June 30, 2011


'There are two kinds of people--those who know how easy it is to be dead, and those who think death can't happen to me.' --Doris Lessing, Landlocked: A Novel (Book Four of 'The Children of Violence' series) (1965) (New York: Harper Perennial, 1995).

Buruma, Ian, The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan ((New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1994) (From the book jacket: "Buruma's lively and comprehensive account of our two major allies and their diverging approaches to their own pasts illuminates profound questions of moral responsibility and national identity.").

Burleigh, Michael, Moral Combat: Good and Evil in World War II (New York: Harper, 2011) ("Although the Nazi Party had its thuggish paramilitary element, it also appealed to the sober Protestant middle classes, who had experienced the catastrophe of inflation and concomitant family and social breakdown earlier in the 1920s. Though they formed the critical and decisive mass of Nazi supporters, they construed themselves as individuals of culture and ethical refinement, even as they were groomed into militarised professions. Being a lawyer or physician no longer entailed being an individual with a vocation in an autonomous, self-regulating profession; now it meant being a servant of the volkisch national-racial collective, with good and evil determined by whatever bolstered or subverted its interests as defined by the Fuhrer. Mere ambition was often responsible for an auto-radicalisation that was difficult to distinguish from outward conformity." Id. at 27. "Any decent person should respect the sensitivities of victims, although that is a relatively recent addition to the criteria relevant to writing history. Victims of mass political or religious violence do not appreciate being told that others suffer, any more than the parents or a murdered child derive comfort from being informed that many other children have been killed too. This is particularly so when the victims belong to a national or religious group, rather than a social class, which inherently lacks such intense common feeling and is not a recognized category in international law. The suffering of Chinese, Poles or Jews is more focused and enduring than that of Russian aristocrats, bourgeois or kulaks, a derogatory term for farmers who owned a few cows. But the ineffable uniqueness of suffering can also mutate into its sacralisation, a finite quantum that it is forbidden to subtract from or to diminish through revised totals or lateral comparisons. This is so when the sacral memory of suffering, or in the case of Germany guilt about having perpetrated such horrors, becomes an adjunct to, or a substitute for, transcendental religious identity or part of a state's legitimacy, as evident in Poland or Ukraine as it is in Israel." Id. at 78. "Men from the US 180th Infantry Regiment under the command of Patton came under sniper fire in the environs of Biscari in Sicily. At one point they captured forty-six prisoners, including three Germans. A major identified nine youngsters whom he wanted interrogated, handing over the whole group to a thirty-three-year-old sergeant called West. This man, a cook in civilian life, marched the men towards some olive trees. There he separated out the nine interrogates, asked for a sub0machine gun with extra clips 'to shoot the sons of bitches', and gunned down the other thirty-seven prisoners, including three who tried to run, and then methodically shot those who still showed signs of life. 'This is orders' was his sole comment. That afternoon the same unit captured another thirty-six Italians. A firing squad was formed and all of them were shot dead as alleged snipers. An army chaplain happened on the corpses of these men and some soldiers loitering near by told him they were ashamed of their fellow countrymen and were fighting 'against that sort of thing'. The chaplain complained to the divisional commander, Omar Bradley, who went to see Patton. So did two war correspondents who had also seen the bodies. Knowing the cat was out of the hat, Patton reported the incident to Marshall, alleging that the victims were snipers and that 'in my opinion these killings have been thoroughly justified'. Bradley disagreed and Patton was forced to issue the order, 'Try the bastards.' The officer who had ordered the firing squad in the second case was eventually charged and court-martialled. He simply cited Patton's own order 'kill devastatingly' and was quickly acquitted. The prosecution failed to examine him. Sergeant West who also cited Patton, was sentenced to life imprisonment, In fact, he as jailed (in North Africa) for a year and then, reduced to the ranks, returned to active duty." Id. at 380.).

Grossman, David, Death As a Way of Life: Israel Ten Years After Oslo, translated from the Hebrew by Haim Watzman, edited by Efrat Lev (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003) (From "Two Years of Intifada," September 2002: "More than 625 Israelis have been killed in a total of 14,280 incidents in these past two years. Some 1,370 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military forces. A total of 4,500 Israelis have been injured in terrorist attacks, and among the Palestinians, the numbers are much higher--the Palestinian Red Crescent organization reported two weeks ago a total of 19,649 wounded." "Yet each side is certain that the other side has not suffered sufficiently. That being the case, it's clear that the conflict has yet to exhaust the reservoirs of hatred, and has yet to bring both peoples to the state of exhaustion that will be necessary for them to begin making concessions Almost the opposite is true--the Palestinians' bloody terrorist attacks have led to a metamorphosis. The thirty-three years of Israel's repression in the territories that it conquered in 1967 (a conquest that was instigated, let us not forget, by hostile acts of Arab countries against Israel) have nearly been expunged from Israeli consciousness. It's very convenient for most Israelis to believe that now accounts with the Palestinians have been settled, and the blame for the current situation lies entirely on Palestinian shoulders." "And this may well be the root cause of the prevailing despair that any mutual understanding can be achieved, The Palestinians begin their timeline of the conflict from, at the latest, 1948, when the State of Israel was founded. Israelis, for the most part, place the starting point of their timeline at September 2000." Id. at 183-184. "Two years have gone by and there is no hope. The situation can be summed up in several ways. I choose to do so by citing two facts that stood out in the reports of the last month. The first: According to data provided by UN agencies, more than a quarter of Palestinian children now suffer from malnutrition as a result of the situation. The second: Israeli schoolchildren will soon be given special classes in early identification and detection of suicide bombers. Israelis and Palestinians who refuse to see the connection between these two facts ensure that for many years to come we will all be each other's hostages, agents of gratuitous and pointless death." Id. at 188.).

Hastings, Max, Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 (New York: Knopf, 2004) ("The fastidiousness of the Americans and British about the lives of their men was admirable in humanitarian terms, and reflected the fact that the Western allies possessed strategic choices about where and when to confront the Germans. Delaying D-Day until June 1944 represented a prudent, even self-indulgent decision, of a kind that was denied to the Russians. They were forced to maintain an unbroken struggle from June 1941 to the end, because their armies were continuously in the presence of the enemy. It was necessary for somebody, somewhere, to pay a heavy price to break down the mass of the Wehrmacht. Who can imagine the democracies, in any circumstances, bearing a loss akin to that of the 900,000 citizens of Leningrad who starved to death to sustain its defence? Even if Britain had been invaded, the inhabitants of its cities would have chosen surrender rather than eat each other. American and British leaders and generals required a degree of consent from their soldiers and their peoples. it would be wrong to underrate the degree consent even in Stalin 's Russia, the real patriotic passion that impelled most of its people to resist the Germans. In decisive contrast to the Russians' military collapse before the 1817 revolution, the national spirit of the Red Army grew with every day of the war. But it would be foolish also to deny the compulsion which underpinned the Soviet war effort, reinforced by draconian and usually mortal sanctions against those who faltered." Id. at 113-114. "Those who fulfil law-abiding and peaceful lives find it hard to grasp what it must be like for men who have committed unspeakable crimes against their fellow humans to return to an after-life in civilization. All men who participate in wars find themselves obliged to do things which, if they are decent people, they afterwards regret. That was the case with many American and British soldiers, and some German and Russian ones, after the Second World War. More than a few were traumatized for years by events in which they had participated. Other Germans and Russians, however, including those who must be categorizes as war criminals, suffered no guilts or doubts. They developed a mechanism for justifying their actions, and for expunging memories, which has served them well. How else could the mass-killers, so many of whom went unpunished, have continued to go to work, visit the local cafe, shop at the supermarket, watch television, kiss their children and grandchildren goodnight until death claimed them in their beds? It is necessary for mankind to be capable of forgetting, and for societies to know how to forgive. But it must be a matter for regret that many individuals who bore responsibility for terrible deeds escaped a reckoning." Id. at 511-512.).

Hasting, Max, Overlord: D-Day, June 6, 1944 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984) ("John Price, a medical orderly with the British 2nd Ox & Bucks, was moved to discover how desperately men wished to be reassured that they would survive, how much words meant to them even when they were suffering the most terrible injuries. For all the wealth of facilities that the Allies possessed, there was seldom a short-cut from pain. One day in the farmyard in the Orne bridgehead where he was based, Price was appalled to see a young lieutenant drive up in a jeep, shouting with the pain of terrible bowel wounds. They laid him on a stretcher on the bonnet, and Price sat beside him as they drove for the casualty clearing station, holding his hand until he died. When Robin Hastings, CO of the Green Howards, was at last wounded by mortar fragments on 27 June, Padre Lovegrove was touched that a man of such unshakeable courage and forcefulness suddenly showed fearful shock at his own vulnerability, and begged the orderlies who were tending him: 'Don't hurt me.' Hastings's temper was not improved when he met his detested brigadier as he was being driven to the rear by jeep. The senior officer demanded furiously: 'What are you doing back here? I think you're perfectly fit,' which as Hastings remarked acidly afterwards, 'showed what a bloody old fool he was'." Id. at 213.).

Jacoby, Russell, Bloodlust: On the Roots of Violence from Cain and Abel to the Present (New York: Free Press, 2011) ("Despite an ocean of words about violence--its origins, course, and prevention--something has gone virtually unrecognized: its primal form is fratricide. This observation contradicts both common sense and the collective wisdom of teachers and preachers, who disclaim that we fear--and sometimes should fear--the 'other,' the dangerous stranger. Citizens and scholars alike believe that the enemies lurk in the street and beyond the street, where we confront a 'clash of civilizations' with foreigners who challenge our way of life." "The truth is more unsettling. It is not so much the unknown that threatens us but the known. We disdain and attack our brothers--our kin, our acquaintances, our neighbors--whom we know well, perhaps too well. We know their faults, their desires, and we distrust them because of that. The most common form of violence is violence between acquaintances or neighbors or kindred communities within nations--civil wars writ large and small. From assault to genocide, from assassination to massacre, violence usually emerges from inside the fold rather than outside it. . . . " Id. at ix-x.).

Keegan, John, The Second World War (New York: Viking, 1989) ("Some 50 million people are estimated to have died as a result of the Second World War; it is in the nature of war-making that a exact figure can never be established. By far the most grievous suffering among the combatant states was borne by the Soviet Union, which lost at least 7 million men in battle and a further 7 million civilians; most of the latter, Ukrainians and White Russians in the majority, died as a result of deprivation, reprisal and forced labour. In relative terms, Poland suffered worst among the combatant countries; about 20 percent of her pre-war population, some 6 million, did not survive. About half of the war's Polish victims were jewish, and Jews also figured large in the death tolls of other eastern European countries, including the Baltic states, Hungary and Romania. Civil and guerrilla war accounted for the deaths of a quarter of a million Greeks and a million Yugoslavs. The number of casualties, military and civilian, were far higher in eastern than in western Europe - an index of the intensity and ferocity of war-making where Germans fought and oppressed Slavs. In three European countries, however, France, Italy and the Netherlands, casualties were heavy. Before June 1940 and after November 1942 the French army lost 200,000 dead; 400,000 civilians were killed in air raids or concentration camps. Italy lost over 330,000 of whom half were civilians and 200,000 Dutch citizens, all but 10,000 of them civilians, died as a result of bombing or deportation." "The Western victors suffered proportionately and absolutely much less than any of the major allies. The British armed forces lost 244,000 men. The Commonwealth and imperial comrades-in-arms suffered another 100,000 fatal casualties (Australia 23,000, Canada 37,000, India 24,000, New Zealand 10,000, South Africa 6000). About 60,000 British civilians were killed by bombing, half of them in London. The Americans suffered no direct civilian casualties; their military casualties, which contrast with 1.2 million Japanese battle deaths, were 292,000, including 36,000 from the navy and 9,000 from the Marine Corps." Id. at 590-591.).

Laurents, Arthur, The Way We Were: A Novel (New York: Harper & Row, 1972) ("First things first. I don't know of any justification for informing. None; the opposite, in fact. There's something really wrong with any country that grows informers. And the people who promote informing are as evil and disgusting as the people who do it. . ." Id. at 269.).

Lessing, Doris, The Four-Gated City: A Novel (Book Five of the 'Children of Violence' Series) (New York: HarperPerennial, 1969, 1995) ("But she had had no such luck; had been made a psychological cripple before she was twenty." "Like hundreds of thousands of others. Probably millions. There will be no way of knowing how many. These crippled, destroyed people will become another of our statistics, like the 'roughly' forty million dead of the Second World War, or the X million who die when there is a famine, though they could be kept alive on what goes into the dustbins of American or Britain." "Soon, probably in the next decade, the truth would have to be admitted. It will be admitted with bad grace, be glossed over, softened. And just as we now say 'they burned and drowned witches for a couple of centuries out of a primitive and ignorant terror' soon we will be saying: 'When they stopped torturing and killing witches, they locked people with certain capacities into lunatic asylums and told them they were freaks, and forced them into conformity by varieties of torture which included electric shocks, solitary confinement, ice baths, and forcible feeding. They used every kind of degradation, moral and physical. As the method of society for control and manipulation became more refined, it was discovered that the extremities of physical violence were less effective than drugs which deprived the victims of their moral stamina and ability to fight back; and more effective than the drugs, were techniques of persuasion and brain-washing, By these means these members of the population with capacities above normal (those people now considered to be in the main line of evolution) were systematically destroyed either by fear, so that their development was inhibited from the start (the majority) or by classing then with the congenitally defective . . .' " "Sometime quite soon Dr Lamb would say: 'Yes, it seems we made a mistake.' Dr. Lamb? Probably someone in the heart of that profession. There is a sound principle that the place to look for the reaction to anything is at the heart of that thing. Meanwhile, it is wise to keep out of the way." Id. at 546-547.).

Oates, Joyce Carol, A Widow's Story: A Memoir (New York: Ecco, 2011) (Oftentimes cruelty is personal. Oftentimes it comes down to simple a failure of personal common decency, such as making inappropriate request at an inappropriate time. A certain clueless insensitivity. "The unexpected side of widowhood is a lack of patience--a rise in irritability--(as irritability is the first rung on the stepladder of hysteria)--and so I am inclined not only not to reply to most supplicatory letters but to dispose of them outside, at the green recycling barrel. 'Leave me alone! Why can't you leave me alone!' Sometimes I am fooled--'fooled' is an apt term--by a letter that purports to be sympathetic. So sorry to have heard about the death of your husband but is soon revealed to be a request for one or another favor; several times, these requests have come form individuals whom Ray had published in Ontario Review. The most persistent is a New York artist who has asked me to write about his work for an upcoming exhibit catalogue and when I explained--initially, apologetically--that I was so exhausted, so overwhelmed with responsibilities in the wake of Ray's death, and far behind on my own work, that I simply could not do this, he wrote back to say But the deadline wouldn't be until November." Id. at 320 (format omitted).).

Pfaff, William, The Wrath of Nations: Civilization and the Furies of Nationalism (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993) ("This book is about the most powerful political force of the twentieth century, which is likely to prove the most powerful of the twenty-first century as well: nationalism. Nationalism is a profound, if often malign, expression of human identities, a negative fore, but also a positive one. It is an expression of love as well as of hate. It is a fundamental element in modern political life and international relations. It demands to be better understood." "The book describes where nationalism comes from, why, and when, and estimates where it is taking us. . . ." Id. at 13. "Nationalism is usually thought a primordial historical phenomenon, the emotional binding by which political communities originally emerged, and through which the ethnic community finds its historical expression and maturity. It also is usually taken to be an essential but passing stage in the march of history, necessary in producing the modern nation, but also to be left behind as more rational and progressive forms of political society take the place of the more backward." "This is not true. Nationalism is a phenomenon of the European nineteenth century. It is a political consequence of the literary-intellectual movement called Romanticism, a Central European reaction to the universalizing, and therefore disorienting, ideas of the eighteenth-century French Enlightenment." "Nationalism is not an ideology because it has no universality. It is impossible to be a nationalist as such, only a German or Croatian or American nationalist. However, nationalism occupies the moral and emotional ground otherwise held by political ideology. It is unreasonable, considered as a general phenomenon, while natural as a specific one. It is contradictory as well as preposterous as a general proposition that the values and interests of every country are superior ones, yet it is evident that all nations are the same as objects of loyalty of their citizens. Only a Serb can appreciate why Serbia is worth dying for, since Serbia otherwise represents nothing of more value or moment to the detached observer than does Croatia, or Guatemala, or Tibet." Id. at 14-15. "Nationalism, of course, is intrinsically absurd. Why should the accident--fortune or misfortune--of birth as an American, Albanian, Scot, or Fiji Islander impose loyalties that dominate an individual life and structure a society so as to pace it in formal conflict with others? In the past there were local loyalties to place and clan or tribe, obligations to lord or landlord, dynastic or territorial wars, but primarily loyalties were to religion, God or god-king, possibly to emperor, to a civilization as such. There was no nation." Id. at 17. "In defiance of experience, an unanalyzed belief in progress continues to lie at the core of western political thought today, even though there is no longer a generally persuasive 'scientific' theory of social improvement or transformation. The belief is unanalyzedbecause its verification and its replacement seems equally impossible task The implications of what has happened in contemporary history, and continues to happen, would seem to recommend an intellectual position of historical pessimism, hostile to social engineering and large programmatic reforms, even when the program is so modest as simply to enthronelaissez-faire--which has not worked either. But historical pessimism contradicts the principal assumption animating modern western political society: that it is going someplace, and doing so in an intelligible way." Id. at 39.).

Roiphe, Anne, Art and Madness: A Memoir of Lust Without Reason (New York: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2011) ("In my dormitory there were seventy-five copies of The New York Times delivered to a front table each morning. . . . Each morning I would take a copy of the Times and each afternoon I would look at the table on which the remaining seventy-four copies still sat until the housemaid threw them away. Joe McCarthy was ranting and pulling lists of Commies, saboteurs, and enemies of the state out of his pocket and roaring into microphones the names of traitors. A few ardent anti-Communists had started a campaign to get two art professors fired. They were gay, perhaps; they were liberal, most likely. They were probably not threats to the state but letters went out asking the alumnae to withhold contributions to the college until the traitors were fired. The president of the college was resisting the pressure. One day at chapel he spoke of the rights of the accused and he got angry and with a thunderous boom he slammed shut the large Bible on the podium before him. A campaign was started to get him fired because of his disrespect for the Bible. There was a naming-of-names issues, who would and who wouldn't. There was a fear among the least-political among us that we might be snared, ruined by a friendship with a fellow traveler. So soon after the war we had fought for our free way of life, thinking what you will and saying what you wanted came at an increasing risk to your future job possibilities, to your relatives' job possibilities. There was a probably ridiculous belief that J. Edgar Hoover was everywhere with listening devices and it was said that that his moles attended anything that might appear to be a political gathering. Riding my bike on the path, weaving between the sea of girls in Bermuda shorts and cashmere sweaters, I felt the breath of the government turning the fall wind colder and colder on my neck." Id. at 51-52.).

Sacks, Oliver, Migraine, Revised & Expanded (Berkeley, Los Angeles, & London: U. of California Press, 1992) ("The last two categories of migraine pattern we must consider are distinguished by having acquired special strategic significances of a peculiarly hostile type. The first of these is the aggressive migraine. . . . The emotional background is one of intense, chronic, repressed rage and hostility, and the function of the migraines is to provide some expression of what cannot be expressed, or even acknowledged, directly. Such migraines are intense emotional ambivalence, i.e., in relation to individuals who are both loved and hated. Such indirect expressions of hatred are particularly seen in the interaction of the migrainous patient with parents, children, spouses, and employers and revolve about the dynamic of demanded yet intolerable dependence or intimacy. . . . A particular form of this reaction is the emulative migraine, in which there exists an ambivalent and malignant identification with a migrainous parent; joining the parent in illness, competing with him, hoisting him with his own migrainous petard. It seems certain that many examples of familial occurrence of migraine (as of many other illnesses) require explanation in these terms, rather than in the simplistic terms of direct inheritance. . . . " "When the hostility is turned inwards, there is seen the last pattern of the habitual migraine we must consider, repeated self-punitive attacks. Such patients are deeply masochistic, spiteful, chronically depressed, covertly paranoid, and sometime overtly self-destructive . . . . The migraine rarely suffices as an expression of the inner feelings, and is likely to be accomplished by other expressions of self-hatred. These patients, in many senses, require, as desperately as they will resist, therapeutic intervention, but this (if it is allowed by the patient) is more likely to be successful than in cases of dissociative migraines with hysterical features." "There are, of course, innumerable special uses of migraines which may cut across the broad categories we have constructed. Particularly common, and sometimes the occasion of cruel misunderstanding or punishment, are those attacks which may occur in children forced to attend schools they detest: any form of functional illness--repeated attacks of migraines, of vomiting, or of diarrhoea, of asthma, or of hysterical symptoms--may serve to shield the child from some of the rigours and horrors of school life, while drawing attention to miseries which dare not, or cannot, be voiced directly." Id. at 215-216.).

Smith, David Livingstone, Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2011) ("In this book, I use the term ['dehumanization'] to refer to the act of conceiving of people as subhuman creatures rather than as human beings. This definition has two components: When we dehumanize people we don't just think of them in terms of what they lack, we also think of them as creatures that are less than human." Id. at 26. "In this book, I will argue that when we dehumanize people we think of them as counterfeit human beings--creatures that look like humans, but who are not endowed with a human essence--and that this is possible only because of our natural tendency to think that there are essence-based natural kinds. This way of thinking doesn't come from 'outside.' We neither absorb it from our culture, nor learn it from observation. Rather, it seems to reflect our cognitive architecture--the evolved design of the the human psyche." Id. at 101 "Our intuitive moral psychology seems to conform to the following principle: We grant moral standing to creatures to the extent that we believe that their essence resembles our own." Id. at 223. "Dehumanized people are never thought of as charming animals like butterflies and kittens. That's because dehumanizers always identify their victims with animals that motivate violence. The thinking goes something like this: Rats are vermin, and should be exterminated. So, if Jews are rats, then they should be exterminated, too. Jews are rats. Exterminating Jews isn't cruel. In fact, its morally good to exterminate rats because they harm human beings by spreading filth and disease--so, it's morally good to exterminate Jews." Id.).

Smith, David Livingstone, The Most Dangerous Animal: Human Nature and the Origins of War (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2007) ("Psychopathic thugs do not fight wars. Ordinary people do, and although war is all about killing, we do not like to think of our ordinary people--'our boys'--as professional killers. As Bertrand Russell once observed, we are quick to say that they give their lives for their country but not that they take lives for their country. To do so would be to upset the moral order of things. However, we have no such reservations when it comes to the enemy. There are no heroes on the other side, no brave patriots making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The enemy is ruthless and diabolical; he is a terrifying, cold-blooded killer. 'When our own nation is at war with any other,' observed David Hume in the year 1740, 'we detest them under the character of cruel, perfidious, unjust and violent: but always esteem ourselves and allies equitable, moderate and merciful. If the general of our enemies be successful, 'tis with difficulty we allow him the figure and character of a man'." "Notice that Hume remarked of the enemy that it is only 'with difficulty that we allow him the figure and character of a man.' This is perhaps the first published observation of dehumanization in war. Nowadays it is widely accepted that we tend to picture our enemies as less than human--so widely accepted, in fact, that it has become a cliche. Like all cliches, we seldom if ever pause to consider it seriously. I think that the notion of dehumanization in war contains a profound and extraordinarily import insight into human nature. . . . [I]t is easy to see how dehumanizing the enemy would provide an elegant solution to the problem posed by our innate aversion to taking human life. Perceiving the enemy as nonhuman would liberate us from inhibitions against killing them. A perceptual shift of this nature would enable human beings to take the live of others as casually as they would swat a mosquito, poison a rat, or impale a writhing worm on a fishhook." Id. at 183-184. "There are various forms and degrees of dehumanization. United States soldiers in Iraq sometimes call Iraqis 'hadjiis,' 'ragheads,' or 'camel jockeys.' These are derogatory terms that create psychological distance. Clearly, it is easier to do violence to a raghead than it is to harm a full-fledged human being. But these are not especially nasty epithets. They may contribute to an attitude of callousness, but they do not inspire hate, fear, or repugnance. Not all instances of dehumanization are so moderate. Soldiers sometime imagine their enemies as dangerous, subhuman beasts. As Vietnam War veteran Bob McGowan explained to CNN, 'They're subhuman. They're animals. They're going to rape our women and kill our children. . . . Kill them.' This is a step beyond dehumanizing the enemy: it is demonizing them." "When we demonize others, we perceive them as having having a dangerous nonhuman essence. . . ." Id. at 185 (citing Bob McGowan, CNN Presents: Fit to Kill, October 26, 2003).).

Toynbee, Arnold J., A Study of History, an abridgement of Volumes I-VI by D. C. Somervell (New York: & London: Oxford U. Press, 1947) ("When we Westerners call people 'natives' we implicitly take the cultural colour out of our perception of them. We see them as wild animals infesting the country in which we happen to come across them, as part of the local flora and fauna and not as men of like passions with ourselves. So long as we think of them as 'natives' we may exterminate them or, as is more likely to-day, domesticate them and honestly (perhaps not altogether mistakenly) believe that we are improving the breed, but we do not begin to understand them." "But apart from the illusions dues to the world-wide success of the Western Civilization in the material sphere, the misconception of the 'unity of history'--involving the assumption that there is only one river of civilization, our own, and that all others are either tributary to it or else lost in the desert sands--may be traced to three roots: the egocentric illusions, the illusion of the 'the unchanging East', and the illusion of progress as a movement that proceeds in a straight line." Id. at 36-37. "War has now become 'total war', and it has become so because parochial states have become nationalist democracies." "By total war we mean a war in which it is recognized that the combatants are not only the selected 'chessmen' called soldiers and sailors but the whole populations of the countries concerned. Where shall we find the beginnings of this new outlook? Perhaps in the treatment meted out at the end of the Revolutionary War by the victorious British-American colonists to those among themselves who had sided with the mother country. These United Empire Loyalists were expelled bag and baggage--men, women and children--from their homes after the war was over. . . . This first example of 'totalitarianism; is significant, for the victorious American colonists were the first democratized nation of the Western society." Id. at 286-287. "Habits of 'frightfulness', acquired by the English in their prolonged aggression against the remnant of the Celtic Fringe in the Highlands of Scotland and the bogs of Ireland, were carried across the Atlantic and practiced at the expense of the North American Indian." Id. at 413. "When universal education was first inaugurated it was greeted by the liberal opinion of the day as a triumph of justice and enlightenment which might be expected to usher in a new era of happiness and well-being for mankind. But these expectations can now be seen to have left out of account the presence of several stumbling-blocks on this broad road to the millennium, and in this matter, as so often happens, it has been the unforeseen factors that have proved the most important." "One of the stumbling-blocks has been the inevitable impoverishment in the results of education when the process is made available for 'the masses' at the cost of being divorced from its traditional cultural background. The good intentions of Democracy have no magic power to perform the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Our mass-produced intellectual pabulum lack savour and vitamins. A second stumbling-block has been the utilitarian spirit in which the fruits of education are apt to be turned to account when they are brought within everybody's reach. Under a social regime in which education is confined to those who have either inherited a right to it as a social privilege or have proved a right to it by their exceptional gifts of industry and intelligence, education is either a pearl cast before swine or else a pearl of great price which the finder buys at the cost of all that he has. In neither case is it a means to an end: an instrument of world ambition or of frivolous amusement. The possibility of turning education to account as a means of amusement for the masses--and a profit for the enterprising persons by whom the amusement is purveyed--has only arisen since the introduction of universal elementary education; and this new possibility has conjured up a third stumbling-block which is the greatest of all. The bread of universal education is no sooner cast upon the waters than a shoal of sharks arises from the depths and devours the children's bread under the educator's eyes. In the educational history of England the dates speak for themselves, The edifice of universal elementary education was, roughly speaking, completed by Forster;s Act in 1870; and the Yellow Press was invented some twenty years later--as soon, that is, as the first generation of children fro the national schools has acquired sufficient purchasing-power--by a stroke of irresponsible genius which had divined that the educational philanthropist's labour of love could be made to yield a royal profit to a press-lord." 'These disconcerting reactions to the impact of Democracy upon education has attracted the attention of the rulers of modern would-be totalitarian national states. If press-lords could make millions by providing idle amusement for the half0educated, serious statesmen could draw, not money perhaps, by t the power from the same source. The modern dictators have deposed the press-lords and substituted for crude and debased private entertainment an equally crude and debased system of private propaganda. The elaborate and ingenious machinery for the mass-enslavement of semi-educated minds, invented for private profit under British and American regimes of laisse[z] faire, has been simply taken over by the rulers of states who have employed these mental appliances, reinforced by the cinema and the radio for their own sinister purposes. After Northcliffe Hitler--though Hitler was not the first in his line." Id. at 292-292. One should shudder to think what Hitler would have done with the cable-television and the Internet.).

June 26, 2011


Francois Furet, The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century, translated from the French by Deborah Furet (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 1999) "One of the distinctive traits of Communism was its inseparability from a basic illusion, which for many years appeared to be validated by Communism's own history, until it was dispelled by that history. By 'illusion' I do not mean that the participants and supporters of Communism were unaware of what they were doing and accomplished things beyond what was required of them--which is generally the case. I mean rather that Communism sought to conform to the necessary development of historical Reason, and the the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' thus appeared to have a scientific function. It was a different type of illusion from one based on a calculation of ends and means or issuing simply from belief in a just cause; for people lost in history, an illusion of this kind not only gives their life meaning but offers them the comfort of certainty. Unlike an error of judgment which, with the aid of experience, can be discovered, appraised, and corrected, the Communist illusion involved a psychological investment, somewhat like a religious faith even though its object was historical." "This illusion did not 'accompany' Communist history; it made it. Independent of Communist history insofar as it existed prior to experience, the illusion was, at the same time, subject to that history since the truth of its prophecies was contained in its course. Its socket was the political imagination of modern humankind, but it could only survive by constantly adjusting to circumstances. History was its daily bread; the unexpected was continually integrated into its system of beliefs. The only way to get rid of the Communist idea was to stop feeding it. As a belief in salvation through history, it could only be toppled by a radical historical denial, eliminating the need for the adjusting, mending, and patching that were is life's work." "Those constant adjustments are the subject of this book. This is not a history of Communism, even less a history of the Soviet Union; it is a history of the illusion of Communism during the time in which the USSR lent it consistency and vitality. . . ." Id. at ix-x. "There was never any question of instituting Communism in the United States; the point was, rather, to defend democracy all over the world. To this quintessential American role, the tragedy of the German Jews lent a striking moral resonance and urgency that was more palpable in New York than in Paris or London. Once Stalin had turned against Hitler, how could anyone be against Stalin's own regime? The American inventory of political evil was patterned on moral law and was not sufficiently complex to contain two antagonistic tyrannies. Moreover, whereas the Soviet Union had destroyed capitalism, Roosevelt had been content to modify it, a further reason to locate Communism to the left of the New Deal instead of casting it as another enemy of democracy. The Communists themselves set the example by a spectacular rallying to the anti-Fascist alliance. Shortly afterward, the Spanish Civil War would reveal the two camps in confrontation--democracy versus dictatorship. More than three thousand Americans, Communists as well as liberals, for the most part young teachers, set out to fight Franco in the Abraham Lincoln battalion of the International Brigades." Id. at 273-274. "[T]he Second World War completed what the First has begun--the domination of the great political religions over European public opinion--but it annihilated one political religion while crowning and strengthening the other. Victorious, ant-Fascism did not disrupt the moral and political terrain on which it had developed. It deepened the crisis of the democratic idea while appearing to have resolved it. This was the great illusion of the age. It was an illusion from which we are only just emerging, thanks more to the force of circumstance than to intellectual virtue." Id. at 360. "Democracy, by virtue of its existence, creates the need for a world beyond the bourgeoisie and beyond Capital, a world in which a genuine human community can flourish. Throughout this book, the example of a the Soviet Union has confirmed democracy's need for a utopia. . . . But the end of the Soviet world in no way alters the democratic call for another society, and for that very reason we have every reason to believe that the massive failure of Communism will continue to enjoy attenuating circumstance in world opinion, and perhaps even renewed admiration. The Communist idea will not rise again in the form in which it died. The proletarian revolution, Marxist-Leninist science, the ideological election of a party, a territory or an empire have undoubtedly come to an end along with the Soviet Union. The disappearance of these figures familiar to our [twentieth] century brings our age to a close; it does not, however, spell the end of the democratic repertory." Id. at 502-503.).

June 21, 2011


Brooke Gladstone, The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone On the Media, illustrated by Josh Neufeld (New York: Norton, 2011).

June 19, 2011


Anatole Kaletsky, Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis (New York: PublicAffairs, 2010) ("What, then, does democratic capitalism require for its survival? The lesson from history, evolutionary biology, and everyday common sense is that one condition has to be satisfied for any complex system to survive in an unpredictable and constantly changing world: The system itself must be adaptable, that is, it must have internal mechanisms allowing it to undergo radial change." Id. at 21. "One of the biggest mistakes made by market fundamentalism is the assumption that markets will always create the necessary incentives for private enterprise to solve urgent social problems. In reality, many challenges--mass unemployment in the 1930s, inflation and labor unrest in the 1970s, financial instability and climate change in the present period--can be addressed only if politics creates new economic incentives and new institutions to stimulate the problem-solving, innovative capacities of private enterprise." Id. at 23. "In each of the great transitions of modern capitalism, new institutions had to be created and economic incentives have to be realigned in the face of intense opposition. When the requirements for new incentives become too radical for the existing politico-economic arrangements, capitalism reaches an evolutionary breakpoint, as it did in the 1930s, in the 1970s, and today. Id. "[George] Soros argues that miscalculations made by both lenders and borrowers result from the gap that inevitably exists between reality and human understanding. Human thinking consists of two potentially discordant element--a cognitive function, which tries to understand reality, and a manipulative function, which tries to change reality. These functions can interfere with one another." "The interference between the cognitive and manipulation functions creates two problems. The first is that human knowledge--the cognitive function--is always imperfect and, therefore, market expectations will always be wrong, at least to some extent. The second problem . . . is that in situations where reality involves thinking participants, expectations about the future will alter reality, and this new reality will in turn change expectations. This two-way interaction between reality and expectations is the process that Soros calls reflexivity, and it can create boom-bust cycles to the kind [Hyman] Minsky described." Id. at 116. "What, then, transformed this fairly normal boom-bust cycle into the greatest financial crisis of all time? The main contention of this chapter--and probably the most controversial claim this book makes--is that the primary reason for this disaster was not the stupidity of regulators the greed of bankers, or the improvidence of speculators in low-income real estate but a series of misjudgments made by one man: U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson." Id. at 129. "The most amazing aspect of this [2007-2009] crisis was the total failure of leadership and judgment in the United States. Hence this chapter's focus on the one man directly responsible for the most important errors. Henry Paulson, despite having been the chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs--or perhaps because of it--turned out to be the most incompetent economic policymaker in U.S history, with the possible exception of Andrew Mellon, his predecessor at the Treasury from 1921 to 1932." Id. This is controversial, yet important, read. Kaletsky demotes, but does not fire, three demigods of economic and political thinking regarding capitalism: rationality, perfect efficiency, and eternal balance. "Nothing about this new version of the capitalist system will be rational or perfectly efficient or eternally balanced. The future will always be unpredictable and ambiguous and inconsistent--just like human life. For that is what Capitalism 4.0 is about." Id. at 334.).

June 18, 2011


Susanne Fusso, Discovering Sexuality in Dostoevsky (Studies in Russian Literature and Theory) (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern U. Press, 2006) ("The title of this book . . . alludes primarily to the major concern of my study, which is Dostoevsky's artistic treatment of how children and adolescents discover sexuality as part of their maturation and development. The secondary meaning, however, is that in this book I propose to discover the topic of sexuality in Dostoevsky's work in a somewhat different way than the topic has largely been treated up to now. First my primary object of investigation is not Dostoevsky's own sexuality but his literary and journalistic presentation of the subject. Second, in analyzing sexuality in Dostoevsky's work I have tried to avoid placing it withing a Freudian framework, as previous studies have tended to do. My approach is to look at sources on sexuality that were available at the time Dostoevsky was writing, with the aim of reconstructing the pre-Freudian view of human sexual development that Dostoevsky, an avid reader and observer of his own social context, imbibed and to which he reacted." Id. at xiii.).

Susanne Fusso & Alexander Lehrman, eds., Essays on Karolina Pavlova (Studies in Russian Literature and Theory) (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern U. Press, 2001).

Susanne Fusso & Priscilla Meyer, eds., Essays on Gogol: Logos and the Russian Word (Studies in Russian Literature and Theory) (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern U. Press, 1992).

Olga Peters Hasty & Susanne Fusso, eds., America Through Russian Eyes,1874-1928 (New Haven & London: Yale U. Press, 1988).

Vladimir Sergeevich Trubetskoi, A Russian Prince in the Soviet State: Hunting Stories, Letters from Exile, and Military Memoirs (Studies in Russian Literature and Theory), translated from the Russian and edited by Susanne Fusso (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern U. Press, 2006).

June 12, 2011


Francis Fukuyama, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution ( New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2011) ("American political institutions may well be headed for a major test of their adaptability. The American system was built around the firm conviction that concentrated political power constituted an imminent danger to the lives and liberty of citizens. For this reason , the U.S. Constitution was designed with a broad range of checks and balances by which different parts of the government could prevent other parts from exercising tyrannical control. This system has served the country well, but only because at certain critical junctures in its history when strong government was necessary, it was possible to forge the consensus to bring it about through the exercise of political leadership." 'There is unfortunately no institutional guarantee that the system as designed will always check tyrannical power yet allow exercise of state authority when the need arises. The latter depends in the first instance on the existence of a social consensus on political ends, and this has been lacking in American political life in recent years. The United States faces a series of large challenges, mostly related to fixing its long-term fiscal situation. Over the past generation, Americans have spend money on themselves without paying their own way through taxation, a situation that has been exacerbated by years of too-easy access to credit and overspending on both a household and governmental level. The long-term fiscal shortfall and foreign indebtedness threatens the very basis of American power around the world, as other countries like China gain in relative statute." Id. at 7-8. "It is quite legitimate to argue that modern governments have grown excessively large, and that they thereby limit economic growth and individual freedom. People are right to complain about unresponsive bureaucracy, corrupt politicians, and the unprincipled nature of politics. But in the developed world, we rake the existence of government so much for granted that we sometimes forget how important it is, and how difficult it was to create, and what the world would look like without certain basic political institutions." Id. at 12. "The purpose of this book is to fill in some of the gaps of this historical amnesia, by giving an account of where basic political institutions came from in societies that now take them for granted. The three categories of institutions in question are . . . : 1. the state[,] 2. the rule of law[, and] 3. accountable government." Id. at 25-16 (format omitted). An interesting perspective, and interesting read. While reading The Origin of Political Order I wondered how many law students or, for that matter, how many lawyers, could give a coherent, non-banal answer the the query, Why does law matter? After all you would think that a person who is spending three years of his or her life studying, not to mention decades of his or her life practicing, law would have something to say. How many would stumble after mumbling something on the order of you gotta have rules, without law there would be anarchy and chaos--which, of course, begs the question. We take law for granted, not giving much thought to where law comes from. In most law schools they don't teach much jurisprudence, overarching legal history, or law simply as a social institution. If such were taught in more law schools perhaps, then, more law students and lawyers would better understand how and why the institution of law is failing American society.).

June 7, 2011


Eliot Spitzer, Government's Place in the Market (A Boston Review Book) (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: MIT Press, 2011) ("Only government can ensure integrity, transparency, and fair dealing." Id. at 18. "In the face of externalities, government must intervene to change the way the market behaves." Id. at 27. "The government needs to intervene on behalf of core values." Id. at 31.).

June 6, 2011


Debra Satz, Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale: The Limits of Markets (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 2011) ("Markets not only allocate resources among different uses and distribute income among different people, but particular markets also shape our politics and culture, even our identities. Some markets thwart desirable human capacities; some shape our preferences i problematic ways; and some support objectionably hierarchical relationships between people. Efficiency is clearly not the only value relevant to assessing markets: we have to think about the effects of markets on social justice, and on who we are, how we relate to each other, and what kind of society we can have. . . . In this book I challenge the one-dimensional view of markets found in many economics textbooks and seek to address markets as institutions that raise political and moral questions as much as economics ones." Id. at 4-5. "I begin with a characterization of four parameters in terms of which we can differentiate the markets that people find especially objectionable from other types of markets . . . . "The first two parameters characterize the consequences of particular markets. "1. Some markets produce extremely harmful outcomes . . . . "2. In addition to leading to extreme individual harms, certain markets can also be extremely harmful to society. . . . "3. Some markets are characterized by very weak or highly asymmetric knowledge and agency on the part of market participants. . . "4. Some markets reflect underlying extreme vulnerabilities of one of the transacting parties . . . ." Id. at 94-97. Interesting read. However, the economics and markets perspective attacked here is not the robust, nuanced view of economics and markets of say, Richard Epstein, or James Buchanan, or F.A. Hayek. Although Richard Posner is cited and listed in the bibliography, little attention is given to Posner's large body of work, including his Economic Analysis of Law.).

June 5, 2011


Joseph Lelyveld, Great Soul" Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India (New York: Knopf, 2011) ("This isn't intended to be a retelling of the standard Gandhi narrative. I merely touch on or leave out crucial periods and episodes . . . in order to hew in this essay to specific narrative lines I've chosen. These have to do with Gandhi the social reformer, with his evolving sense of his constituency and social vision, a narrative that's usually subordinate to that of the struggle for independence. The Gandhi I've pursued is the one who claimed once to 'have been trying all my life to identify myself with the most illiterate and downtrodden.' At the risk of slighting his role as a political tactician, a field marshal of nonviolent resistance, or as a religions thinker and exemplar, I've tried to follow him at ground level as he struggled to impose his vision on an often recalcitrant India--especially recalcitrant, he found, when he tried not just its patience but its reverence for him with his harangues on the 'crime' and 'curse' of untouchability, or the need for the majority Hindus to accommodate the large Muslim minority." Id. at xiii.).

June 4, 2011


Jeff Madrick, Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present (New York: Knopf, 2011) ("Greed will always be with us, but it rises and falls with the times. Some rebalancing between government and business may have been necessary by the 1970s, and some reworking of government programs was needed. But the reforms went blindly ahead. Vital purposes of government were rejected. An age of greed did not begin in the 2000s. It started decades earlier, and the crisis of 2008 was not its culmination, and probably not its end." Id. at x. The players: Lewis Uhler, Walter Wriston, Sandy Weill, Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan, Tom Peters, Jack Welch, Paul Volcker, George Soros, Milton Friedman, The Chicago School of Economics, The Chicago School of Law and Economics, Richard Nixon, Arthur Burns, Leverage Buyouts, Hostile Takeovers, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Ronald Reagan, Angelo Mozilo and on and on, and including you and me as stupid consumers who jumped on the greed wagon and who discarded the old value that a penny saved is a penny earned.'' "More to the point, consumers were supporting the economy by reducing their savings or borrowing in light of their newfound--if temporary--wealth in the stock market. Personal savings as a percentage of GDP was around 8 percent in Greenspan's early years as Fed chairman, and 12 percent at the start of the 1980s. By 1988, the rate had fallen to 4 percent and was heading to 2 percent in 1999. Even the federal budget surpluses were the result of significant degree of temporary increases in capital gains tax collections. The soaring stock market led to outsized profit for investors, who took them, and paid more taxes to the federal government. This bonanza would soon end. Id. at 241-242. "The low rates between 2000 and 2004 were the lifeblood of the housing boom. Thousands of new mortgage brokers, and twenty or so giant ones, were vying with one another to sell mortgages to lower-income Americans, relying in particular on adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs. Buyers paid low interest rates in the first two years of the mortgages after which rates rose, usually substantially. But with house prices rising relentlessly, the homeowner could refinance with another ARM, or pay down some of the mortgage and reduce the monthly payments. A rapidly growing number of these were subprime mortgages, sold to home buyers with poor credit, But middle-income Americans also often took ARMS, to buy homes once out of their reach. With rates so low and no federal oversight, mortgage lenders practices, long suspect, became widely abusive. Even the FBI warned in 2004 of an 'epidemic' of fraud in subprime mortgage writing, but it had devoted so many of it resources to antiterrorist activities, it had little left to pursue unscrupulous mortgage brokers." Id. at 244. And, then, the music stopped.).

June 3, 2011


Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner, Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, And Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon (New York: Times Books/ Henry Holt, 2011) ("Reckless Endangerment is an economic whodunit, on an international scale. But instead of a dead body as evidence, we have trillions of dollars in investments lost around the world, millions of American jettisoned from their home and fourteen million U.S. workers without jobs. Such is the nature of this particular crime." Id. at xiv. "The good news was 2003 was a banner year for mortgages. The bad news--for Wall Street anyway--was that the blistering pace simply could not continue Mortgage originations had been propelled by the Fed's rate cuts, but with prevailing rates at 1 percent, there was little room for further declines. This was meaningful because borrowers who had reached for more home than they could afford would no longer be able to lower their costs by refinancing when rates fell again." " As 2004 dawned, therefore, it had become more and more evident that the mortgage lending machine was sputtering . . For all of 2004, only $276 billion in mortgage0backed securities were issued, fully 40 percent less than the amount sold a year earlier." "Wall Street bankers were desperate to halt the decline in mortgage volume, which spelled disaster for bonuses and even presaged the unthinkable: layoffs." "It was a moment of truth for Wall Street, an industry not known for veracity. The firms that had made so much money on the American dream of homeownership were faced with a decision. Recognizing that the easy money days were over, the firm knew that continuing down the path of big mortgage profit was going to require a more concerted effort, greater creativity. Wall Street, always at the ready for such duty, concocted new types of loans to be offered to borrowers as well as new entities that would but them." "But keeping the mortgage machine humming would also require that investment banks ignore numerous signs of wrongdoing along the way, This meant putting their own interests ahead of their clients' at every turn." "While nobody mistook Wall Street banks for charity organizations, the degree to which these firm s embraced and facilitated corrupt mortgage lending was stunning. Their greed and self-interest took the mortgage mania to heights (or depths, depending on your view) it could not possibly have reached without Wall Street's involvement, And in so doing, Wall Street helped propel world financial markets to the brink of collapse." "The voraciousness of these firms would also push the nation's economy into its most serious recession in more than seventy-five years. Their avarice would finally, and forcefully, demonstrate how a noble idea like homeownership could be corrupted into something that so poisoned the global economy it was left in a semi-vegetative state." Id. at 273-274. See also Robert B. Reich, "Getting Away With It," NYT Book Review, Sunday, 5/29/2011.).

June 2, 2011


If have a change, obtain a copy of the June 6, 2001 edition of The New Yorker. On page 74 in the The Critics section, Critic-at-Large, Louis Menand's 'Why we have college,' is a thoughtful read for those in, out, near, employed by, or trapped in (if not imprisoned by) the college enterprise. Menand critiques a few recent books on college education. "Assuming that these new books are right (not a fully warranted assumption), and that many students are increasingly disengaged from the academic part of the college experience, it may be because the system is too big and too heterogeneous to work equally well for all who are in it. The system appears to be drawing in large numbers of people who have no firm career goals but failing to help them acquire focus. . . . Students at very selective colleges are still super-motivated--their motivation is one of the reasons they are selected--and most professors, since we are the sort of people who want a little gold star for everything we do, still want to make a difference to their students. But when motivation is missing, when people come into the system without believing that what goes on in it really matters, it's hard to transform minds." Id. at 78.).

June 1, 2011



June 1, 2011

Eric Posner on BookTV: In Depth

Dear E-Briefs subscribers,

While this month's E-Briefs isn't quite ready for publication yet, we wanted to let you know about a special event happening this weekend.

Eric Posner, the Kirkland and Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, will be the guest on CSPAN's Book TV: In Depth, broadcast live on Sunday, June 5th from 12pm to 3pm ET. Professor Posner will discuss his body of work, and will take questions from the audience. Questions for Professor Posner may be submitted online through Book TV's website or the Law School's Facebook page.

Those wishing to be part of the in-studio audience for the broadcast should come to University Center - River Room, 525 South State Street, Chicago, by 11:30 on Sunday. Tickets will be handed out for the taping then. Seating is limited and is not guaranteed. For questions, please contact Book TV.

Interested in learning more about Professor Posner and his work? Visit his faculty page or become a fan on Goodreads.