individual elements that nature or human art had brought together in a single unit; by establishing sets of distinctions and taxonomies worthy of Borges, legal discourse sought to demonstrate that behind the deceptive immediacy of things, lie the concepts and arguments of what one might call the artifices of the concrete.


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From Disgust to Humanity : Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law by Martha C. Nussbaum
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
KF4754.5 .N87 2010   Balcony

A distinguished professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago, a prolific writer and award-winning thinker, Martha Nussbaum stands as one of our foremost authorities on law, justice, freedom, morality, and emotion. In From Disgust to Humanity, Nussbaum aims her considerable intellectual firepower at the bulwark of opposition to gay equality: the politics of disgust.  Nussbaum argues that disgust has long been among the fundamental motivations of those who are fighting for legal discrimination against lesbian and gay citizens. When confronted with same-sex acts and relationships, she writes, they experience "a deep aversion akin to that inspired by bodily wastes, slimy insects, and spoiled food--and then cite that very reaction to justify a range of legal restrictions, from sodomy laws to bans on same-sex marriage." Leon Kass, former head of President Bush's President's Council on Bioethics, even argues that this repugnance has an inherent "wisdom," steering us away from destructive choices. Nussbaum believes that the politics of disgust must be confronted directly, for it contradicts the basic principle of the equality of all citizens under the law. "It says that the mere fact that you happen to make me want to vomit is reason enough for me to treat you as a social pariah, denying you some of your most basic entitlements as a citizen." In its place she offers a "politics of humanity," based not merely on respect, but something akin to love, an uplifting imaginative engagement with others, an active effort to see the world from their perspectives, as fellow human beings. Combining rigorous analysis of the leading constitutional cases with philosophical reflection about underlying concepts of privacy, respect, discrimination, and liberty, Nussbaum discusses issues ranging from non-discrimination and same-sex marriage to "public sex." Recent landmark decisions suggest that the views of state and federal courts are shifting toward a humanity-centered vision, and Nussbaum's powerful arguments will undoubtedly advance that cause.  Incisive, rigorous, and deeply humane, From Disgust to Humanity is a stunning contribution to Oxford's distinguished Inalienable Rights series.


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The Vanishing American Lawyer by Thomas D. Morgan
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2010
KF300 .M665 2010    Balcony

Over 4,000 lawyers lost their positions at major American law firms in 2008 and 2009. In The Vanishing American Lawyer, Professor Thomas Morgan discusses the legal profession and the need for both law students and lawyers to adapt to the needs and expectations of clients in the future. The world needs people who understand institutions that create laws and how to access those institutions' works, but lawyers are no longer part of a profession that is uniquely qualified to advise on a broad range of distinctly legal questions. Clients will need advisors who are more specialized than many lawyers are today and who have more expertise in non-legal issues. Many of today's lawyers do not have a special ability to provide such services. While American lawyers have been hesitant to change the ways they can improve upon meeting client needs, lawyers in other countries, notably Great Britain and Australia, have been better at adapting. Law schools must also recognize the world their students will face and prepare them to operate successfully within it. Professor Morgan warns that lawyers must adapt to new client needs and expectations. The term "professional" should be applied to individuals who deserve praise for skilled and selfless efforts, but this term may lead to occupational suicide if it becomes a justification for not seeing and adapting to the world ahead.


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Justice in Blue and Gray : A Legal History of the Civil War  by Stephen C. Neff
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2010
KF5060 .N44 2010    Balcony

Stephen Neff offers the first comprehensive study of the wide range of legal issues arising from the American Civil War, many of which resonate in debates to this day.  Neff examines the lawfulness of secession, executive and legislative governmental powers, and laws governing the conduct of war. Whether the United States acted as a sovereign or a belligerent had legal consequences, including treating Confederates as rebellious citizens or foreign nationals in war. Property questions played a key role, especially when it came to the process of emancipation. Executive detentions and trials by military commissions tested civil liberties, and the end of the war produced a raft of issues on the status of the Southern states, the legality of Confederate acts, clemency, and compensation. A compelling aspect of the book is the inclusion of international law, as Neff situates the conflict within the general laws of war and details neutrality issues, where the Civil War broke important new legal ground.  This book not only provides an accessible and informative legal portrait of this critical period but also illuminates how legal issues arise in a time of crisis, what impact they have, and how courts attempt to resolve them.


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Angel of Death Row : My Life as a Death Penalty Defense Lawyer by Andrea D. Lyon ; [foreword by Alan M. Dershowitz]
New York : Kaplan Pub., c2010
KF373.L963 A3 2010   Balcony

Nineteen times, death penalty defense lawyer Andrea D. Lyon has represented a client found guilty of capital murder. Nineteen times, she has argued for that individual’s life to be spared. Nineteen times, she has succeeded.  Dubbed the “Angel of Death Row” by the Chicago Tribune, Lyon was the first woman to serve as lead attorney in a death penalty case. Throughout her career, she has defended those accused of heinous acts and argued that, no matter their guilt or innocence, they deserved a chance at redemption.  Now, for the first time, Lyon shares her story, from her early work as a Legal Aid attorney to her founding of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases. Full of courtroom drama, tragedy, and redemption, Angel of Death Row is a remarkable inside look at what drives Lyon to defend those who seem indefensible.  There was Annette who was suspected of murdering her own daughter. There was Patrick, the convicted murderer who thirsted for knowledge and shared his love of books with Lyon when she visited him in jail. There was Lonnie, whose mental illness made him nearly impossible to save until the daughter who remembered his better self spoke on his behalf. There was Deirdre, who shared Lyon’s cautious optimism that her wrongful conviction would finally be overturned, allowing her to see her grandchildren born while she was in prison. And there was Madison Hobley, the man whose name made international headlines when he was wrongfully charged with the murder of his family and sentenced to death.  These clients trusted Lyon with their stories and their lives. Driven by an overwhelming sense of justice, fairness, and morality, she fought for them in the courtroom and in the raucous streets, staying by their sides as they struggled through real tragedy and triumphed in startling ways.  Angel of Death Row is the compelling memoir of Lyon’s unusual journey and groundbreaking career.


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Reasons of Identity : A Normative Guide to the Political and Legal Assessment of Identity Claims by Avigail Eisenberg
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009
HM1271 .E385 2009   Basement

The current legal and political context is perhaps more congenial than ever before to considering claims made by minorities for the protection of some aspect of their identity. This book argues that diverse societies depend for their success on having courts and legislatures which are capable of assessing these identity claims in a fair and transparent manner. Despite the ubiquity of these claims today, how public decision makers assess minority identity claims in the course of decision making is only vaguely understood and mostly ignored in normative political theory and public policy analysis. This book examines several key approaches used by national and international institutions to assess the identity claims of religious, cultural, and Indigenous minorities today. It takes up the central challenges to the public assessment of identity claims which raise concerns about the incommensurability and questionable authenticity of such claims, and about the risks of essentializing and domesticating the identities of the people who advance identity claims. It develops a guide to aid in the fair assessment of identity claims which is grounded on the requirements that public institutions must respect what people claim is deeply important to their self understandings and ways of life without merely accepting such claims at face value or deferring to claimants in every case, and public institutions must have the capacity to reflect on their own unfair biases. The guide developed in this book aims at interrogating the strength of any identity claim on bases that are respectful of differences without being blinded by them.


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The Wisdom of Crowds : Why The Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations by James Surowiecki
New York : Doubleday, 2004
JC328.2 .S87 2004  Basement

“No one in this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”  —H. L. Mencken   H. L. Mencken was wrong. In this endlessly fascinating book, New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future. This seemingly counterintuitive notion has endless and major ramifications for how businesses operate, how knowledge is advanced, how economies are (or should be) organized and how we live our daily lives. With seemingly boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, economic behaviorism, artificial intelligence, military history and political theory to show just how this principle operates in the real world.  Despite the sophistication of his arguments, Surowiecki presents them in a wonderfully entertaining manner. The examples he uses are all down-to-earth, surprising, and fun to ponder. Why is the line in which you’re standing always the longest? Why is it that you can buy a screw anywhere in the world and it will fit a bolt bought ten-thousand miles away? Why is network television so awful? If you had to meet someone in Paris on a specific day but had no way of contacting them, when and where would you meet? Why are there traffic jams? What’s the best way to win money on a game show? Why, when you walk into a convenience store at 2:00 A.M. to buy a quart of orange juice, is it there waiting for you? What do Hollywood mafia movies have to teach us about why corporations exist? The Wisdom of Crowds is a brilliant but accessible biography of an idea, one with important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, conduct our business, and think about our world.


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Hobbes and the Law of Nature by Perez Zagorin
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2009
JC153.H66 Z34 2009   Basement

This is the first major work in English to explore at length the meaning, context, aims, and vital importance of Thomas Hobbes's concepts of the law of nature and the right of nature. Hobbes remains one of the most challenging and controversial of early modern philosophers, and debates persist about the interpretation of many of his ideas, particularly his views about natural law and natural right. In this book, Perez Zagorin argues that these two concepts are the twin foundations of the entire structure of Hobbes's moral and political thought.  Zagorin clears up numerous misconceptions about Hobbes and his relation to earlier natural law thinkers, in particular Hugo Grotius, and he reasserts the often overlooked role of the Hobbesian law of nature as a moral standard from which even sovereign power is not immune. Because Hobbes is commonly thought to be primarily a theorist of sovereignty, political absolutism, and unitary state power, the significance of his moral philosophy is often underestimated and widely assumed to depend entirely on individual self-interest. Zagorin reveals Hobbes's originality as a moral philosopher and his importance as a thinker who subverted and transformed the idea of natural law.  Hobbes and the Law of Nature is a major contribution to our understanding of Hobbes's moral, legal, and political philosophy, and a book rich in interpretive and critical insights into Hobbes's writing and thought.


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War, Commerce, and International Law by James Thuo Gathii
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2010
KZ6385 .G38 2010   Sohn Library

Recent wars and conflicts, the 'blood diamond' wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as asset freezing and blocking in the so called war against terrorism have more than ever before raised questions about the status of private property and contract rights after the outbreak of war. Do invading and occupying powers have the right to destroy and confiscate private property and ignore contract rights? Are residents of a war-torn countries and foreign investors alike protected by international laws that uphold commercial freedom? Who, and on what legal authority, decides cases over contested resources during or after war? As globalization and armed conflicts continue to grow and co-exist, these questions are increasingly in the international spotlight. War, Commerce, and International Law authoritatively explores these questions in the context of the relationship between war and commerce, on one hand, and international law, on the other. This book also places these questions in a historical context. Professor Gathii argues that there are continuities and discontinuities in the ways in which these rules were applied in colonial acquisitions of territory and in the protection of the rights of bond holders in the period before the twentieth century, and the manner in which private property and contract rights are being treated under occupation and during wartime in the contemporary period. This book also offers an original and authoritative framework for appreciating relations between powerful and less powerful States and entities and between public and private power, as well as between peoples from vastly different cultural and racial backgrounds, in the context of war and commerce. It presents authoritative comparisons and contrasts between the protection of rights of foreign and domestic investors under international law in the context of war. In so doing, it debunks the story that commerce has prevailed over wartime deprivations and destructions of private property and contract rights. It shows how wartime effects on private property are a constitutive component of war rather than an aberration of it. Professor Gathii demonstrates that while international legal prohibitions against destruction and confiscation of private property during wartime are important, they have often been disregarded or sacrificed at the alter of claims of liberty and freedom historically as well as in the contemporary period. Most importantly, War, Commerce, and International Law shows that although the doctrines and rules of international law relating to war and commerce guarantee fairness between all states, their application, interpretation, and adjudication in a variety of contexts nevertheless simultaneously carry forward within them the legacy of imperialism and colonial conquest. However, while international law carries within it this legacy, its guarantees of the equality of all states and of the human rights of all individuals, continue to offer hope for poor and weak states and individuals everywhere.


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Fault Lines of International Legitimacy edited by Hilary Charlesworth, Jean-Marc Coicaud
Cambridge [U.K.] ; New York, N.Y. : Cambridge University Press, 2010
KZ3410 .F38 2010   Sohn Library

Fault Lines of International Legitimacy deals with the following questions: What are the features and functions of legitimacy in the international realm? How does international legitimacy, as exemplified in particular by multilateral norms, organizations, and policies, change over time? What role does the international distribution of power and its evolution have in the establishment and transformation of legitimacy paradigms? To what extent do democratic values account for the growing importance of legitimacy and the increasing difficulty of achieving it at the international and the national level? One of the central messages of the book is that, although the search for international legitimacy is an elusive endeavor, there is no alternative to it if we want to respond to the intertwined demands of justice and security and make them an integral and strategic part of international relations movements.


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Business Valuation and Bankruptcy by Ian Ratner, Grant Stein, John C. Weitnauer
Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2009
HG4028.V3 R37 2009  Basement

An essential guide to business valuation and bankruptcy Business Valuation and Bankruptcy helps you whether you are an accountant dealing with a troubled company, a lender, an investor, a bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer/financial advisor, or a private equity player-to focus on solving everyday and case determinative disputes when creditors, lenders, and debtors have differing views of value.  Introducing valuation issues early on in the restructuring/bankruptcy process so you can plan accordingly, this book offers many real life case examples, case descriptions, and tables to demonstrate the applicable sections of the Bankruptcy Laws; a review of the methods, applications, pros and cons of restructuring with the basic tools to understanding it; a description of the life cycle of a troubled company and the various stages of a restructuring; and an analysis of the valuation issues that confront practitioners in the real world of application of the law.  Business Valuation and Bankruptcy is written in terms that are common to bankruptcy professionals and is essential, timely reading for players in the bankruptcy and restructuring environment.


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Private Lawyers and the Public Interest : The Evolving Role of Pro Bono in the Legal Profession edited by Robert Granfield, Lynn Mather
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2009
KF299.P8 P745 2009   Balcony

This collection of original essays by leading and emerging scholars in the field examines the history, conditions, organization, and strategies of pro bono lawyering. Private Lawyers and the Public Interest: The Evolving Role of Pro Bono in the Legal Profession traces the rise and impact of the American Bar Association's campaign to hold lawyers accountable for a commitment to public service and to encourage public service within law schools. Combining empirical legal research with reflections by practitioners and theorists about the meaning and practice of pro bono legal work, this collection of essays interrogates the public service ideals that are inscribed within the legal profession and places these ideals within a broader social, economic, ideological, and normative context. Particular attention is paid to the factors that explain why lawyers engage in pro bono work and the ways in which their views of pro bono are mediated by the institutional context of their legal practice. The book also explores the concept of "public" in public service and compares pro bono as a means of delivering legal services with other mechanisms such as state funding. Collectively, these essays investigate the evolving role of pro bono in the legal profession and in law schools, the relationship between pro bono ideals and pro bono in practice, the way that pro bono is shaped by external forces beyond the individual practitioner, and the multi-faceted nature of legal professionalism as expressed through pro bono practice.