New Books Network

Kimbrew McLeod and Peter DiCola, “Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling” (Duke University Press, 2011)
One hallmark of important art, in any medium, is a thoughtful relation with artistic precursors. Every artist reckons with heroes and rivals, influences and nemeses, and the old work becomes a part of the new. In Adam Bradley’s seminal monograph on hip-hop lyrics, Book of Rhymes, legendary MC Mos Def... Read More
Walter Olson, “Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America” (Encounter Books, 2011)
What kind of education are students at top American law schools getting? And how does that education influence their activities upon graduation? In Walter Olson‘s Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America (Encounter Books, 2011), the author, an economist and not a lawyer, looks at what is happening... Read More
Brandon L. Garrett, “Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong” (Harvard UP, 2011)
Wrongful conviction is, both morally and practically, the worst mistake that society can inflict on an individual. From Franz Kafka to Errol Morris, from Arthur Koestler to Harper Lee, Western culture is deeply shaken at the prospect of the innocent person condemned. Outside of fiction, it used to be nearly... Read More
Charles Lane, “The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction” (Henry Holt, 2008)
Why did Reconstruction fail? Why didn’t the post-war Federal government protect the civil rights of the newly freed slaves? And why did it take Washington almost a century to intercede on the behalf of beleaguered, oppressed African Americans in the South? In a terrific new book, Charles Lane explains why.... Read More
Noah Feldman, “Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices” (Twelve, 2010)
Franklin D. Roosevelt promised the country “bold, persistent experimentation” to address the Great Depression – but for quite a while his ideas were a little too bold for the justices of the Supreme Court, who struck down many New Deal laws as unconstitutional. FDR had his day: over the years... Read More
Valerie Hebert, “Hitler’s Generals on Trial: The Last War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg” (University Press of Kansas, 2010)
Clausewitz famously said war was the “continuation of politics by other means.” Had he been unfortunate enough to witness the way the Wehrmacht fought on the Eastern Front in World War II, he might well have said war (or at least that war) was the “continuation of politics by any... Read More
Yuma Totani, “The Tokyo War Crimes Trials: The Pursuit of Justice in the Wake of World War II” (Harvard UP, 2008)
Most everyone has heard of the Nuremberg Trials. Popular books have been written about them. Hollywood made movies about them. Some of us can even name a few of the convicted (Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, etc.). But fewer of us know about what might be called “Nuremberg East,” that is,... Read More
Laura Wittern-Keller, “The Miracle Case: Film Censorship and the Supreme Court” (University of Kansas Press, 2008)
Did you ever wonder how we got from a moment in which almost everything on film could be censored (the Progressive Era) to the moment in which nothing on film could be censored (today)? From the Nickelodeon to Deep Throat? The answer is provided by Laura Wittern-Keller and Raymond J.... Read More
Laura Wittern-Keller, “Freedom of the Screen: Legal Challenges to Film Censorship 1915-1981” (University of Kentucky Press, 2008)
This week we interviewed Laura Wittern-Keller about her new book, Freedom of the Screen: Legal Challenges to Film Censorship 1915-1981. Both well written and extremely well researched, Freedom of the Screen takes the reader case by case through the history of film censorship in the United States. Dr. Wittern-Keller is... Read More