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Featured Acquisitions - January 2014

 

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Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer by Kenneth W. Mack
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012
Reserves KF372 .M33 2012

Representing the Race tells the story of an enduring paradox of American race relations, through the prism of a collective biography of African American lawyers who worked in the era of segregation. Practicing the law and seeking justice for diverse clients, they confronted a tension between their racial identity as black men and women and their professional identity as lawyers. Both blacks and whites demanded that these attorneys stand apart from their racial community as members of the legal fraternity. Yet, at the same time, they were expected to be "authentic"-that is, in sympathy with the black masses. This conundrum, as Kenneth W. Mack shows, continues to reverberate through American politics today. Mack reorients what we thought we knew about famous figures such as Thurgood Marshall, who rose to prominence by convincing local blacks and prominent whites that he was-as nearly as possible-one of them. But he also introduces a little-known cast of characters to the American racial narrative. These include Loren Miller, the biracial Los Angeles lawyer who, after learning in college that he was black, became a Marxist critic of his fellow black attorneys and ultimately a leading civil rights advocate; and Pauli Murray, a black woman who seemed neither black nor white, neither man nor woman, who helped invent sex discrimination as a category of law. The stories of these lawyers pose the unsettling question: what, ultimately, does it mean to "represent" a minority group in the give-and-take of American law and politics?


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Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America by Jonathan Levy
Cambridge, Massachusetts.: Harvard University Press, 2012
Basement HC105 .L48 2012

Until the early nineteenth century, "risk" was a specialized term: it was the commodity exchanged in a marine insurance contract. Freaks of Fortune tells the story of how the modern concept of risk emerged in the United States. Born on the high seas, risk migrated inland and became essential to the financial management of an inherently uncertain capitalist future. Focusing on the hopes and anxieties of ordinary people, Jonathan Levy shows how risk developed through the extraordinary growth of new financial institutions-insurance corporations, savings banks, mortgage-backed securities markets, commodities futures markets, and securities markets-while posing inescapable moral questions. For at the heart of risk's rise was a new vision of freedom. To be a free individual, whether an emancipated slave, a plains farmer, or a Wall Street financier, was to take, assume, and manage one's own personal risk. Yet this often meant offloading that same risk onto a series of new financial institutions, which together have only recently acquired the name "financial services industry." Levy traces the fate of a new vision of personal freedom, as it unfolded in the new economic reality created by the American financial system. Amid the nineteenth-century's waning faith in God's providence, Americans increasingly confronted unanticipated challenges to their independence and security in the boom and bust chance-world of capitalism. Freaks of Fortune is one of the first books to excavate the historical origins of our own financialized times and risk-defined lives.


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Saving the Soul of Georgia: Donald L. Hollowell and the Struggle for Civil Rights by Maurice C. Daniels
Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2013
Balcony KF373.H575 D36 2013

Donald L. Hollowell was Georgia’s chief civil rights attorney during the 1950s and 1960s. In this role he defended African American men accused or convicted of capital crimes in a racially hostile legal system, represented movement activists arrested for their civil rights work, and fought to undermine the laws that maintained state-sanctioned racial discrimination. In Saving the Soul of Georgia, Maurice C. Daniels tells the story of this behind the- scenes yet highly influential civil rights lawyer who defended the rights of blacks and advanced the cause of social justice in the United States. Hollowell grew up in Kansas somewhat insulated from the harsh conditions imposed by Jim Crow laws throughout the South. As a young man he served as a Buffalo Soldier in the legendary Tenth Cavalry, but it wasn’t until after he fought in World War II that he determined to become a civil rights attorney. The war was an eye-opener, as Hollowell experienced the cruel discrimination of racist segregationist policies. The irony of defending freedom abroad for the sake of preserving Jim Crow laws at home steeled his resolve to fight for civil rights upon returning from war. From his legal work in the case of Hamilton E. Holmes and Charlayne Hunter that desegregated the University of Georgia to his defense of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to his collaboration with Thurgood Marshall and his service as the NAACPs chief counsel in Georgia, Saving the Soul of Georgia explores the intersections of Hollowells work with the larger civil rights movement.


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Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1887-1929 by Ajay K. Mehrotra
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013
Basement HJ2373 .M44 2013

At the turn of the twentieth century, the US system of public finance underwent a dramatic transformation. The late nineteenth-century regime of indirect, hidden, partisan, and regressive taxes was eclipsed in the early twentieth century by a direct, transparent, professionally administered, and progressive tax system. In Making the American Fiscal State, Ajay K. Mehrotra uncovers the contested roots and paradoxical consequences of this fundamental shift in American tax law and policy. He argues that the move toward a regime of direct and graduated taxation marked the emergence of a new fiscal polity - a new form of statecraft that was guided not simply by the functional need for greater revenue but by broader social concerns about economic justice, civic identity, bureaucratic capacity, and public power. Between the end of Reconstruction and the onset of the Great Depression, the intellectual, legal, and administrative foundations of the modern fiscal state first took shape. This book explains how and why this new fiscal polity came to be.


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A Mere Machine: The Supreme Court, Congress and American Democracy by Anna Harvey
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013
Balcony KF8742 .H375 2013

Introductory textbooks on American government tell us that the Supreme Court is independent from the elected branches and that independent courts better protect rights than their more deferential counterparts. But are these facts or myths? In this groundbreaking new work, Anna Harvey reports evidence showing that the Supreme Court is in fact extraordinarily deferential to congressional preferences in its constitutional rulings. Analyzing cross-national evidence, Harvey also finds that the rights protections we enjoy in the United States appear to be largely due to the fact that we do not have an independent Supreme Court. In fact, we would likely have even greater protections for political and economic rights were we to prohibit our federal courts from exercising judicial review altogether. Harvey's findings suggest that constitutional designers would be wise to heed Thomas Jefferson's advice to “let mercy be the character of the law-giver, but let the judge be a mere machine.”


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Criminal Law and the Modernist Novel: Experience on Trial by Rex Ferguson
Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013
Basement PR888.L39 F48 2013

The realist novel and the modern criminal trial both came to fruition in the nineteenth century. Each places a premium on the author's or trial lawyer's ability to reconstruct reality, reflecting modernity's preoccupation with firsthand experience as the basis of epistemological authority. But by the early twentieth century experience had, as Walter Benjamin put it, 'fallen in value'. The modernist novel and the criminal trial of the period began taking cues from a kind of nonexperience – one that nullifies identity, subverts repetition and supplants presence with absence. Rex Ferguson examines how such nonexperience colours the overlapping relationship between law and literary modernism. Chapters on E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier and Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time detail the development of a uniquely modern subjectivity, offering new critical insight to scholars and students of twentieth-century literature, cultural studies, and the history of law and philosophy.


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Reasoning From Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution by Serena Mayeri
Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011
Reserves KF4758 .M39 2011

Informed in 1944 that she was “not of the sex” entitled to be admitted to Harvard Law School, African American activist Pauli Murray confronted the injustice she called “Jane Crow.” In the 1960s and 1970s, the analogies between sex and race discrimination pioneered by Murray became potent weapons in the battle for women’s rights, as feminists borrowed rhetoric and legal arguments from the civil rights movement. Serena Mayeri’s Reasoning from Race is the first book to explore the development and consequences of this key feminist strategy. Mayeri uncovers the history of an often misunderstood connection at the heart of American antidiscrimination law. Her study details how a tumultuous political and legal climate transformed the links between race and sex equality, civil rights and feminism. Battles over employment discrimination, school segregation, reproductive freedom, affirmative action, and constitutional change reveal the promise and peril of reasoning from race and offer a vivid picture of Pauli Murray, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and others who defined feminists’ agenda. Looking beneath the surface of Supreme Court opinions to the deliberations of feminist advocates, their opponents, and the legal decision makers who heard - or chose not to hear - their claims, Reasoning from Race showcases previously hidden struggles that continue to shape the scope and meaning of equality under the law.


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Defining the Struggle: National Organizing for Racial Justice, 1880-1915 by Susan D. Carle
New York: Oxford University Press, 2013
Balcony KF4757 .C37 2013

Since its founding in 1910 - the same year as another national organization devoted to the economic and social welfare aspects of race advancement, the National Urban League - the NAACP has been viewed as the vanguard national civil rights organization in American history. But these two flagship institutions were not the first important national organizations devoted to advancing the cause of racial justice. Instead, it was even earlier groups - including the National Afro American League, the National Afro American Council, the National Association of Colored Women, and the Niagara Movement - that developed and transmitted to the NAACP and National Urban League foundational ideas about law and lawyering that these latter organizations would then pursue. With unparalleled scholarly depth, Defining the Struggle explores these forerunner organizations whose contributions in shaping early twentieth century national civil rights organizing have largely been forgotten today. It examines the motivations of their leaders, the initiatives they undertook, and the ideas about law and racial justice activism they developed and passed on to future generations. In so doing, it sheds new light on how these early origins helped set the path for twentieth century legal civil rights activism in the United States.


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Realizing Educational Rights: Advancing School Reform Through Courts and Communities by Anne Newman
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013
Basement LC213.2 .N49 2013

In Realizing Educational Rights, Anne Newman examines two educational rights questions that arise at the intersection of political theory, educational policy, and law: What is the place of a right to education in a participatory democracy, and how can we realize this right in the United States? Tracking these questions across both philosophical and pragmatic terrain, she addresses urgent moral and political questions, offering a rare, double-pronged look at educational justice in a democratic society. Newman argues that an adequate K-12 education is the right of all citizens, as a matter of equality, and emphasizes that this right must be shielded from the sway of partisan and majoritarian policy making far more than it currently is. She then examines how educational rights are realized in our current democratic structure, offering two case studies of leading types of rights-based activism: school finance litigation on the state level and the mobilization of citizens through community-based organizations. Bringing these case studies together with rich philosophical analysis, Realizing Educational Rights advances understanding of the relationships among moral and legal rights, education reform, and democratic politics.


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The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s edited by Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014
Reference JC571 .B678 2014

Between the 1960s and the 1980s, the human rights movement achieved unprecedented global prominence. Amnesty International attained striking visibility with its Campaign Against Torture; Soviet dissidents attracted a worldwide audience for their heroism in facing down a totalitarian state; the Helsinki Accords were signed, incorporating a "third basket" of human rights principles; and the Carter administration formally gave the United States a human rights policy. The Breakthrough is the first collection to examine this decisive era as a whole, tracing key developments in both Western and non-Western engagement with human rights and placing new emphasis on the role of human rights in the international history of the past century. Bringing together original essays from some of the field's leading scholars, this volume not only explores the transnational histories of international and nongovernmental human rights organizations but also analyzes the complex interplay between gender, sociology, and ideology in the making of human rights politics at the local level. Detailed case studies illuminate how a number of local movements--from the 1975 World Congress of Women in East Berlin to anti-apartheid activism in Britain, to protests in Latin America--affected international human rights discourse in the era as well as the ways these moments continue to influence current understanding of human rights history and advocacy. The global south--an area not usually treated as a scene of human rights politics--is also spotlighted in groundbreaking chapters on Biafran, South American, and Indonesian developments. In recovering the remarkable presence of global human rights talk and practice in the 1970s, The Breakthrough brings this pivotal decade to the forefront of contemporary scholarly debate.