Featured Acquisitions - September 2013


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European Supreme Courts: A Portrait Through History edited by A.A. Wijffels and C.H. van Rhee
London: Third Millennium, 2013
Basement KJE5461 .E975 2013

This highly illustrated volume explores the largely forgotten tradition of European supreme courts structures, which preceded and influenced modern international supreme and supranational courts.


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In the Clutches of the Law: Clarence Darrow’s Letters edited by Randall Teitjen
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013
Balcony KF373.D35 A4 2013

This volume presents a selection of 500 letters by Clarence Darrow, the pre-eminent courtroom lawyer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Randall Tietjen selected these letters from over 2,200 letters in archives around the country, as well as from one remarkable find—the kind of thing historians dream about: a cache of about 330 letters by Darrow hidden away in the basement of Darrow’s granddaughter’s house. This collection provides the first scholarly edition of Darrow’s letters, expertly annotated and including a large amount of previously unknown material and hard-to-locate letters. Because Darrow was a gifted writer and led a fascinating life, the letters are a delight to read. This volume also presents a major introduction by the editor, along with a chronology of Darrow’s life, and brief biographical sketches of the important individuals who appear in the letters.

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Financial Justice: The People’s Campaign to Stop Lender Abuse by Larry Kirsch and Robert N. Mayer
Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2013
Basement HC110.C63 K57 2013

What would Congress do—if anything—to tame Wall Street and the nation's lenders following the financial meltdown of 2008? This book tells the true story of how an alliance of consumer, civil rights, labor, fair lending, and other progressive groups emerged to effectively challenge Wall Street and its official protectors and to win substantial new legislative reforms—actions that resulted in the Dodd-Frank Act and its path-breaking Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Based largely on in-depth interviews with the leading activists involved in the campaign, Financial Justice: The People's Campaign to Stop Lender Abuse taps into the world of contemporary citizen movements to present evidence into the conditions that determine the success and failure of social movement campaigns. It goes well beyond general, global variables, such as "effective management," to show how the formal and informal rules adopted by a campaign can serve to preclude fragmentation and incoherence.

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The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights by William P. Jones
New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013
Basement F200 .J66 2013

A brilliant history that goes beyond the dazzling “I Have a Dream” speech to explore the real significance of the massive march and the movement it inspired. It was the final speech of a long day, August 28, 1963, when hundreds of thousands gathered on the Mall for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In a resounding cadence, Martin Luther King Jr. lifted the crowd when he told of his dream that all Americans would join together to realize the founding ideal of equality. The power of the speech created an enduring symbol of the march and the larger civil rights movement. King’s speech still inspires us fifty years later, but its very power has also narrowed our understanding of the march. In this insightful history, William P. Jones restores the march to its full significance.

The opening speech of the day was delivered by the leader of the march, the great trade unionist A. Philip Randolph, who first called for a march on Washington in 1941 to press for equal opportunity in employment and the armed forces. To the crowd that stretched more than a mile before him, Randolph called for an end to segregation and a living wage for every American. Equal access to accommodations and services would mean little to people, white and black, who could not afford them. Randolph’s egalitarian vision of economic and social citizenship is the strong thread running through the full history of the March on Washington Movement. It was a movement of sustained grassroots organizing, linked locally to women’s groups, unions, and churches across the country. Jones’s fresh, compelling history delivers a new understanding of this emblematic event and the broader civil rights movement it propelled.

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The Ethics of Consent: Theory and Practice edited by Franklin G. Miller and Alan Wertheimer
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2010
Basement KZ1262.C65 E86 2010

Consent is a basic component of the ethics of human relations, making permissible a wide range of conduct that would otherwise be wrongful. Consent marks the difference between slavery and employment, permissible sexual relations and rape, borrowing or selling and theft, medical treatment and battery, participation in research and being a human guinea pig. This book assembles the contributions of a distinguished group of scholars concerning the ethics of consent in theory and practice. Part One addresses theoretical perspectives on the nature and moral force of consent, and its relationship to key ethical concepts, such as autonomy and paternalism. Part Two examines consent in a broad range of contexts, including sexual relations, contracts, selling organs, political legitimacy, medicine, and research.

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What the Best Law Teachers Do by Michael Hunter Schwartz, Gerald F. Hess, and Sophie M. Sparrow
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2013
Balcony K100 .S35 2013

What makes a great law professor? The first study of its kind, What the Best Law Teachers Do identifies the methods, strategies, and personal traits of professors whose students achieve exceptional learning. This pioneering book will be of interest to any instructor seeking concrete, proven techniques for helping students succeed.

What the Best Law Teachers Do introduces readers to twenty-six professors from law schools across the United States. These instructors are renowned for their exacting standards: they set expectations high, while also making course requirements--and their belief that their students can meet them--clear from the outset. They demonstrate professional behavior and tell students to approach class as they would their future professional life: by being as prepared, polished, and gracious as possible. And they prepare themselves for class in depth, even when they have taught the course for years.

The best law professors understand that the little things matter. They start class on time and stay afterward to answer questions. They learn their students' names and respond promptly to emails. These instructors are all tough--but they are also committed, creative, and compassionate mentors. With its close-to-the-ground accounts of exceptional educators in action, What the Best Law Teachers Do offers insights into effective pedagogy that transcend the boundaries of legal education.

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The Trials of Laura Fair: Sex, Murder, and Insanity in the Victorian West by Carole Haber
Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2013
Balcony KF223.F34 H33 2013

On November 3, 1870, on a San Francisco ferry, Laura Fair shot a bullet into the heart of her married lover, A. P. Crittenden. Throughout her two murder trials, Fair's lawyers, supported by expert testimony from physicians, claimed that the shooting was the result of temporary insanity caused by a severely painful menstrual cycle. The first jury disregarded such testimony, choosing instead to focus on Fair's disreputable character. In the second trial, however, an effective defense built on contemporary medical beliefs and gendered stereotypes led to a verdict that shocked Americans across the country. In this rousing history, Carole Haber probes changing ideas about morality and immorality, masculinity and femininity, love and marriage, health and disease, and mental illness to show that all these concepts were reinvented in the Victorian West.

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Landscape with Smokestacks: The Case of the Allegedly Plundered Degas by Howard J. Trienens
Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2000
Reserve KF228.G665 T75 2000

The dispute over one work of art, Landscape with Smokestacks by Edgar Degas, was featured in headlines and on television. As told by the media, the story was straightforward: The landscape, owned by a Jewish banker in the Netherlands, was sent to Paris in 1939 for safekeeping. The Nazis occupied France and stole the landscape. The Jewish banker and his wife were killed in the Holocaust. Their heirs searched for the landscape but did not locate it until it was found in the possession of an art collector in Chicago half a century later. The heirs sued to recover the work.

But the real story is far more complicated – and more compelling – than the one told by the media. Had the landscape been sent to Paris for safekeeping or to be sold? Was the work stolen by Nazis or sold to an art dealer during the war?

Documents produced during the litigation shed new light on the fate of the landscape. But because the suit was settled before trial, the story behind the headlines has not been publically presented. Howard J. Treinens, a lawyer for the defendant collector, traces the landscape’s travels from its prewar home.

Whatever the merits of the respective claims, the story ofLandscape with Smokestacks is an absorbing mystery. And while the mystery cannot be fully solved, Treinens demonstrates the complexity that can surround Holocaust-related restitution cases and takes the media to task for their superficial treatment of this emotionally charged case.