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Featured Acquisitions - September 2010

 

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Scoundrels in Law : The Trials of Howe & Hummel, Lawyers to the Gangsters, Cops, Starlets, and Rakes Who Made the Gilded Age  by Cait Murphy
New York : Smithsonian Books, c2010  1st ed
KF355.N4 M87 2010  Balcony

From the critically acclaimed author of Crazy '08 comes the thrilling true story of the most colorful and notorious law firm in American history. Scoundrels in Law offers an inside look at crime and punishment in the nineteenth century, and a whirlwind tour of the Gilded Age. Gangsters and con men. Spurned mistresses and wandering husbands. Strippers and Broadway royalty. Cat killers and spiritualists. These were the friends and clients of Howe & Hummel, the most famous (and famously rotten) law firm in nineteenth-century America. The partners gloried in their reputation and made a rich living from it. William Howe left London a step ahead of the law to find his destiny defending the perpetrators of murder and mayhem in post-Civil War New York, in an age of really good murders. A dramatic, diamond-encrusted presence, Howe was one of the great courtroom orators of his era, winning improbable acquittals time after time. Abraham Hummel enjoyed a quieter but perhaps more fearsome notoriety, shaking down high society so well and so often that receiving an envelope with the law firm's name on it became almost a rite of passage. The partners bestrode Gilded Age New York with wit and brio, and everyone from Theodore Roosevelt to Lola Montez had a part in their story. In Howe & Hummel's prime, it would not have been unusual to see a leading politician, a pickpocket, a Broadway star, a bank robber, and a socialite all crowded together into the waiting room of their offices, located conveniently across the street from the city jail. Howe and Hummel were not particularly good men. They were perfectly ready-even eager-to lie, cheat, and bribe on behalf of their clients. They did stop short of murder, though, a principle that played a critical role when the famous firm imploded in a truly spectacular web of deceit gone wrong. Through the windows of the dingy premises of Howe & Hummel, readers can glimpse the Gilded Age in all its grime and grandeur. Cait Murphy restores this once-famous duo to their rightful place in the pantheon of great American characters.


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Common As Air : Revolution, Art, and Ownership  by Lewis Hyde
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010  1st ed
ZA3270 .H93 2010  Basement

 

Common as Air offers a stirring defense of our cultural commons, that vast store of art and ideas we have inherited from the past that continues to enrich our present. Suspicious of the current idea that all creative work is “intellectual property”; Lewis Hyde turns to America’s founding fathers-men like John Adams, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson-in search of other ways to value the fruits of human wit and imagination. What he discovers is a rich tradition in which knowledge was assumed to be a commonwealth, not a private preserve.  

For the founding fathers, democratic self-governance itself demanded open and easy access to ideas. So did the growth of creative communities, such as that of eighteenth-century science. And so did the flourishing of public persons, the very actors whose “civic virtue” brought the nation into being.

In this lively, carefully argued, and well-documented book, Hyde brings the past to bear on present matters, shedding fresh light on everything from the Human Genome Project to Bob Dylan’s musical roots. Common as Air allows us to stand on the shoulders of America’s revolutionary giants and to see beyond today’s narrow debates over cultural ownership. What it reveals is nothing less than an inspiring vision of how to reclaim the commonwealth of art and ideas that we were meant to inherit.


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Getting in the Game : Title IX and the Women's Sports Revolution  by Deborah L. Brake
New York : New York University Press, c2010
KF4166 .B73 2010  Balcony

Title IX, a landmark federal statute enacted in 1972 to prohibit sex discrimination in education, has worked its way into American culture as few other laws have. It is an iconic law, the subject of web blogs and T-shirt slogans, and is widely credited with opening the doors to the massive numbers of girls and women now participating in competitive sports. Yet few people fully understand the law’s requirements, or the extent to which it has succeeded in challenging the gender norms that have circumscribed women’s opportunities as athletes and their place in society more generally. In this first legal analysis of Title IX, Deborah L. Brake assesses the statute’s successes and failures. While the statute has created tremendous gains for female athletes, not only raising the visibility and cultural acceptance of women in sports, but also creating social bonds for women, positive body images, and leadership roles, the disparities in funding between men’s and women’s sports have remained remarkably resilient. At the same time, female athletes continue to receive less prestige and support than their male counterparts, which in turn filters into the arena of professional sports. Brake provides a richer understanding and appreciation of what Title IX has accomplished, while taking a critical look at the places where the law has fallen short. A unique contribution to the literature on Title IX, Getting in the Game fully explores the theory, policy choices, successes, and limitations of this historic law


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Five Miles Away, A World Apart : One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern America by James E. Ryan
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
KF4155 .R93 2010   Balcony

How is it that, half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, educational opportunities remain so unequal for black and white students, not to mention poor and wealthy ones? In his important new book, Five Miles Away, A World Apart, James E. Ryan answers this question by tracing the fortunes of two schools in Richmond, Virginia--one in the city and the other in the suburbs. Ryan shows how court rulings in the 1970s, limiting the scope of desegregation, laid the groundwork for the sharp disparities between urban and suburban public schools that persist to this day. The Supreme Court, in accord with the wishes of the Nixon administration, allowed the suburbs to lock nonresidents out of their school systems. City schools, whose student bodies were becoming increasingly poor and black, simply received more funding, a measure that has proven largely ineffective, while the independence (and superiority) of suburban schools remained sacrosanct. Weaving together court opinions, social science research, and compelling interviews with students, teachers, and principals, Ryan explains why all the major education reforms since the 1970s--including school finance litigation, school choice, and the No Child Left Behind Act--have failed to bridge the gap between urban and suburban schools and have unintentionally entrenched segregation by race and class. As long as that segregation continues, Ryan forcefully argues, so too will educational inequality. Ryan closes by suggesting innovative ways to promote school integration, which would take advantage of unprecedented demographic shifts and an embrace of diversity among young adults. Exhaustively researched and elegantly written by one of the nation's leading education law scholars, Five Miles Away, A World Apart ties together, like no other book, a half-century's worth of education law and politics into a coherent, if disturbing, whole. It will be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered why our schools are so unequal and whether there is anything to be done about it.


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Facing Catastrophe : Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World by Robert R.M. Verchick
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2010
GE180 .V47 2010  Basement

As Hurricane Katrina vividly revealed, disaster policy in the United States is broken and needs reform. What can we learn from past disasters-storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and wildfires-about preparing for and responding to future catastrophes? How can these lessons be applied in a future threatened by climate change? In this bold contribution to environmental law, Robert Verchick argues for a new perspective on disaster law that is based on the principles of environmental protection. His prescription boils down to three simple commands: Go Green, Be Fair, and Keep Safe. "Going green" means minimizing exposure to hazards by preserving natural buffers and integrating those buffers into artificial systems like levees or seawalls. "Being fair" means looking after public health, safety, and the environment without increasing personal and social vulnerabilities. "Keeping safe" means a more cautionary approach when confronting disaster risks. Verchick argues that government must assume a stronger regulatory role in managing natural infrastructure, distributional fairness, and public risk. He proposes changes to the federal statutes governing environmental impact assessments, wetlands development, air emissions, and flood control, among others. Making a strong case for more transparent governmental decision-making, Verchick offers a new vision of disaster law for the next generation.


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Law and the Stranger  edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill Umphrey
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c2010
K3274 .L39 2010   Balcony

Law calls communities into being and constitutes the "we" it governs. This act of defining produces an outside as well as an inside, a border whose crossing is guarded, maintaining the identity, coherence, and integrity of the space and people within. Those wishing to enter must negotiate a complex terrain of defensive mechanisms, expectations, assumptions, and legal proscriptions. Essentially, law enforces the boundary between inside and outside in both physical and epistemological ways. Law and the Stranger explores the ways law identifies and responds to strangers within and across borders. It analyzes the ambiguous place strangers occupy in communities not their own and reflects on how dealing with strangers challenges the laws and communities that invite or parry them. As the book reveals, strangers are made through law, rather than born through accidents of geography.


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In Brown's Wake : Legacies of America's Educational Landmark by Martha Minow
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
KF4155 .M56 2010   Balcony

What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? Over fifty years after this landmark decision, the idea that law could be a vital tool in pursuing social justice--and in opening up schools as the vehicle for racial equality--appears to have been superseded by the coda, but today American schools are more racially segregated than they were at the time of Brown. In In Brown's Wake , Martha Minow argues that Brown was more influential and more effective in American law and society outside than inside the schools. Moreover, its influence on the international human rights movement was just as significant as its impact within the United States. Minow explains that though the promise of Brown remains more symbolic than effective, critical elements of the decision offer benchmarks of genuine significance in the struggles for justice in this new century. The recent decision by the Roberts' Court in Parents Involved - in which Justice Roberts famously said the only way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to discriminating on the basis of race - suggests that we are moving into a post- Brown era, and this is the perfect occasion to take stock. A concise introduction to Brown and its aftermath, In Brown's Wake explores the lasting effects of one of the most important Supreme Court decisions of the century with elegance and economy.


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Privacy Rights : Moral and Legal Foundations by Adam D. Moore
University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c2010
KF1262 .M66 2010   Balcony

We all know that Google stores huge amounts of information about everyone who uses its search tools, that Amazon can recommend new books to us based on our past purchases, and that the U.S. government engaged in many data-mining activities during the Bush administration to acquire information about us.

Control over access to our bodies and to special places, like our homes, has traditionally been the focus of concerns about privacy, but access to information about us is raising new challenges for those anxious to protect our privacy.  In Privacy Rights, Adam Moore adds informational privacy to physical and spatial privacy as fundamental to developing a general theory of privacy that is well grounded morally and legally.


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Hard Cases in Wicked Legal Systems : Pathologies of Legality  by David Dyzenhaus
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010  2nd ed
KTL1610 .D99 2010     Basement

The idea of a wicked legal system, one whose laws have been made the instrument of a repugnant moral ideology, continues to play an important part in philosophical debates about the nature of law and law's claim to moral authority. It seems to offer support for the argument of legal positivists, who insist on a clear conceptual distinction between legal requirements, deriving from social sources, and moral requirements. Does the existence of wicked legal systems present an insurmountable obstacle to critics of positivism who reject the importance of that distinction? The abstract debates of legal philosophers can seem far removed from the practical application of law in the business of deciding cases. This book argues that theoretical disagreement matters profoundly to the practice of law, and analyses the abstract debates of legal philosophy through a detailed study of judicial interpretations in apartheid South Africa - a model 'wicked legal system'. The case study shows that particular conceptions of law and of the rule of law determined the reasoning both of judges whose decisions supported official policy and of judges whose decisions resisted that policy. The first edition of this book was published in 1991. Since then South Africa has transformed, and the major debates in legal theory have shifted from analyzing the concept of law itself to analyzing the concept of legality and the value of the rule of law. For this substantially revised new edition, the author addresses the transformation of South Africa since the end of Apartheid, and the shift in focus of legal philosophy. He also examines the emergence of counter-terrorism security laws, and the arguments surrounding their conformity to the rule of law. The book offers an invaluable guide to understanding the abstract debates of legal theory, and their importance in legal practice.


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Extraterritorial Use of Force Against Non-State Actors  by Noam Lubell
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
KZ6405.N66 L83 2010   Sohn Library 

This book analyses the primary relevant rules of international law applicable to extra-territorial use of force by states against non-state actors. Force in this context takes many forms, ranging from targeted killings and abductions of individuals to large-scale military operations amounting to armed conflict. Actions of this type have occurred in what has become known as the 'war on terror', but are not limited to this context. Three frameworks of international law are examined in detail. These are the United Nations Charter and framework of international law regulating the resort to force in the territory of other states; the law of armed conflict, often referred to as international humanitarian law; and the law enforcement framework found in international human rights law. The book examines the applicability of these frameworks to extra-territorial forcible measures against non-state actors, and analyses the difficulties and challenges presented by application of the rules to these measures. The issues covered include, among others: the possibility of self-defense against non-state actors, including anticipatory self-defense; the lawfulness of measures which do not conform to the parameters of self-defense; the classification of extra-territorial force against non-state actors as armed conflict; the 'war on terror' as an armed conflict; the laws of armed conflict regulating force against groups and individuals; the extra-territorial applicability of international human rights law; and the regulation of forcible measures under human rights law. Many of these issues are the subject of ongoing and longstanding debate. The focus in this work is on the particular challenges raised by extra-territorial force against non-state actors and the book offers a number of solutions to these challenges.


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The EC Common Fisheries Policy by Robin Churchill and Daniel Owen
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2010
KJE6695 .C482 2010   Basement

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is one of the longest established and more controversial of the common policies of the EC. It deals principally with the management of fishery resources, relations between the EC and third States in fisheries matters, the marketing of and trade in fishery products, financial assistance to the fisheries sector, and aquaculture. However, the CFP is not just a matter for those with an economic interest in fisheries. It also raises many issues of more general concern, such as the capacity of the EC and its Member States to manage important natural resources sustainably, the impact of fishing on the wider marine environment, and relations between developed and developing States. This book addresses the CFP from a legal perspective. It provides a detailed account of the very large body of EC law comprising the CFP, and draws on the European Commission's associated documents to aid interpretation and add context. As a result, the book will be of value to anyone wanting knowledge of the law of the CFP. Although not addressing the Commission's 2009 Green Paper on reform of the CFP, the book should provide a useful reference point against which to view the reform of parts of the CFP that is anticipated to take place over the next few years.


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Keeping Faith with the Constitution by Goodwin Liu, Pamela S. Karlan, Christopher H. Schroeder
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
KF4550.Z9 L578 2010   Balcony

Chief Justice John Marshall argued that a constitution "requires that only its great outlines should be marked [and] its important objects designated." Ours is "intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs." In recent years, Marshall's great truths have been challenged by proponents of originalism and strict construction. Such legal thinkers as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia argue that the Constitution must be construed and applied as it was when the Framers wrote it. In Keeping Faith with the Constitution, three legal authorities make the case for Marshall's vision. They describe their approach as "constitutional fidelity"--not to how the Framers would have applied the Constitution, but to the text and principles of the Constitution itself. The original understanding of the text is one source of interpretation, but not the only one; to preserve the meaning and authority of the document, to keep it vital, applications of the Constitution must be shaped by precedent, historical experience, practical consequence, and societal change. The authors range across the history of constitutional interpretation to show how this approach has been the source of our greatest advances, from Brown v. Board of Education to the New Deal, from the Miranda decision to the expansion of women's rights. They delve into the complexities of voting rights, the malapportionment of legislative districts, speech freedoms, civil liberties and the War on Terror, and the evolution of checks and balances. The Constitution's framers could never have imagined DNA, global warming, or even women's equality. Yet these and many more realities shape our lives and outlook. Our Constitution will remain vital into our changing future, the authors write, if judges remain true to this rich tradition of adaptation and fidelity