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Book Review

  • A book cover illustration featuring a large elephant and small creatures standing near a large hole

    The Law Professor and the Elephant

    January 31, 2022

    Lloyd Weinreb ’62, professor emeritus at HLS, who passed away in December (see Page 48), was the author of many important articles and books, several on legal…

  • An illustration of a large transparent globe with DNA strands floating inside as two scientist and two others observe.

    Faculty Books in Brief: Winter 2022

    January 31, 2022

    A wide range of books by faculty, from a collection of essays on the ethics of consumer genetic testing to a look at the fate of constitutional institutions in populist regimes to a delightful children's book by a legal philosopher

  • Illustration a man at a podium in front of six microphones with a social media logo or a social media response attached to each mic.

    Bad News

    January 31, 2022

    With the rise of social media and the decline of traditional news outlets, especially local news, “constitutional democracy itself is in the balance,” writes Minow in her new book.

  • Grid of still head shots and archival shots from a movie

    The Influence of Critical Legal Studies

    August 11, 2021

    By the time Jeannie Suk Gersen ’02 was a first-year law student at HLS, the Critical Legal Studies movement had been pronounced dead. And yet “every corner you turned and every closet you opened at the law school, there it would be, in some sort of zombie or ghost-like form,” she recalls.

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    Vice Age

    July 28, 2021

    “Anna Lvovsky chronicles the policing of gay life in the mid-20th century.

  • Illustration set in forest. A red while and blue quilt on the ground which shows the state of Texas and below it roots in red white and blue

    A Sense of Place

    June 11, 2021

    In the newly published “On Juneteenth,” Gordon-Reed presents a 360-degree view of the history leading up to the holiday and beyond, weaving in her perspective as a Black woman with Texas roots that run deep.

  • illustration--presidents desk with scafolding in front of it

    Reforming the Presidency

    November 16, 2020

    Jack Goldsmith speaks with the Bulletin about the most effective approach to regulating the executive branch, “the absolute low point” of presidential relations with the press, and the one issue on which he, an independent, and his co-author, a Democrat, could not agree.

  • illustration for Arab Winter

    A Movement that Mattered

    October 20, 2020

    In “The Arab Winter: A Tragedy,” Feldman writes: “People whose political lives had been determined and shaped from the outside tried politics for themselves, and for a time succeeded. That this did not lead to constitutional democracy or even to a more decent life for most of those affected is not a reason to believe that the effort was meaningless.”

  • book cover of The Connected Parent

    Books in Brief: Fall 2020

    October 20, 2020

    New works on redeeming the administrative state, navigating parenting in a world in which children are immersed in technology, and understanding the importance of understanding how much information you need.

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    Faculty Books in Brief: Summer 2020

    July 23, 2020

    From human rights in a time of populism to a comparative look at capital punishment to a focus on disability, healthcare and bioethics

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    For the Sake of Argument

    July 23, 2020

    Singer seeks to help lawyers and the general public make reasoned arguments, promote civil discourse, and consider alternative perspectives.

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    Popular Opinion

    May 20, 2020

    Tushnet advocates for a new constitutional order that would move away from “judicial supremacy" and instead focus on empowering ordinary people to shape Americans’ understanding of the meaning of the Constitution.

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    Getting the Law of Wrongs Right

    April 7, 2020

    In “Recognizing Wrongs,” Goldberg and his co-author argue that much of the criticism of tort law comes from failing to appreciate its character and purposes.

  • Illustration of different people dancing in a circle

    The Choosing People

    August 13, 2019

    Robert and Dale Mnookin never had any doubt that they areewish. But the question of who should be considered Jewish can be surprisingly tangled and fraught. That question is at the heart of Robert’s new book, “The Jewish American Paradox: Embracing Choice in a Changing World.”

  • Illustration of two people in judges robes holding a funnel with the words we the people flowing through them

    Faculty Books in Brief: Summer 2019

    June 19, 2019

    A single person cannot change a social norm; it requires a movement from people who disapprove of the norm, writes Sunstein. He explores how those movements, ranging from the fight for LGBTQ rights to white nationalism, take shape and effect change.

  • illustration of people in shadows inside the captol, with their hands lit as something passes from one person to another

    A Precarious State

    May 6, 2019

    Think of an honest used car salesperson. The very idea might seem like an oxymoron. That’s not because no honest people ever sell cars. It’s because the profession as a whole is not considered trustworthy by the public. What if that sense of mistrust were not limited to the used car lot but had spread to institutions the public relies on every day? It has, according to Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig.

  • health app illustration

    Faculty Books in Brief: Winter 2019

    January 30, 2019

    With the increased use of a massive volume and variety of data in our lives, our health care will inevitably be affected, note the editors of a new collection, one of the recent faculty books captured in this section.

  • weight balancing illustration / dollars vs people

    The Price Is Right

    January 29, 2019

    HLS Professor Cass Sunstein ’78 argues that for all their differences, every president since Ronald Reagan has agreed on one fundamental principle of government. That is, “No action may be taken unless the benefits justify the costs.” Sunstein identifies President Reagan as the main architect of this concept, and he credits the president he served under, Barack Obama ’91, with cementing what he calls “the cost-benefit revolution,” which is also the title of Sunstein’s new book.

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    Faculty Books in Brief: Summer 2018

    June 25, 2018

    HLS Professor Mnookin, who for many years chaired the school’s Program on Negotiation, joins two other Harvard-affiliated professors in a study of the former secretary of state’s public and private deal-making, based on extensive interviews with Henry Kissinger on negotiation strategy and tactics.

  • A State of Danger?

    A State of Danger?

    June 25, 2018

    "It Can't Happen Here," the novel by Sinclair Lewis written in the 1930s as fascism was rising in Europe, imagines an America overtaken by an authoritarian regime. The new book edited by Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein ’78, "Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America" (Dey Street Books), does not predict the same fate. Yet the contributors—several also affiliated with Harvard Law—take seriously the possibility that it could happen here, despite the safeguards built into the American system of government.

  • An illustration of a man sitting at a table holding a quill pen

    A Monument to Madison

    June 25, 2018

    Professor Noah Feldman is the first to admit that James Madison will probably never merit a hip-hop Broadway musical like his partner in Constitution drafting turned bitter political foe.

  • Crowd of international children

    A Professor’s Portfolio

    August 7, 2017

    For more than a half-century at HLS, Professor Emeritus Henry Steiner ’55 has focused on international human rights, including as the founder of the school’s Human Rights Program; he has also focused his camera on countries around the world, and is now sharing his deep passion for photography in a new book, “Eyeing the World.”

  • Waging War illustration

    War Powers: A (Judicial) Review

    August 2, 2017

    The post-9/11 war on terror was only 3 years old when David Barron ’94 began researching whether presidents enjoy as much unfettered power to conduct wars as was assumed by many at the time. A dozen years after he began, Barron, now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit and a visiting professor at HLS, has published the results of his research in a book titled “Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress 1776 to ISIS” (Simon & Schuster).

  • American flag illustration

    Common Threat

    July 25, 2017

    Author of the best-selling “Nudge,” about influencing people’s behavior for their benefit, Professor Cass Sunstein ’78 has just published a new book titled “#republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media.” Sunstein, who served as administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration, argues in the book that self-insulation facilitated by the internet and social media has harmful consequences for our democracy—one of several topics he covered in a recent interview with the Bulletin.

  • Girl speaking with shapes illustration

    Faculty Books in Brief—Spring 2017

    May 18, 2017

    The concept of speech is typically defined as the communication of thoughts in spoken words. Yet the authors note that First Amendment protection of speech is far broader, covering nonrepresentational art, instrumental music, and even nonsense—individual topics that Tushnet, Chen, and Blocher focus on (in that order) in the book.

  • The Constitution: An Origin Story

    December 14, 2016

    Professor Michael Klarman’s “The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution” gathers for the first time in a single volume the tumultuous story of the 1787 creation of our nation’s founding document, in the kind of rich detail earlier reserved for multivolume works.

  • Regulated to Death

    November 22, 2016

    In their latest collaboration, Professor Carol Steiker ’86 and her brother, Jordan Steiker ’88, a law professor at the University of Texas, have co-written a new book, “Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment,” in which they argue that the Court has failed in its efforts to regulate the death penalty since Gregg v. Georgia, its 1976 decision that allowed capital punishment to resume.

  • Faculty Books In Brief—Fall 2016

    October 21, 2016

    “Diversity in Practice: Race, Gender, and Class in Legal and Professional Careers,” edited by Professor David B. Wilkins ’80, Spencer Headworth, Robert L. Nelson and Ronit Dinovitzer (Cambridge) Wilkins, director of the school’s Center on the Legal Profession, serves as co-editor and also co-writes an essay in this volume, which contrasts the rhetoric that widely embraces the goal of diversity in the legal and other professions with the reality of continued barriers to full inclusion.

  • Jefferson

    Inside the World of Jefferson

    May 4, 2016

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History for her book “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” Annette Gordon-Reed ’84 first read a biography of Thomas Jefferson as a child—and hasn’t stopped learning and writing about him. The HLS professor, who is also on the faculty at the university and the Radcliffe Institute, spoke to the Bulletin about her latest book, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination,” co-written with Peter S. Onuf. She discusses her own fascination with and (measured) admiration for the third U.S. president—and the significance of teaching history at the law school.

  • Faculty Books In Brief—Spring 2016

    May 4, 2016

    “FDA in the 21st Century: The Challenges of Regulating Drugs and New Technologies,” edited by Holly Fernandez Lynch and I. Glenn Cohen ’03 (Columbia). Stemming from a 2013 conference at HLS, the book features essays covering major developments that have changed how the FDA regulates; how the agency encourages transparency; First Amendment issues; access to drugs; and evolving issues in drug-safety communication. These issues, the editors write, lie “at the heart of our health and health care.”

  • Containing Contagion

    Containing Contagion

    May 4, 2016

    According to HLS Professor Hal Scott, nearly eight years after the 2008 crisis, the U.S. financial system is inadequately protected and more at risk than ever. He sounds the alarm in a new book, “Connectedness and Contagion: Protecting the Financial System from Panics,” forthcoming early this summer from MIT Press.

  • Freedom Is Just Another Word for … Regulation

    October 5, 2015

    Property law expert Joseph Singer argues that regulations make markets and property possible and promotes conservatives values. Regulations are needed to protect us from harm and fraudulent actions by others, to ensure that people can acquire property, and to allow all of us to exercise equal freedoms, he writes

  • Harvard Law’s First Century

    October 5, 2015

    For a deep, detailed, compellingly written, unstintingly transparent view of Harvard Law School as it was from the fall of 1817 (six students) to the spring of 1910 (765 students), look to “On the Battlefield of Merit”—the first of two volumes intended to mark the school’s bicentennial in 2017.

  • Faculty Books In Brief—Fall 2015

    October 5, 2015

    “Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice,” by Professor Cass R. Sunstein ’78 (Oxford). Choice, while a symbol of freedom, can also be a burden: If we had to choose all the time, asserts the author, we’d be overwhelmed. Indeed, Sunstein argues that in many instances, not choosing could benefit us—for example, if mortgages could be automatically refinanced when interest rates drop significantly.

  • Global Prosecutor

    October 5, 2015

    In January 2010, Martha Minow, then the new dean of Harvard Law School, taught a seminar examining the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Bolstering that effort was her co-teacher, Alex Whiting, who later that year would begin a three-year tenure at the ICC, managing first investigations and then prosecutions for the office. The other co-teacher was the ICC’s first chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

  • Faculty Books In Brief — Spring 2015

    May 4, 2015

    As far back as Aristotle, people have been touting the benefits of group decision-making. Yet, as Professor Cass R. Sunstein ’78 and and Reid Hastie note in their new book, history suggests that groups are often unwise or downright foolish.

  • The Price of Admission

    May 4, 2015

    For Lani Guinier, the mission of higher education is—or should be—democracy.

  • Power–and Peril–to the People

    May 4, 2015

    In a new world of technology, Gabriella Blum and Benjamin Wittes argue, we are more powerful and more vulnerable than ever

  • Certain Change: How the Roberts Court is revising constitutional law

    November 24, 2014

    Laurence Tribe discusses some of the implications of the decisions of nine men and women with regard to gay marriage, gun rights, N.S.A. surveillance, health care, emerging threats to privacy, immigration and more.

  • Recent Faculty Books – Summer 2014

    May 15, 2014

    In two new books, Professor Cass Sunstein, former administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, addresses human behavior and how government should best respond to it.

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    Recent Faculty Books – Winter 2014

    January 1, 2014

    “The New Black: What Has Changed—and What Has Not—with Race in America,” edited by Professor Kenneth W. Mack ’91 and Guy-Uriel Charles (New Press). The volume presents essays that consider questions that look beyond the main focus of the civil rights era: to lessen inequality between black people and white people. The contributors, including HLS Professor Lani Guinier, write on topics ranging from group identity to anti-discrimination law to implicit racial biases, revealing often overlooked issues of race and justice in a supposed post-racial society.

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    Salving the Wounds

    January 1, 2014

    Randall Kennedy has tackled plenty of controversial issues in his five previous books, ranging from interracial marriage to the intersection of race, crime and the law. The Harvard Law professor comes to the defense of affirmative action in his latest book, “For Discrimination.” In an interview with the Bulletin, Kennedy described his own evolution on the issue and the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which was announced after his book went to print.

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    Fixing Price Fixing

    January 1, 2014

    Louis Kaplow ’81 seeks to upend the academic debate and to suggest important reforms to legal practice in his latest book, which addresses the law and economics of price fixing. The Harvard Law School professor describes the law prohibiting this practice as “incoherent, its practical reach uncertain, and its fit with fundamental economic principles obscure.” And that’s just in the first paragraph.

  • The Long Game

    January 1, 2014

    However much presidents want to influence the future through their judicial appointments, the problem, Professor Mark Tushnet writes in his new book, “In the Balance: Law and Politics on the Roberts Court” (Norton, 2013), “is that things change.”

  • Strange New Rules of a Cool War

    July 2, 2013

    After the global meltdown of 2008, while the United States was distracted by economic recovery and disengaging its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, a new war quietly began. Many Americans have yet to realize the world-changing implications of the conflict between the United States and China that is the focus of Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman’s new book, “Cool War: The Future of Global Competition” (Random House).

  • Recent Faculty Books – Summer 2013

    July 2, 2013

    “Designing Systems and Processes for Managing Disputes” (Wolters Kluwer, 2013), co-written by Clinical Professor Robert C. Bordone ’97, Professor Emeritus Frank E.A. Sander ’52, Nancy H. Rogers, and Craig A. McEwen, is the first course book of its kind offering a multidisciplinary and skill-based guide to designing and implementing alternative dispute resolution systems.

  • An Enduring Conversation

    December 6, 2012

    HLS Professor Bill Stuntz completed “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice” just a few month before his death from cancer at age 52. The book has been hailed as a masterwork and Stuntz called the leading thinker on criminal justice. His longtime friend HLS Professor Carol Steiker helped to shepherd the completed manuscript through its final stages of production. “It felt like a continued conversation with Bill.” says Steiker.