New Books Page

For a complete list of acquisitions for a particular week, please select a link from the list below. Full monthly listings can be found in the Acquisitions List Archive.

MU Law Acquisitions Lists

January/February Acquisitions

Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic

by Akhil Reed Amar, Basic Books, 2015

From Kennebunkport to Kauai, from the Rio Grande to the Northern Rockies, ours is a vast republic. While we may be united under one Constitution, separate and distinct states remain, each with its own constitution and culture. Geographic idiosyncrasies add more than just local character. Regional understandings of law and justice have shaped and reshaped our nation throughout history. America’s Constitution, our founding and unifying document, looks slightly different in California than it does in Kansas.

In The Law of the Land, renowned legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar illustrates how geography, federalism, and regionalism have influenced some of the biggest questions in American constitutional law. Writing about Illinois, “the land of Lincoln,” Amar shows how our sixteenth president’s ideas about secession were influenced by his Midwestern upbringing and outlook. All of today’s Supreme Court justices, Amar notes, learned their law in the Northeast, and New Yorkers of various sorts dominate the judiciary as never before. The curious Bush v. Gore decision, Amar insists, must be assessed with careful attention to Florida law and the Florida Constitution. The second amendment appears in a particularly interesting light, he argues, when viewed from the perspective of Rocky Mountain cowboys and cowgirls.

Propelled by Amar’s distinctively smart, lucid, and engaging prose, these essays allow general readers to see the historical roots of, and contemporary solutions to, many important constitutional questions. The Law of the Land illuminates our nation’s history and politics, and shows how America’s various local parts fit together to form a grand federal framework.

The Psychology of Tort Law

by Jennifer K. Robbennolt and Valerie P. Hans, New York University Press, 2016

Tort law regulates most human activities: from driving a car to using consumer products to providing or receiving medical care. Injuries caused by dog bites, slips and falls, fender benders, bridge collapses, adverse reactions to a medication, bar fights, oil spills, and more all implicate the law of torts. The rules and procedures by which tort cases are resolved engage deeply-held intuitions about justice, causation, intentionality, and the obligations that we owe to one another. Tort rules and procedures also generate significant controversy—most visibly in political debates over tort reform.

The Psychology of Tort Law explores tort law through the lens of psychological science. Drawing on a wealth of psychological research and their own experiences teaching and researching tort law, Jennifer K. Robbennolt and Valerie P. Hans examine the psychological assumptions that underlie doctrinal rules. They explore how tort law influences the behavior and decision-making of potential plaintiffs and defendants, examining how doctors and patients, drivers, manufacturers and purchasers of products, property owners, and others make decisions against the backdrop of tort law. They show how the judges and jurors who decide tort claims are influenced by psychological phenomena in deciding cases. And they reveal how plaintiffs, defendants, and their attorneys resolve tort disputes in the shadow of tort law.

Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance

by Anthea Kraut, Oxford University Press, 2015

Choreographing Copyright is a new historical and cultural analysis of U.S. dance-makers' investment in intellectual property rights. Stretching from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first, the book reconstructs efforts to win copyright protection for choreography and teases out their raced and gendered politics, showing how dancers have embraced intellectual property rights as a means to both consolidate and contest racial and gendered power.

A number of the artists featured in the book are well-known in the history of American dance, including Loie Fuller, Hanya Holm, and Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, and George Balanchine. But the book also uncovers a host of marginalized figures—from the South Asian dancer Mohammed Ismail, to the African American pantomimist Johnny Hudgins, to the African American blues singer Alberta Hunter, to the white burlesque dancer Faith Dane—who were equally interested in positioning themselves as subjects rather than objects of property.

Drawing on critical race and feminist theories and on cultural studies of copyright, Choreographing Copyright offers fresh insight into the raced and gendered hierarchies that govern the theatrical marketplace, white women's historically contingent relationship to property rights, legacies of ownership of black bodies and appropriation of non-white labor, and the tension between dance's ephemerality and its reproducibility.

The American Bar Association Legal Guide for Dog Owners

by Yolanda Eisenstein, ABA Publications, 2015

Written by an animal protection lawyer, this book delves into how the law treats dogs, not only within the context of their role as companions but in everything from pet trusts to dog fighting. Readers can access accurate and invaluable information on how the law treats dogs and gain knowledge of their rights and protections as a dog owner. From a city’s leash law to a federal ban on products that contain dog fur, the laws are expansive and are found at every level of government. The book is divided into sections in order to make it easy to find specific topics for people to deal and familiarize themselves with any legal issue pertaining to their dog.

Conventional Wisdom: The Alternate Article V Mechanism for Proposing Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

by John Vile, University of Georgia Press, 2016

Article V of the Constitution allows two-thirds majorities of both houses of Congress to propose amendments to the document and a three-fourths majority of the states to ratify them. Scholars and frustrated advocates of constitutional change have often criticized this process for being too difficult. Despite this, state legislatures have yet to use the other primary method that Article V outlines for proposing amendments: it permits two-thirds of the state legislatures to petition Congress to call a convention to propose amendments that, like those proposed by Congress, must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

In this book, John R. Vile surveys more than two centuries of scholarship on Article V and concludes that the weight of the evidence (including a much-overlooked Federalist essay) indicates that states and Congress have the legal right to limit the scope of such conventions to a single subject and that political considerations would make a runaway convention unlikely. Charting a prudent course between those who fail to differentiate revolutionary change from constitutional change, those who fear ever using the Article V convention mechanism that the Framers clearly envisioned, and those who would vest total control of the convention in Congress, the states, or the convention itself, Vile’s work will enhance modern debates on the subject.

Religious Hatred and International Law: The Prohibition of Incitement to Violence or Discrimination

by Jeroen Temperman, Cambridge University Press, 2015

The UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights obliges state parties to prohibit any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination or violence. This book traces the origins of this provision and proposes an actus reus for this offence. The question of whether hateful incitement is a prohibition per se or also encapsulates a fundamental 'right to be protected against incitement' is extensively debated. Also addressed is the question of how to judge incitement. Is mens rea required to convict someone of advocating hatred, and if so, for what degree of intent? This analysis also includes the paramount question if and to what extent content and/or context factors ought to be decisive. The author extensively engages with comparative domestic law and compares the workings of the UN Human Rights Committee with those of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the European Court of Human Rights.

Practice Points for Trial Lawyers: A View From Both Sides of the Bench

by Mark A. Drummond, ABA Publications, 2015

The most excruciatingly intense period of time is that brief period when the foreperson hands the verdict to the bailiff, who hands it to the judge, who hands it to the clerk to read. All of the months and years of education, training, and preparation are crystalized into that one unique point in time. For a trial attorney, it is the ultimate high—or the ultimate low. Practice Points for Trial Lawyers is designed for those who are or aspire to be trial lawyers, and for those who are actually preparing to try cases.

Judge Mark A. Drummond’s experience includes 20 years in front of the bench trying cases and another 15 years on the trial bench. In this book, he shares his unique perspective from both sides of the bench, focusing on trial preparation, jury selection, trial presentation, witness examination, and professionalism.

Guide to U.S. Government Practice on Global Sharing of Personal Information

by John W. Kropf and Neal Cohen, ABA Publications, 2015

Guide to U.S. Government Practice on Global Information Sharing is a reference tool on U.S. Government practice in G2G sharing arrangements. The U.S. Government’s practice in the area of crossborder information sharing covers dozens of agreements. This book examines those agreements as a way of establishing how practice has evolved. In addition to reviewing past agreements, international privacy principles of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will be reviewed for their relevance to G2G sharing.