A BOOK OF LEGAL LISTS

THE BEST AND WORST IN AMERICAN LAW WITH 150 COURT AND JUDGE TRIVIA QUESTIONS

A mildly diverting collection of legal ``top tens,'' by law professor Schwartz (Univ. of Tulsa; Decision: How the Supreme Court Decides Cases, 1996, etc.) Obsessive legal buffs and punchy insomniac law students may enjoy quibbling with Schwartz's choices for such honors as Ten Greatest Supreme Court Justices, Ten Worst Non-Supreme Court Decisions, Ten Greatest Dissenting Opinions, Ten Greatest Lawyers, and Ten Greatest Trials. (O.J.'s checks in at Number 10 on the Great Trials list, but none of the Dream Team gets tapped for the Lawyers list.) The 13 lists are followed by brief essays justifying each inclusion; occasionally, the author appends a list of honorable mentions. For example, Roe v. Wade and Miranda v. Arizona don't make the list of Ten Greatest Supreme Court Decisions on the questionable ground that they lacked the requisite ``influence on the law''; Benjamin Cardozo and Felix Frankfurter don't make Ten Greatest Supreme Court Justices on the ground that their most significant contributions predated their appointments to the High Court. Unfortunately, Schwartz doesn't grasp the sport of such a collection: He doesn't explain his rankings. Why, on the list of Supreme Court Greats, does Brennan outrank Brandeis? On the list of Worsts, why does Pierce Butler outrank Sherman Minton, ``best remembered as the last to use the spittoon''? The mini-essays are accessible enough for the general reader, but too reductive and too bland for the intended law wonks. One hundred and fifty legal trivia questions follow, many duplicating the content of the essays. Like the lists, they are too straight for their own good. (Quick: Which justice served as a bank president? Which chief justices served as ambassadors while on the Court?) A missed opportunity to play games with J.D.s.

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-19-510961-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1997

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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