masthead

Featured Acquisitions - October 2014

 

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True Detective
New York, NY : Home Box Office, c2014
Media Collection PN1992.77 .T78 2014

HBO premieres a new drama series, True Detective, this season focusing on Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and "Rust" Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), two detectives and former partners who worked in Louisiana's Criminal Investigation Division in the mid-1990s.

In 2012, for reasons not immediately revealed, the two are interviewed separately by investigators about their most notorious case: the macabre 1995 murder of a prostitute by a possible serial killer with disturbing occult leanings. As they look back on the case, Hart and Cohle's personal backstories and often-strained relationship become a major focal point.

Hart, an outgoing native Louisianan and family man whose marriage is being frayed by work stress and infidelity, is (at least on the surface) the polar opposite of Cohle, a lone-wolf pessimist and former narcotics detective from Texas. While the plot is moved forward by their shared obsession to hunt down the ritual killer, the true drama centers around the mercurial nature of Hart and Cohle's relationship and personalities, and how they affect each other as detectives, friends, and men.


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International trade law and domestic policy: Canada, the United States, and the WTO by Jacqueline D. Krikorian
Vancouver : UBC Press, c2012
Online K4610 .K75 2012

Critics of the World Trade Organization argue that its binding dispute settlement process imposes a neoliberal agenda on member states. If this is the case, why would any nation agree to participate? Jacqueline Krikorian explores this question by examining the impact of the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism on domestic policies in the United States and Canada. She demonstrates that the WTO's ability to influence domestic arrangements has been constrained by three factors: judicial deference, institutional arrangements, and strategic decision making by political elites in Ottawa and Washington.


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Aftermath: The Unintended Consequences of Public Policies by Thomas Hall
Oxford ; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2011
Basement and Online JK468.P64 H36 2014

When government imposes new taxes, rules, or regulations, it creates outcomes that often differ from the original intent. In some cases, these outcomes are so severe that they render the policy a failure. The law of unintended consequences has taken on an increasing importance during the era of ever-expanding government, and this book explores four important examples: cigarette taxes, alcohol prohibition, the minimum wage, and federal income tax. Thomas E. Hall examines how the policies came into being, what underlying political considerations influenced the process, the unintended outcomes of the policies, and why many of these policies are still in place. Because many of these unintended consequences are seriously adverse, the author argues that the moral of these four key examples is that whenever a new government policy is being considered, much more detailed review must be given to the range of potential unintended consequences--a practice that is rarely or accurately undertaken.


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Law and the Gay Rights Story: The Long Search for Equal Justice in a Divided Democracy by Walter Frank
New Brunswick, New Jersey : Rutgers University Press, 2014
Balcony KF4754.5 .F73 2014

For much of the 20th century, American gays and lesbians lived in fear that public exposure of their sexualities might cause them to be fired, blackmailed, or even arrested. Today, they are enjoying an unprecedented number of legal rights and protections. Clearly, the tides have shifted for gays and lesbians, but what caused this enormous sea change? In his gripping new book, Walter Frank offers an in-depth look at the court cases that were pivotal in establishing gay rights. But he also tells the story of those individuals who were willing to make waves by fighting for those rights, taking enormous personal risks at a time when the tide of public opinion was against them. Frank's accessible style brings complex legal issues down to earth but, as a former litigator, never loses sight of the law's human dimension and the context of the events occurring outside the courtroom.

Chronicling the past half-century of gay and lesbian history, Law and the Gay Rights Story offers a unique perspective on familiar events like the Stonewall Riots, the AIDS crisis, and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Frank pays special attention to the constitutional issues surrounding same-sex marriage and closely analyzes the two recent Supreme Court cases addressing the issue. While a strong advocate for gay rights, Frank also examines critiques of the movement, including some coming from the gay community itself. Comprehensive in coverage, the book explains the legal and constitutional issues involved in each of the major goals of the gay rights movement: a safe and healthy school environment, workplace equality, an end to anti-gay violence, relationship recognition, and full integration into all the institutions of the larger society, including marriage and military service. Drawing from extensive archival research and from decades of experience as a practicing litigator, Frank not only provides a vivid history, but also shows where the battle for gay rights might go from here.


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The European Union's Emerging International Identity: Views from the Global Arena edited by Henri de Waele and Jan-Jaap Kuipers
Leiden ; Boston : Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013
Online KJE5057 .E87 2013

The European Union officially acquired international legal personality with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. Since then, the constitutional foundations of EU external relations have received an ever-greater amount of scholarly attention. So far however, the body of knowledge has remained limited with regard to how the Union is actually being perceived on the global scene. Moreover, its dealings with other international organizations constitute a similar, still underexplored topic. The European Union's Emerging International Identity breaks new ground by addressing both these themes in combination. The resulting volume offers an innovative inquiry into the EU’s image and status, based on a select number of studies of its position and functioning within the framework of eight international organizations.


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Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America by Jonathan Simon
New York: The New Press, 2014
Balcony and Online KF9730 .S56 2014

For nearly 40 years the United States has been gripped by policies that have placed more than 2.5 million Americans in jails and prisons designed to hold a fraction of that number of inmates. Our prisons are not only vast and overcrowded, they are degrading. Mass Incarceration on Trial examines a series of landmark decisions about prison conditions that has opened an unexpected escape route from this trap of 'tough on crime' politics. This set of rulings points toward values that could restore legitimate order to American prisons and lead to the end of mass incarceration.


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The Case Against the Supreme Court by Erwin Chemerinsky
New York: Viking, 2014
Balcony KF8742 .C46 2014

A preeminent constitutional scholar offers a hard-hitting analysis of the Supreme Court over the last two hundred years Most Americans share the perception that the Supreme Court is objective, but Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the country's leading constitutional lawyers, shows that this is nonsense and always has been. The Court is made up of fallible individuals who base decisions on their own biases. Today, the Roberts Court is promoting a conservative agenda under the guise of following a neutral methodology, but notorious decisions, such as Bush vs. Gore and United Citizen’s, are hardly recent exceptions. This devastating book details, case by case, how the Court has largely failed throughout American history at its most important tasks and at the most important times. Only someone of Chemerinsky's stature and breadth of knowledge could take on this controversial topic. Powerfully arguing for term limits for justices and a reassessment of the institution as a whole, The Case Against the Supreme Court is a timely and important book that will be widely read and cited for decades to come.


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Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David by Lawrence Wright
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
Basement DS128.183 .W75 2014

A gripping day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day. With his hallmark insight into the forces at play in the Middle East and his acclaimed journalistic skill, Lawrence Wright takes us through each of the thirteen days of the Camp David conference, illuminating the issues that have made the problems of the region so intractable, as well as exploring the scriptural narratives that continue to frame the conflict. In addition to his in-depth accounts of the lives of the three leaders, Wright draws vivid portraits of other fiery personalities who were present at Camp David--including Moshe Dayan, Osama el-Baz, and Zbigniew Brzezinski--as they work furiously behind the scenes. Wright also explores the significant role played by Rosalynn Carter. What emerges is a riveting view of the making of this unexpected and so far unprecedented peace. Wright exhibits the full extent of Carter's persistence in pushing an agreement forward, the extraordinary way in which the participants at the conference--many of them lifelong enemies--attained it, and the profound difficulties inherent in the process and its outcome, not the least of which has been the still unsettled struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In Thirteen Days in September, Wright gives us a resonant work of history and reportage that provides both a timely revisiting of this important diplomatic triumph and an inside look at how peace is made.


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Undoing Plessy: Charles Hamilton Houston Race, Labor and the Law 1895-1950 by Gordon Andrews
Newcastle upon Tyne, U: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014
Balcony and Online KF373.H644 A53 2014

Undoing Plessy: Charles Hamilton Houston, Race, Labor and the Law, 1895-1950 explores the manner in which African Americans countered racialized impediments, attacking their legal underpinnings during the first half of the twentieth century. Specifically, Undoing Plessy explores the professional life of Charles Hamilton Houston, and the way it informs our understanding of change in the pre-Brown era. Houston dedicated his life to the emancipation of oppressed people, and was inspired early-on to choose the law as a tool to become, in his own words, a "social engineer." Further, Houston's life provides a unique lens through which one may more accurately view the threads of race, labor, and the law as they are woven throughout American society. Houston understood the difficulties facing black workers in America, and, by marshaling his considerable skills as an attorney and leader, was able to construct a strategy that fought for full integration by changing the laws of the United States at the highest level. With unparalleled success, Houston developed a three-pronged strategy from 1925-1950 that focused on the courts, the workplace, and politics, securing the expansion of labor rights and civil rights for African Americans. Better than most, Charles Houston understood that the right to work was inherently necessary to achieve real, not just perceived, freedom.

To that end, Undoing Plessy situates Houston's life within the contested cultural and political realities of his time, expanding our understanding of what it meant to work and be free in America during the first half of the twentieth century. In particular, these gains were achieved in areas significant to workers, including education, the workplace, access to unions, housing, and equality before the law at the local, state, and federal levels. To understand Charles Houston's contributions on behalf of those who labored in the black community, and more broadly in American society, his life is contextualized within the long Civil Rights Movement. Houston's work was intimately connected with many profound efforts to liberate those who were oppressed. Undoing Plessy examines his strategies and accomplishments, helping us to further understand the complexities of change in the pre-Brown Era, and offers us compelling insights into dilemmas currently facing those in the workplace.


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Natural Law: A Jewish, Christian and Islamic Trialogue by Anver M. Emon, Matthew Levering, and David Novak
Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2014
Balcony K460 .E46 2014

This book is an examination of natural law doctrine, rooted in the classical writings of our respective three traditions: Jewish, Christian, and Islamic. Each of the authors provides an extensive essay reflecting on natural law doctrine in his tradition. Each of the authors also provides a thoughtful response to the essays of the other two authors. Readers will gain a sense for how natural law (or cognate terms) resonated with classical thinkers such as Maimonides, Origen, Augustine, al-Ghazali and numerous others. Readers will also be instructed in how the authors think that these sources can be mined for constructive reflection on natural law today. A key theme in each essay is how the particularity of the respective religious tradition is squared with the evident universality of natural law claims. The authors also explore how natural law doctrine functions in particular traditions for reflection upon the religious other.