June 30, 2007


FR: Prof. LONG
DA: April 16, 2007

The summer–that is, from graduation day to a week before fall classes begin–consists of thirteen weeks or ninety-one days. Below is a list of eighteen books (one book every five days) you might find worthwhile summer reading. Most of these books are available in paperback.
Since the concept "good lawyer" is a highly contested concept, I refrain from suggesting that reading and studying these books will make one a good or better lawyer, or even a good or better legal thinker. Then again, I do not see how reading and studying these books will hurt. I think reading these books will help you gain a broader perspective and, thereby, supplement the very task oriented approach you will encounter in your summer employment.

Amar, Akhil Reed, America’s Constitution: A Biography (New York: Random House, 2005).

Bix, Brian, Jurisprudence: Theory and Context, 2nd ed. (London: Sweet Maxwell, 1999).

Breyer, Stephen, Breaking the Vicious Circle: Towards Effective Risk Regulation (Cambridge:
Harvard U. Press, 1993).

Cass, Ronald A., The Rule of Law in America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2001).

Coase, R. H., The Firm, The Market, and The Law (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1988).

Epstein ,Richard A., Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1985).

Hardin, Russell, One For All: The Logic of Group Conflict (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 1995).

Hart, H. L. A., The Concept of Law (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1961).

Howard, Philip K., The Lost Art of Drawing the Line: How Fairness Went Too Far (New York: Random House, 2001).

Kaplow, Louis & Steven Shavell, Fairness versus Welfare (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 2002).

Katz, Leo, Ill-Gotten Gains: Evasion, Blackmail, Fraud, and Kindred Puzzles of the Law (Chicago: U. of Chicago, 1996).

Kennedy, David & William W. Fisher, III, eds., The Canon of American Legal Thought (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 2006).

Kronman, Anthony T., The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 1993).

Lessig, Lawrence, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity (New York: Penguin Press, 2004).

Levi, Edward H., An Introduction to Legal Reasoning (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1949).

Packer, Herbert L., The Limits of the Criminal Sanction (Stanford: Stanford U. Press, 1968).

Posner, Eric A., Law and Social Norms (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 2000).

White, James Boyd, Justice as Translation: An Essay in Cultural and Legal Criticism (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1990).

June 25, 2007


cos-mop-o-lite, n, a person who is cosmopolitan in his ideas, life, etc.; citizen of the world.

cos-mo-pol-i-tan, adj. 1. belonging to all the world; not limited to just one part of the political, social, commercial, or intellectual world. 2. free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudice, or attachments. 3. of or characteristic of a cosmopolite. -n. 4. a person who is free from local, provincial, or national prejudices, etc.; citizen of the world; cosmopolite.

Connelly, Karen, The Lizard Cage (New York: Doubleday, 2005) (fiction).

Fernandes, Edna, Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism (New Delhi: Penguin/Viking, 2006).

Fisher, William W. III, Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment (Stanford: Stanford Law and Politics, 2004) (One would assume that all the intellectual property and entertainment law students would have read this.).

Ghazvinian, John, Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil (Orlando: Harcourt, 2007) (“Since 1990 alone, the petroleum industry has invested more than $20 billion in exploration and production activity in Africa. A further $50 billion will be spent between now and the end of the decade, the largest investment in the continent’s history—and around one-third of it will come from the United States. Three of the world’s largest oil companies—the British-Dutch consortium Shell, France’s Total, and America’s Chevron—are spending 15 percent, 30 percent, and 35 percent respectively of their global exploration and production budget s in Africa. Chevron alone is in the process of rolling out $20 billion in African projects over a five-year period.” Id. at 7. “In December 20000 the National Intelligence Council, an internal CIA think tank, published a report in which it declared unambiguously that sub0Saharan Africa ‘will play an increasing role in global energy markets,’ and predicted that the region would provide 25 percent of North American oil imports by 2015, up from the 15 percent or so at the time.” Id. at 8.).

Green, Dominic, Three Empires on the Nile: The Victorian Jihad, 1869-1899 (New York: The Free Press, 2007).

Hitchens, Christopher, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (New York: Twelve, 2007).

Howell, Georgina, Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006) (Bell, referred to as the female Lawrence of Arabia, played a central role in the creation of Iraq.).

Merida, Kevin & Michael A. Fletcher, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas (New York: Doubleday, 2007) (I am not a fan of Justice Thomas, but he is right on this point. “Thomas is far more pessimistic about race than Marshall ever was, which is ironic given his insistence on a colorblind view of the law and given his personal history. Thomas has lived most of his life as the only black—or one of a tiny minority of blacks—in overwhelmingly white settings. But almost every step of the way, he has been nagged by doubts and has burned with anger at slights, real and imagined. One bitter lesson Thomas has taken from his experience is that racism is a sad, immutable fact. The sooner black people realize that and gird themselves for that reality, he say, the better off they will be. It is an admonition that he carries into his view of the law.” “‘Conscious and unconscious prejudice persists in our society,’ Thomas wrote in concurrence in a 1992 case, Georgia v. McCollum. ‘Common sense and common experience confirm this understanding.’” Id. at 276. “‘We have an interesting race sometimes,’ Thomas said in a 1994 speech. It is the only race that will evict those who are smart, too successful, know too much, do too well, then you can’t be black anymore. You lose touch. This is the only race where it is a shame to be knowledgeable. It is a shame for someone to know calculus. That doesn’t make sense to me. Then during Black History Month we say we discovered mathematics.’” Id. at 371.).
Giroux, 2007).

Shapiro, Ian, Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror (Princeton &Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2007) (“The United States stands in manifest need of a national security doctrine that can be appealing to the American electorate, defensible in the court of international public opinion, and attractive to America’s democratic allies. In this book I make the case that, suitably modified for the post-9/11 world, the doctrine of containment developed at the outset of the Cold War meets this need better than the Bush Doctrine or any other going alternative.” Id. at xiii-xiv. “Adam Przeworski and others have founds a strong relationship between economic conditions, in particular per capita income, and the likelihood of democratic survival. Democracies appear never to die in wealthy countries, whereas poor democracies are fragile—exceedingly so when annual per capita incomes fall below $2,000 (measured in 1985 dollars). When per capita income falls below this threshold, democracies have a one-in-ten chance of collapsing within a year. Between per capita incomes of $2,001 and $5,000 this ratio falls to one-in-sixteen. Above $6,055 annual per capita income, democracies, once established, appear to last indefinitely. Moreover, poor democracies are more likely to survive when governments succeed in generating development and avoiding economic crises.” "This suggests that it is wise for the United States to help improve economic conditions in the developing world. It also means adopting economic policies and international aid and debt policies that will alleviate poverty there.” Id. at 117-118. Note: In reading/studying this book I am reminded of an observation rendered in Randall B. Wood, LBJ: Architect of American Ambition (2006). “For the most part during the 1950s, the Soviets sought to project their power not by means of military aggression but through forging ideological links with anticolonial revolutionary movements in developing areas and providing non-Western governments with economic and military aid. Washington seemed oblivious to the fact that indigenous nationalism and local rivalries were far more important in most third world crises than the East-West confrontation. In its obsession with the cold war, the Eisenhower administration tended always to align the United States with entrenched, pro-Western oligarchies and to see revolutionary nationalism as part of the international communist conspiracy. As a result, U.S. policy frequently drove local nationalist movements into the arms of the communist China and the Soviet Union.” Id. at 319. If one reads “war on terror” for ‘cold war,’ and reads ‘terrorism’ or ‘Islamism’ for ‘communism’, then perhaps there is a cautionary tale here for contemporary United States administrations in thinking about containment.).

Shaxson, Nicholas, Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) “The aid theorist William Easterly remembers a time, not so long ago, when economists looking at tropical countries pretty much ignored politics. ‘It was only later,’ he said, ‘that we economists realized that government officials are people, too.’ Economic theories that ignore human behavior break down in these African nations. So, to try to understand better what is going one in the oil zones, I have chosen to focus not on the countries themselves but instead on a handful of their strangest, most remarkable, and most infuriating citizens. Their stories will help expose Africa’s oil for what it is: a threat to liberty, democracy, and fee markets around the globe.” Id. at 7.).

Shibusawa, Naoko, America’s Geisha Ally: Reimagining the Japanese Enemy (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press, 2006) (This history is well worth reading, especially for those (law students) interested in foreign relations. "How was the American public able to accept an alliance with Japan when not so long ago the 'Japs' had been thoroughly vilified as subhuman, bucktoothed apes with Coke-bottle glasses? Elite policymakers may have decided to make Japan a bulwark against communism, but how did the public come to accept this policy so soon after World War II?" "This remarkable reversal from hated racial enemy to valuable ally can best be understood by tracing the shifts in attitudes toward the Japanese in American public discourse. The postwar public discourse assumed two 'natural' or universally recognized hierarchical relationships--man over woman and adult over child--and compared them to the relationship between the United States, a 'white' nation, and Japan, a 'nonwhite' nation. Portraying Japan as a woman made its political subjugation appear as natural as a geisha's subservience to a male client, while picturing Japan as a child emphasized its potential to 'grow up' into a democracy. After the war, Americans began to view the U.S.-Japan relationship through these commonly accepted, preexisting ideologies about gender and maturity. By conceiving the bilateral relationship in the mutually the reinforcing frameworks of gender and maturity, many Americans began seeing the Japanese not as savages but as dependents that needed U.S. guidance and benevolence. In other words, the ideologies of gender and maturity helped to minimize racial hostility. Feminizing the hated enemy or regarding them as immature youths made it easier to humanize the Japanese and to recast them as an American responsibility." Id. at 4-5. Again, well worth thre read.).

Shulman, David, Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine (Chicago & London: U. Chicago Press, 2007) (Agree or disagree, this book offers a perspective on the conflict which knows no end. "I am an Israeli. "I live in Jerusalem. I have a story, not yet finished, to tell." "Hence these notes that, however one-sided they may be, speak of my own small slice of the reality in Israel and the occupied territories in the unhappy years 2002-2006. Throughout this period I did as many other did: I went to demonstrations; wrote letters to the minister of defense and the chief prosecutor of the army and the prime minister; went on convoys bringing food and medicine supplies to Palestinian villages; was beaten up by settlers--the usual protocol for those active in the Israeli peace camp. I also read newspapers, taught my classes at the university, went to India, listened to music. Life went on as it always does, even in the midst of worsening disaster." Id. at 1.).

Vassanji, M. G., The Book of Secrets (New York: Picador, 1994) (fiction).

"Self-righteousness [ ] spawns arrogance, selfishness, indifference.... Don’t let the weight of things numb you. Read, think, disagree with everything, if you like – but force your mind outward." Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle (Carlise, Pa.: Army War College Press, 1977), at 194.
cos-mop-o-lite, n, a person who is cosmopolitan in his ideas, life, etc.; citizen of the world.

June 12, 2007


cos-mop-o-lite, n, a person who is cosmopolitan in his ideas, life, etc.; citizen of the world.cos-mo-pol-i-tan, adj. 1. belonging to all the world; not limited to just one part of the political, social, commercial, or intellectual world. 2. free from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudice, or attachments. 3. of or characteristic of a cosmopolite. -n. 4. a person who is free from local, provincial, or national prejudices, etc.; citizen of the world; cosmopolite.

Burleigh, Michael, Sacred Causes: The Clash of Religion and Politics, from the Great War to the War on Terror (New York: HarperCollins, 2007) ("This is not a history of Christianity ..., nor a history of modern times.... Rather, the book operates in the middle ground between them, where culture, ideas, politics and religious faith meet in a space for which I cannot find a satisfactory label. Perhaps one should not try. [] The general ambition has been to write a coherent history of modern Europe primarily organized around issues of mind and spirit rather than the merely material, although in no sense do I discount the material as an important factor in history...." Id. at xi. "There are a few grounds for hope in this present 'age of anxiety'. [] There are encouraging signs that the Churches -- and in particular the Catholic Church of Benedict XVI -- are ready to make certain non-negotiable positions clear rather than to mouth the platitudes of a discredited multiculturalism that only exists in the Left university and within local government, neither of them at the cutting edge of European thinking." Id. at xv. This is an important book, at least for those for whom ideas matter. One may, after reading it, sense that American thinking, for the most part, is a few steps behind European thinking and still giving too much deference to it own version "of a discredited multiculturalism.").

Crespino, Joseph, In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2007) (This is a very worthwhile, though disturbing, read. "This book shows how, despite segregationists' popular pledges that they would never submit to racial integration, white leaders in the state initiated a subtle and strategic accommodation to the demands of civil rights activists and the federal government, one that helped preserve the priorities of white elites and that put white Mississippians in a position to contribute to a broad conservative countermovement against the liberal triumphs of the 1960s. Whites in Mississippi rearticulated their resentment of liberal social policies that allowed for black advancement in ways that would come to resonate with white Americans far outside of the Deep South. They conceived of their struggle against civil rights activities and the federal officials not merely as a regional fight to preserve white supremacy but as a national battle to preserve fundamental American freedoms. In doing so, they made a common cause with a variety of conservative constituencies: with cold warriors concerned about an expansive federal state; with fundamentalist and evangelical Christians worried about liberalism 'infecting' Protestant churches; and with parents opposed to federal school desegregation efforts, who wanted to determine where and with whom their children went to school." "The pages that follow, then, recover how many white Mississippians saw themselves: not as American pariahs but as central participants in a conservative counterrevolution that reshaped American politics in the closing decades of the twentieth century." Id. at 4. In reading/studying this book, as a Midwesterner banished to the Northeast (specially New England) I must laugh when I think of all the liberal activists I know who think they are on the winning side of the cultural wars. A perception that can hold because they do not travel to the South and Middle West America. Also see the Dittmer title below. A few law students might appreciate this sentence from the author's 'Acknowledgments': "Carl Smith saved me from law school and opened up new worlds...." Id. at xv.).

Dahl, Robert A., A Preface to Democratic Theory, Expanded Edition (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2006).

Dienstag, Joshua Foa, Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethics, Spirit (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2007) (I love this book. It is a must read for those few with a true inclination toward political philosophy. "Why is it that pessimism, once a respectable if not popular philosophy, has become so despised in our culture that the word 'pessimist" can be used today as a term of political or intellectual abuse? Look in any American newspaper for a few days and one will immediate see that this is true. It is enough to label an idea (or a person) 'pessimistic' in order to be allowed to dismiss it (or him) without further discussion as irrational, emotional, indefensible or, worst of all, unpatriotic." "Why should this be? After all, an expectation that things will go badly is not, on the surface, any more or less rational than the expectation that things will go well. An extended examination of the question could well yield a judgment in favor of one or the other--but the label is used precisely to foreclose such an inquiry. Pessimism is dismissed before serious debate begins, not during or afterward. One might venture that, somehow, the idea of pessimism is so threatening that people decline to consider it seriously because they are afraid of the effects such a consideration might produce." Id. at ix. "Pessimists do not deny the existence of 'progress' in certain areas--they do not deny that technologies have improved or that the powers of science have increased. Instead, they ask whether these improvements are insepararably related to a greater set of costs that often go unperceived. Or they ask whether these changes have really resulted in a fundamental melioration of the human condition. This often results ... in a conception of history as following an ironic path, one that appears, on the surface, to be getting better when in fact it is getting worse (or, on the whole, no better). Again, the reasoning that supports this view varies among the pessimists, but not so greatly as to obscure the common sentiment." Id. at 25. "A pessimist believes: a) that there is no formula for producing freedom and happiness in this world[;] b) that there is no other world where there is such a formula[;] c) that time is linear." Id. at 264.).

Dittmer, John, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (Urbana & Chicago: U. of Illinois Press, 1994) (This is an important piece of analytical history concerning a critical stage in civil rights movement (a part of human rights movement) in America. I wonder if the typical law students are even remotely familiar with this brutal and violent history. Does the typical college student even take more than one or two survey courses in American history?).

Duberman, Martin B., Charles Frances Adams 1807-1886 (Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin, 1961) ("Adams represented, in short, what may be called metaphysical pessimism--a conviction that the problem of evil was incapable of solution. He envisioned, for example, 'no cessation of war, still less much perfectibility while man is constituted as he has been known to be since the world began.' There was no panaceas, no formulas for abolishing the eternal tale of woe. Awareness of the human potential for evil led him to cling to firm standards as the only alternative to chaos. He did not share the fashionable confidence in the excellence of human nature, nor in man's ability to live intelligently without the restraining influence of 'system' and ideology. Adams felt that man's true accomplishment lay in his self-imposed constraint, in his rational working out of rules for personal and social action. Strip away what the reformers lightly called the 'hypocrisy' of convention or the 'sham' of religion and law, and you would find not the glories of the free, untrammeled spirit, but the bestiality of irresponsible passion. 'For myself,' said Adams, 'I am content to go on in the path marked by my fathers before me. I am content to believe in the old rules of morality which have been recognized as sound by wiser men than I for thousands of years back.'" Id. at 69.).

Ghosh, Amitav, The Shadow Lines (Delhi: Ravi Dayal, 1988) (fiction).

Goldberg, Jeffrey, Prisoners: A Muslim and a Jew Across the Middle East Divide (New York: Knopf, 2006).

Halpern, Richard, Norman Rockwell: The Underside of Innocence (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2006).

Hayashi, Brian Masaru, Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2004).

Kennedy, David, The Dark Side of Virtue: Reassessing International Humanitarianism (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2004) (This is a worthwhile read for those interested in international human rights, etc. "The impulse to do good, to remake the world more fairly, to strengthen the hand of tolerance and understanding takes shape for each of us in the available cultural and professional vocabulary. Humanitarianism begins as an impulse--and becomes known as a practice...." "This book explores the enchantments and disenchantments which accompany the expression on international humanitarian sentiments." Id. at xiv. "One we see international humanitarians as participants in global governance--as rulers--it seems irresponsible not to be as attentive as possible to the costs, as well as the benefits, of our work" Id. at xviii. "A pragmatism of intentions encourages a clear-eyed focus on the purposes of out work and a relentless effort to avoid being blown off course as we seek to make our humanitarian impulse real. The focus is on the gap between out good impulses and their bad expression. A central idea is betrayal--of an original impulse, purpose, or objective--by the work we do to fulfill it. Our ends can be foiled by the means we use to pursue them. Our ideals can be compromised by the word we use to express them, just as our deed can in turn betray our words." Id. at xx. Note, in the several quaotations I have given Kennedy uses the royal "we." His book is aimed at the faithful, the already convinced, the members of the club. Those who, like myself, are not members of the particular club might read this text as a reminder that 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.' ).

Levine, Donald N., Powers of the Mind: The Reinvention of Liberal Learning in America (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2006).

Maalouf, Amin, In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong translated from the French by Barbara Bray (New York: Arcade, 2000) (Original French publication five years before 9/11, and English translation published a year before 9/11, yet very pertinent to both our post-9/11 international and domestic mind-set. "But I will close this short parenthesis and return to my original theme: that too much emphasis is often laid on the influence of religion on people, and not enough on the influence of peoples and their history o religion. The influence is reciprocal, I know. Society shapes religion, and religion in its turn shapes society. But I have observed that because a certain mental habit that we have got into we tend to see only one side of this dialectic, and the omission greatly distorts our perception." "Some people are always ready to blame Islam for all the dramatic episodes, past or present, that have occurred in Muslim societies, Not only is this altitude unfair; it is also makes world events completely unintelligible." Id. at 67. "The twentieth century will have taught us that no doctrine in itself is necessarily a liberating force: all of them may be perverted or take a wrong turning; all have blood on their hands -- communism, liberalism, nationalism, each of the great religions, and even secularism. Nobody has a monopoly on fanaticism; nobody has a monopoly on humane values." Id. at 51. "The theme that runs like a thread through the tapestry of this book might be formulated as follows: if the men of all countries, of all conditions and faith can so easily be transformed into butchers, if fanatics of all kinds manage so easily to pass themselves off as defenders of identity, it's because the 'tribal' concepts of identity still prevalent all over the world facilitates such a s distortion. It's a concept inherited from the conflicts of the past, and many of us would reject it if we examined it more closely. But we cling to it through habit, from lack of imagination or resignation, thus inadvertently contributing to the tragedies by which, tomorrow, we shall be genuinely shocked." Id. at 29.).

McCraw, Thomas, K., Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction (Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard U. Press, 2007) (This is a very good combination history of economic thought and biography of Schumpeter; it should prompt one to read (or re-read) larger portions of Schumpeter's body of work. "The case for capitalism, says Schumpeter, 'must rest on long-run considerations.' In the short run, it is impossible for people generally, and even intellectuals, to ignore what seem to be unreasonable 'profits and inefficiencies.' They therefore have difficulty in seeing long-range trends in which capitalism is benefiting society as a whole. Uniquely among economic systems, therefore, capitalism 'creates, educates and subsidizes a vested interest in social unrest.' With its bountiful production, it underwrites the education of a class of hostile intellectuals who have no 'direct responsibility for practical affairs' and little experience in managing anything." Id. at 358. "Schumpeter was never narrow, and always more than an economist. Three of his books--The Theory of Economic Development, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, and History of Economic Analysis--are still available in may languages, in inexpensive paperback editions. All, especially Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy are books for the ages." Id. at 505-506.).

McCraw, Thomas K., Prophets of Regulation: Charles Francis Adams, Louis D. Brandeis, James M. Landes, Alfred E. Kahn (Cambridge: Belknap/Harvard U. Press, 1984) (This is an interesting piece on the history of regulation. A history of interest to students of administrative law and regulated industries, which, in this regulatory-state in which we exist, means all of us should find it of interest. "When I began to write this book, I was intrigued by the mysteries that seemed to surround the history of government regulation in America. Why, I wondered, had regulation so often failed to serve the 'public interest,' as it had been intended to do? Why, if the commissions had proved so ineffective, did they remain active as apparently permanent parts of the government? Why, if agencies were so often 'captured' by interests they were supposed to be regulating, did not other branches of government step in and take away their legislated powers?" "On its surface, this book is about four important prophets of regulation, whose work spans more than a century of experience...." In treating these men, I am interested in what they thought about regulation, what they accomplished, and how things turned our for them and for the agencies they influenced." Id at viii-ix.).

Pitts, Jennifer, A Turn to Empire: The Rise of Imperial Liberalism in Britain and France (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2005).

Sandel, Michael J., The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering (Cambridge: Belknap/ Harvard U. Press, 2007) (There is much worthwhile in this short book/essay, arguing against human genetic engineering.).

Silber, William L., When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America’s Monetary Supremacy (Princeton & Oxford: Princeton U. Press, 2007) (A nice treatment of an episode in American central banking history. Note, the central figure, Treasury secretary William G. McAdoo, trained as a lawyer. Just a reminder that the well-hone legal skills are often transferable.).

Sontag, Susan, At the Same Time: Essays & Speeches edited by Paolo Dilonardo and Anne Jump (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2007) (From ‘A Few Weeks After’: “What is worth noting is how docile the [American] public is about almost al matters of foreign policy. This passivity may be an inevitable consequence of the triumph of liberal capitalism and the consumer society. For some time there has ceased to be any significant difference between the Democrats and the Republicans; they are best thought if as two branches of the same party…. The depoliticization of most of the American intelligentsia merely reflects the conformism and convergence—the ‘me tooism’–of political life in general.” Id. at 116.). From ‘Literature is Freedom’: “To have access to literature, world literature, was to escape the prison of national vanity, of philistinism, of compulsory provincialism, of insane schooling, of imperfect destinies and bad luck. Literature was the passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom.” “Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom.” Id. at 209.

Stone, Robert, Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties (New York: Ecco, 2007) (This is very well done, neither placing the sixties on a pedestal nor viewing it as a total hell. There is a short passage on Stone's visit to Vietnam during the 1971. It struck me as one point of contrast between the American War in Vietnam and the American War in Iraq: the fact that there were many draftee in serving in Vietnam, that is, individuals who did not choose to be there, while--in this age of the all-volunteer military--everyone serving in Iraq, even the national guards who have been deployed to Iraq--chose to be in the military and, as a consequence, chose to possibility of being deployed in a shooting war. ""How many times did journalists in the line hear the bitterness of drafted soldiers, risking it all for their buddies, for their personal honor, even--God help us--for their country, as they had been told and believed? How many times did one hear it: You don't have to be here, you're here to make money off it, you could be anywhere you wanted--with your high school and your college--anywhere--but you're here, you sick son of a bitch, here, because you eat this shit up, don't you, and I hope you die, you rotten-hearted motherfucker, I hope you die. Many times." Id at 215. I wonder whether similar distain is directed now from military personnel order to serve in Iraq toward those private contract workers who don't have to be there, but who are there to make money off the war. On a tangent note: Will someone write ever write the definitive book of what truly happened in, or changed about, America in the1960s? What happened is that America[ns] crossed the line placing consumerism (and consumer politics) ahead of serious intellectual discourse (and substantive politics). We’re all just consumers now.).

Torday, Paul, Salmon Fishing in The Yemen (Orlando: Harcourt, 2007) (fiction).

"Self-righteousness [ ] spawns arrogance, selfishness, indifference.... Don’t let the weight of things numb you. Read, think, disagree with everything, if you like – but force your mind outward." Anton Myrer, Once an Eagle (Carlise, Pa.: Army War College Press, 1977), at 194.