So levelheaded and full of good sense, it’s almost certain to be ignored.



Brookings Institution fellow and Atlantic Monthly contributing editor Wittes (Confirmation Wars: Preserving Independent Courts in Angry Times, 2006, etc.) argues for a new legal framework for combating the terror war.

According to the current administration, from early on the fight against international jihadist terrorism was “a new kind of war” against “a different type of enemy” requiring military force, criminal and civilian law enforcement and covert actions, touching everything from immigration to banking to biomedical research and involving foreign police and intelligence agencies. Notwithstanding this early understanding, the Bush administration has chosen, instead, to manage the war almost purely as a military matter, relying on the president’s power as commander in chief to authorize any number of dubious practices pertaining to detention, surveillance, interrogation, transfer and trial of terrorist suspects. Outraged liberals decry the assault on civil liberties; conservatives marvel at their tender solicitude toward fanatics trying to murder us. Similarly, Wittes’s premise that the war on terror is real and requires vigorous prosecution will dismay congenital critics of the president, just as his call to curb executive authority will unsettle Bush supporters. Unsurprised that this or any president would push the envelope of executive authority in the aftermath of 9/11, Wittes persuasively argues that as a long-term strategy such a power grab is politically doomed. Nor can we safely rely on the Supreme Court’s piecemeal review of the president’s overreaching, placing military and security matters in the hands of the judiciary, the least qualified branch to deal with such issues. In an argument of paramount interest to specialists and in prose comprehensible for all (best illustrated by his discussion of the detainees at Guantánamo), Wittes insists that it is past time for Congress to take up its law-making responsibilities, to put an end to the predictable, largely unproductive confrontations between the executive and judiciary on a matter so vital to the country’s welfare.

So levelheaded and full of good sense, it’s almost certain to be ignored.

Pub Date: June 23, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59420-179-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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