Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America
Encounter Books, 2011
From Barack Obama (Harvard and Chicago) to Bill and Hillary Clinton (Yale), many of our current national leaders emerged from the rarefied air of the nation’s top law schools. The ideas taught there in one generation often shape national policy in the next.
The trouble is, Walter Olson reveals in Schools for Misrule, our elite law schools keep churning out ideas that are catastrophically bad for America...
It is not by coincidence, Olson argues, that these bad ideas all tend to confer more power on the law schools’ own graduates. In the overlawyered society that results, they are the ones who become the real rulers.
Global Warming's Invasion of Our Government and Our Lives
Patrick J. Michaels
Cato Institute, 2011
Despite convincing evidence that observed climate changes do not portend a calamitous future, global warming alarmism is invading nearly every aspect of our society. Children are flooded with apocalyptic visions and ideas in our schools. Poor countries shake down rich ones in the name of climate justice. Lawmakers try to impose tariffs and sanctions on nations that don't agree with their environmental preconceptions. Even the military uses climate change as an excuse to enlarge its budget. Edited by leading climatologist Patrick Michaels, widely acknowledged by climate alarmists as today's most effective advocate of the non-apocalyptic view of climate change. Michaels has gathered a team of first-rate experts on health, education, religion, defense, development, law, trade, and academic publication to produce this comprehensive documentation of the pervasive influence of global warming alarmism on almost every aspect of society.
The Origins Of Political Order:
From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
Profile Books Ltd., 2011
This is Francis Fukuyama's most important book since the pathbreaking End of History. Nations are not trapped by their pasts, but events that happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago continue to exert huge influence on present-day politics. If we are to understand the politics that we now take for granted, we need to understand its origins. Francis Fukuyama examines the paths that different societies have taken to reach their current forms of political order. This book starts with the very beginning of mankind and comes right up to the eve of the French and American revolutions, spanning such diverse disciplines as economics, anthropology and geography. The Origins of Political Order is a magisterial study on the emergence of mankind as a political animal, by one of the most eminent political thinkers writing today.
Bismarck: A Life
Oxford University Press, 2011
In his wonderful „Bismarck: A Life”, Steinberg argues that Bismarck’s successes (and some of his failures) can be largely attributed to the awesome force of his personality. Not “social structures.” Not “historical patterns.” Not “underlying forces.” But charisma pure and simple. Time and again Steinberg finds those around Bismarck attesting to the fact that he just wasn’t like everyone else. He was smarter, wittier, stronger, more willful, more cunning, more temperamental, and in most ways larger than life. And this was the nearly uniform (though not always positive) assessment of the some of the most impressive figures of his day. It’s a compelling case.
And it provokes a question about German political culture, for Bismarck was not the first or the last “genius” to rule some or all of the Reich. Fredrick the Great preceded him, and Hitler followed. What are we to make of that? I’ll leave it to you to decide.
Allen Lane, 2011
Henry Kissinger is the famous American diplomat. His new book, On China, is a fine history of the “Central State” focusing on the late Qing and early Communist periods. On China is destined to be assigned reading in graduate schools for years, because of its fine application of “realist” thinking to the survival of a strong country facing a multitude of high-tech strategic rivals. On China is clearly aimed at the informed political class: professional analysts, thoughtful policy professionals, and opinion makers. The narrative of On China appears to be distorted, either because of Kissinger’s focus on his own time period, his keen insight on what to clarify on what to clarify and what to obfuscate, or both. This is most notable in his incorrect depiction of Deng Xiaoping‘s political standing, as well as the near- complete absence of discussion of the KMT or the contemporary Communist Party.
A Concise History of the Common Law
Theodore F. T. Plucknett
Liberty Fund, 2010
The first half of the book is a historical introduction to the study of law. Plucknett discusses the conditions in political, economic, social, and religious thought that have contributed to the genesis of law. This section is a brief but astoundingly full introduction to the study of law.
The second half of the book consists of chapters introducing the reader to the history of some of the main divisions of law, such as criminal tort, property, contract, and succession. These topics are treated with careful exposition so that the book will be of interest to those just embarking on their quest in legal history while still providing enough substantial information, references, and footnotes to make it meaningful for the well-versed legal history reader.
Judgments on History and Historians
Liberty Fund, 1999
Renowned for his Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy and Reflections on History (published by Liberty Fund), Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) has well been described as "the most civilized historian of the nineteenth century." Judgments on History and Historians consists of records collected by Emil Dürr from Burckhardt's lecture notes for history courses at the University of Basel from 1865 to 1885. The 149 brief sections span five eras: Antiquity, the Middle Ages, History from 1450 to 1598, the History of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, and the Age of Revolution. As Walter Goetz observed of the work a generation ago, "It is impossible to imagine a more profound introduction to world history and its driving forces."
Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers
M. J. C. Vile
Liberty Fund, 1998
Arguably no political principle has been more central than the separation of powers to the evolution of constitutional governance in Western democracies. In the definitive work on the subject, M. J. C. Vile traces the history of the doctrine from its rise during the English Civil War, through its development in the eighteenth century—when it was indispensable to the founders of the American republic—through subsequent political thought and constitution-making in Britain, France, and the United States. The author concludes with an examination of criticisms of the doctrine by both behavioralists and centralizers—and with "A Model of a Theory of Constitutionalism." The new Liberty Fund second edition includes the entirety of the original 1967 text published by Oxford, a major epilogue entitled "The Separation of Powers and the Administrative State," and a bibliography.