CONTRARY TO POPULAR OPINION by Alan M. Dershowitz

CONTRARY TO POPULAR OPINION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A scattershot collection of the outspoken Harvard law professor's ruminations on various topics, which reflects his already extensively documented interest in the state of the federal judiciary, civil liberties, and Israeli and Jewish issues, among other concerns. Dershowitz gathers these opinion pieces (many drawn from his syndicated newspaper column) into five main areas: judges, justice, and courts; freedom of expression and the rise of intolerance; the state, the law, and the rights of individuals; the law and politics of sex, life, and death; and problems related to Judaism and Jewishness, particularly the problem of anti-Semitism at home and abroad. While his title suggests an element of unpredictability, Dershowitz's stance on most issues is consistent and easy to anticipate. He is a civil libertarian, profoundly protective of the rights of the individual against the interests of the state, a champion of freedom of expression, and a man proud of his Jewish heritage and abhorred by manifestations of anti-Semitism. Though few readers will disagree with these principles, when Dershowitz- -who delights in his role as a gadfly--applies them to specific issues, he draws conclusions and expresses compellingly argued opinions that will make some uncomfortable. He condemns the New York bar's discipline of D.A. Liz Holtzman for publicly criticizing a judge; argues that a Massachusetts law prohibiting child pornography is too broad and should be struck down; condemns the ``speech codes'' on college campuses that prohibit racist, sexist, and homophobic expressions; and suggests that Americans should not invest in anti-Semitic, though newly democratic, Poland. Vintage Dershowitz: trenchant opinions designed to stimulate-- and infuriate.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1992
ISBN: 0-88687-701-6
Page count: 400pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1992




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