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Featured Acquisitions - February 2012

 

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The Mauthausen Trial : American Military Justice in Germany by Tomaz Jardim
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012
KK73.5.D32 J37 2012 Basement

Shortly after 9:00 a.m. on May 27, 1947, the first of forty-nine men condemned to death for war crimes at Mauthausen concentration camp mounted the gallows at Landsberg prison near Munich. The mass execution that followed resulted from an American military trial conducted at Dachau in the spring of 1946-a trial that lasted only thirty-six days and yet produced more death sentences than any other in American history. The Mauthausen trial was part of a massive series of proceedings designed to judge and punish Nazi war criminals in the most expedient manner the law would allow. There was no doubt that the crimes had been monstrous. Yet despite meting out punishment to a group of incontestably guilty men, the Mauthausen trial reveals a troubling and seldom-recognized face of American postwar justice-one characterized by rapid proceedings, lax rules of evidence, and questionable interrogations. While most Americans are well aware of the Nuremberg trials, often regarded as epitomizing American judicial ideals, these trials were in fact the exception to the rule. Instead, as Tomaz Jardim convincingly demonstrates, the rough justice of the Mauthausen trial remains indicative of the most common-and yet least understood-American approach to war crimes prosecution. The story of the Mauthausen trial is a chilling, cautionary tale about trying foreign nationals for war crimes in a U.S. Army court.


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Legalizing Prostitution : From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business by Ronald Weitzer
New York: New York University Press, 2012
HQ144 .W447 2012 Basement

Some towns in Nevada have legal brothels where sex can be bought lawfully, yet in Las Vegas, prostitutes and their patrons are regularly prosecuted for exchanging sex for money, just as they are elsewhere in the United States. While sex work has long been controversial, it has become even more contested over the past decade as laws, policies, and enforcement practices have become more repressive in many nations, partly as a result of the ascendancy of interest groups committed to the total abolition of the sex industry. Legalizing Prostitution maps out the current terrain. Using America as a backdrop, Weitzer draws on extensive field research in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany to illustrate alternatives to American- style criminalization and marginalization of sex workers. These cases are then used to develop a roster of "best practices" that can serve as a model for other nations considering legalization. Legalizing Prostitution provides a theoretically grounded comparative analysis of political dynamics, policy outcomes, and red-light landscapes in nations where prostitution has been legalized and regulated by the government, presenting a rich and novel portrait of the multifaceted world of legal sex for sale.


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Design for Liberty : Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law by Richard A. Epstein
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011
K487.L5 E66 2011 Balcony

Following a vast expansion in the twentieth century, government is beginning to creak at the joints under its enormous weight. The signs are clear: a bloated civil service, low approval ratings for Congress and the President, increasing federal-state conflict, rampant distrust of politicians and government officials, record state deficits, and major unrest among public employees. In this compact, clearly written book, the noted legal scholar Richard Epstein advocates a much smaller federal government, arguing that our over-regulated state allows too much discretion on the part of regulators, which results in arbitrary, unfair decisions, rent-seeking, and other abuses. Epstein bases his classical liberalism on the twin pillars of the rule of law and of private contracts and property rights-an overarching structure that allows private property to keep its form regardless of changes in population, tastes, technology, and wealth. This structure also makes possible a restrained public administration to implement limited objectives. Government continues to play a key role as night-watchman, but with the added flexibility in revenues and expenditures to attend to national defense and infrastructure formation. Although no legal system can eliminate the need for discretion in the management of both private and public affairs, predictable laws can cabin the zone of discretion and permit arbitrary decisions to be challenged. Joining a set of strong property rights with sound but limited public administration could strengthen the rule of law, with its virtues of neutrality, generality, clarity, consistency, and forward-lookingness, and reverse the contempt and cynicism that have overcome us.


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Justice and the Enemy : Nuremberg, 9/11, and the Trial of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed by William Shawcross
New York: PublicAffairs, 2011
KF7661 .S53 2011 Balcony

Since the Nuremberg Trials of 1945, lawful nations have struggled to impose justice around the world, especially when confronted by tyrannical and genocidal regimes. But in Cambodia, the USSR, China, Bosnia, Rwanda, and beyond, justice has been served haltingly if at all in the face of colossal inhumanity. International Courts are not recognized worldwide. There is not a global consensus on how to punish transgressors. The war against Al Qaeda is a war like no other. Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda's founder, was killed in Pakistan by Navy Seals. Few people in America felt anything other than that justice had been served. But what about the man who conceived and executed the 9/11 attacks on the US, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? What kind of justice does he deserve? The U.S. has tried to find the high ground by offering KSM a trial -- albeit in the form of military tribunal. But is this hypocritical? Indecisive? Half-hearted? Or merely the best application of justice possible for a man who is implacably opposed to the civilization that the justice system supports and is derived from? In this book, William Shawcross explores the visceral debate that these questions have provoked over the proper application of democratic values in a time of war, and the enduring dilemma posed to all victors in war: how to treat the worst of your enemies.


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Formalism and the Sources of International Law: a Theory of the Ascertainment of Legal Rules by Jean d'Aspremont
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011
KZ3410 .A85 2011 Basement

This book revisits the theory of the sources of international law from the perspective of formalism. It critically analyzes the virtues of formalism, construed as a theory of law ascertainment, as a means of distinguishing between law and non-law. The theory of formalism is re-evaluated against the backdrop of the growing acceptance by international legal theorists of the blurring of the lines between law and non-law. At the same time, the book acknowledges that much international normative activity nowadays takes place outside the ambit of traditional international law and that only a limited part of the exercise of public authority at the international level results in the creation of international legal rules. The theory of ascertainment that the book puts forward attempts to dispel some of the illusions of formalism that accompany the delimitation of customary international law. It also sheds light on the tendency of scholars, theorists, and advocates to deformalize the identification of international legal rules with a view to expanding international law. The book seeks to revitalize and refresh the formal identification of rules by engaging with some tenets of the postmodern critique of formalism. As a result, the book not only grapples with the practice of law-making at the international level, but it also offers broad theoretical insights on international law, dealing with the main schools of thought in legal theory (positivism, naturalism, legal realism, policy-oriented jurisprudence, and postmodernism). The main theory of law ascertainment presented in this work remains however principally informed by a rejuvenated version of Herbert Hart's social thesis.


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The Chief Justiceship of John Marshall, 1801-1835 by Herbert A. Johnson
Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1997
KF8745.M3 J63 1997 Balcony

Johnson brings to his reconstruction of the Marshall Court years his experience as former editor of The Papers of John Marshall (1974- ) and coauthor with George L. Haskins of another work on Marshall, Foundations of Power (1981). He begins with an examination of the political/legal environment of the early 1800s by analyzing the personalities, politics, and backgrounds of the Court's justices and the larger political events occurring at the time. He then moves to an exploration of the Court's decisions in the areas of state-federal relations, separation of powers, the commerce clause, private law, and international relations. Along the way he is also sensitive to the important role played by the justices in the course of riding their circuit and hearing cases at the trial level. What is most impressive about his work ultimately is not its appendixes, bibliography, table of cases, and extensive index, although all are well done, but the way in which Johnson has deftly incorporated the huge volume of secondary literature on the Marshall Court with the scant primary sources available to create one of the best works to date on the Marshall Court.


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Someday All This Will Be Yours: a History of Inheritance and Old Age by Hendrik Hartog
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012
KF771 .H37 2012 Balcony

We all hope that we will be cared for as we age. But the details of that care, for caretaker and recipient alike, raise some of life's most vexing questions. From the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, as an explosive economy and shifting social opportunities drew the young away from home, the elderly used promises of inheritance to keep children at their side. Hendrik Hartog tells the riveting, heartbreaking stories of how families fought over the work of care and its compensation. Someday All This Will Be Yours narrates the legal and emotional strategies mobilized by older people, and explores the ambivalences of family members as they struggled with expectations of love and duty. Court cases offer an extraordinary glimpse of the mundane, painful, and intimate predicaments of family life. They reveal what it meant to be old without the pensions, Social Security, and nursing homes that now do much of the work of serving the elderly. From demented grandparents to fickle fathers, from litigious sons to grateful daughters, Hartog guides us into a world of disputed promises and broken hearts, and helps us feel the terrible tangle of love and commitments and money. From one of the bedrocks of the human condition-the tension between the infirmities of the elderly and the longings of the young-emerges a pioneering work of exploration into the darker recesses of family life. Ultimately, Hartog forces us to reflect on what we owe and are owed as members of a family.


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Rumsfeld's Wars: the Arrogance of Power by Dale R. Herspring
Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2008
UA23.6 .H47 2008 Reserve

Not since Robert McNamara has a secretary of defense been so hated by the military and derided by the public, yet played such a critical role in national security policy--with such disastrous results. Donald Rumsfeld was a natural for secretary of defense, a position he'd already occupied once before. He was smart. He worked hard. He was skeptical of the status quo in military affairs and dedicated to high-tech innovations. He seemed the right man at the right time--but history was to prove otherwise. Now Dale Herspring, a political conservative and lifelong Republican, offers a nonpartisan assessment of Rumsfeld's impact on the U.S. military establishment from 2001 to 2006, focusing especially on the Iraq War--from the decision to invade through the development and execution of operational strategy and the enormous failures associated with the postwar reconstruction of Iraq. Extending the critique of civil-military relations he began in The Pentagon and the Presidency, Herspring highlights the relationship between the secretary and senior military leadership, showing how Rumsfeld and a handful of advisers--notably Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith--manipulated intelligence and often ignored the military in order to implement their policies. And he demonstrates that the secretary's domineering leadership style and trademark arrogance undermined his vision for both military transformation and Iraq. Herspring shows that, contrary to his public deference to the generals, Rumsfeld dictated strategy and operations--sometimes even tactics--to prove his transformation theories. He signed off on abolishing the Iraqi army, famously refused to see the need for a counterinsurgency plan, and seemed more than willing to tolerate the torture of prisoners. Meanwhile, the military became demoralized and junior officers left in droves. Rumsfeld's Wars revisits and reignites the concept of "arrogance of power," once associated with our dogged failure to understand the true nature of a tragic war in Southeast Asia. It provides further evidence that success in military affairs is hard to achieve without mutual respect between civilian authorities and military leaders--and offers a definitive case study in how not to run the office of secretary of defense.


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War, Strategy, and Military Effectiveness by Williamson Murray
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011
U27 .M875 2011 Reserve

This collection of articles represents Professor Williamson Murray's efforts to elucidate the role that history should play in thinking about both the present and the future. They reflect three disparate themes in Professor Murray's work: his deep fascination with history and those who have acted in the past; his fascination with the similarities in human behavior between the past and the present; and his belief that the study of military and strategic history can be of real use to those who will confront the daunting problems of war and peace in the twenty-first century. The first group of essays addresses the relevance of history to an understanding of the present and to an understanding of the possibilities of the future. The second addresses the possible direct uses of history to think through the problems involved in the creation of effective military institutions. The final group represents historical case studies that serve to illuminate the present.