Book Reviews

On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller

By Jeffrey Winn |

Richard Norton Smith has written a scholarly and balanced biography of Nelson Rockefeller that portrays the former New York governor as a quintessential man of his times, both in action and passion. Since Al Smith, no governor has left a larger or more controversial footprint on New York.

The Children Act

By Walter Loughlin |

The protagonist of Ian McEwan's novel, The Children Act, is Fiona Maye, an English High Court Judge assigned to the Family Division, a court described by McEwan as teeming with "special pleading, intimate half-truths" and "exotic accusations," where parents are "dazed to find themselves in vicious combat with the one they once loved," while their children huddle in courthouse corridors.

The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture

By Daniel J. Kornstein |

By now we have a good idea of what is in the recent Senate Torture Report even without reading it. As soon as it became public in December, the media educated us, and in the process seared our consciences about the awful things done in our name. Even so, it is still well worth reading the actual report.

Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America's Civil Rights Murders

By Jeffrey Winn |

Over the past 25 years, prosecutors have re-investigated approximately 100 murders that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s struggle to challenge "the racial order" of the South. Thirteen cases eventually produced convictions of 23 men. Professor Renee Romano of Oberlin College has written a perceptive book that analyzes the prosecutions and the phenomenon they created. More importantly, she raises hard questions about the premise that America is now a "color blind" society that has fully reckoned with its history of racial violence.

Battleground New Jersey: Vanderbilt, Hague and Their Fight for Justice

By Jonathan Lazarus |

In 1947, New Jersey created the foundation for its nationally acclaimed court system by drafting a completely new constitution during a dramatic summer convention at Rutgers University. In an instant, what had been one of the most convoluted and user-unfriendly legal networks in the country was transformed into a model of reform and accessibility.

A Must Read Guide to Law School and Lawyering

By Adam Roth |

Gary Muldoon, a politician, attorney and budding author, pulls no punches about the legal profession in his newest compendium of short stories, lists and life lessons. While some of his advice is slightly purple, the majority is sound and some is pure genius.

Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations

By Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

The United States houses more people in prison than any nation on the planet, incarcerating 716 people for every 100,000 residents. In fact, our incarceration rate is more than five times higher than most of the countries in the world.

New York Contract Law: A Guide for Non-New York Attorneys

By Elliott Scheinberg |

Out-of-state attorneys routinely steeped in contract negotiations, whose breaches or enforcement may ultimately bring them to either of the courthouses on Foley Square or to New York's International Arbitration Center, must, therefore, attain an intimate knowledge of the fundamental and advanced principles of New York contract law. "New York Contract Law: A Guide for Non-New York Attorneys," by Glen Banks of Norton Rose Fulbright, addresses that need in exceptional fashion.

Supreme Ambitions

By Rosemarie Yu |

If you're the type of person who thought "The Devil Wears Prada" would have been better retold by an aspiring Supreme Court clerk in an Armani suit, then "Supreme Ambitions" by blogger David Lat is the book for you.

Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

By Jeffrey Winn |

Looking back from the high hill of his 50 years of public service, Leon Panetta has written a memoir that contains thoughtful insights on the art of governing and the importance of compromise.

Prosecutor, Defender, Counselor

By Brad S. Karp |

Robert Fiske's "Prosecutor, Defender, Counselor" is a must-read for lawyers, critics of the legal profession, and anyone looking for an uplifting narrative of a life exceptionally well-lived by an individual of extraordinary talents and uncommon virtue.


By Gary Muldoon |

Why does the word "attorney" sound more prestigious than "lawyer"? That is the sort of question that four authors explore in a well-written book entitled Lawtalk.

Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide

By Paul Shechtman |

The Mother Court: Tales of Cases That Mattered in America's Greatest Trial Court

By Thomas E.L. Dewey |

In "The Mother Court," the distinguished trial lawyer James Zirin gives us a richly textured, immensely readable overview of the modern history of the Southern District of New York.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

By Eric Dinnocenzo |

In his praiseworthy new book, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi expertly examines how, ever since the 2008 financial crisis, the disparity in treatment between rich and poor in our justice system has increased so that now we have reached the proverbial tipping point.

Loose Sallies—Essays

By Michael Miller |

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

By Jeffrey Winn |

The Death of Punishment: Searching for Justice Among the Worst of the Worst

By Jeffrey Kirchmeier |

Throughout history, humans have debated how much suffering governments should inflict on criminals, and in his new book, New York Law School Professor Robert Blecker explores the role of retribution in the criminal justice system.

Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP

By Jeffrey Winn |

As the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 nears, it is appropriate that the first comprehensive biography has been published of Roy Wilkins, the executive director of the NAACP between 1955 and 1977.

Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment

By Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

Echoes of My Soul

By Jeffrey Winn |

The Marble and the Sculptor: From Law School to Law Practice

By Nicole Black |

This recently published book was written for new law graduates and those considering attending law school and is designed to aid them in deciding whether a career in law is for them, and if so, how to go about making the most of their chosen field by becoming the best lawyer that they can be.

A Mayor's Life

By Jeffery Winn |

By David N. Dinkins with Peter Knobler, Public Affairs Books, New York, 385 pages, $29.99

Trying Cases to Win in One Volume

By Reviewed by Phil Schatz |

The Partner Track

By Reviewed by Victor Olds |


By Reviewed by Richard Weinberg |

Reflections on Judging

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

The Great Dissent

By Jeffrey Winn |

Death Angel

By Reviewed by Ina R. Bort |

Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game

By Reviewed by Ronald W. Meister |

Young Marshall: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People's Justice

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

My Beloved World

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Quest for Justice: Defending the Damned

By Reviewed by Michael S. Hiller |

The Law of Superheroes

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |


By Reviewed by Henry G. Miller |

Laughing at the Gods: Great Judges and How They Made the Common Law

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Typography for Lawyers

By Reviewed by Gary Muldoon |

In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

Henry Friendly: Greatest Judge of His Era

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Eisenhower in War and Peace

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

George Kennan: An American Life

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits

By Reviewed by Stephen P. Younger |

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights Against Progressive Reform

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Professor David E. Bernstein of George Mason University School of Law seeks to set the record straight by bestowing respectability on the 'Lochner' case. Not every reader will agree with every step in his reasoning, but it is difficult not to respect his scholarship and conscientious facility of expression.

Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations

By Reviewed by William F. Johnson and Lisa H. Bebchick |

Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir

By Reviewed by Lewis Liman |

The Collapse of American Criminal Justice

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Judges Under Fire: Human Rights, Independent Judges, and the Rule of Law

By Reviewed by Helen E. Freedman |

Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America

By Reviewed by Joel Cohen |

Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Nonprofit Law: The Life Cycle Of a Charitable Corporation

By Reviewed by Kenneth H. Ryesky |

Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge (Second Edition)

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Finding the Uncommon Deal

By Reviewed by Barbara Jaffe |

Justice Perverted: Sex Offender Law, Psychology and Public Policy

By Reviewed by Gary Muldoon |

This book examines the interplay of psychology, law and public policy in an exceedingly controversial area of criminal justice: sex offender laws, examining civil commitment, sex offender registration, child pornography and Internet sex offenses.

Lawyer Barons: What Their Contingency Fees Really Cost America

By Reviewed by Dennis Jacobs |

George Washington: A Life

By Jeffrey Winn |

Final Verdict: What Really Happened In the Rosenberg Case

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Commercial Litigation in the New York Courts

By Thomas E. Mercure |

The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Truth Be Veiled, A Justin Steele Murder Case

By Reviewed by Laura A. Ward |

Henry Clay: The Essential American

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Unlikely Muse: Legal Thinking and Artistic Imagination

By Reviewed by Alan Fell |

Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Federal Criminal Practice: A Second Circuit Handbook

By Reviewed by Ronald P. Fischetti |

The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Unbillable Hours: A True Story

By Review By Michael Stern |