by Richard L. Hasen ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 20, 2024
A persuasive, up-to-date proposal that deserves widespread attention.
A convincing argument in favor of a constitutional guarantee of the right to vote.
In this comprehensive follow-up to Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics―and How to Cure It, Hasen lays out a plan to secure the franchise for all eligible voters in the face of its many current barriers. To strengthen his case, he provides a draft text of an amendment to the Constitution that would do just that. In his eyes, the principal obstacles in the way of protected voting rights are the states’ fetters on access to the ballot box, discrimination against targeted groups, the purposefully ineffective administration of elections, false claims of fraud, and the decisions of the current Supreme Court majority, whom he considers “more dangerous” than any earlier ones. The author, director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project at the UCLA School of Law, argues that Electoral College reform is a non-starter, and a nonpartisan federal voting administration, whose creation he earlier supported, would not offer adequate protection of the vote. Still, Hasen is astute enough to recognize that his amendment can’t shoot for the moon. Leaving some issues to future adjudication, he omits from his text a vote guarantee for felons and full voting rights for residents of American territories. Though he is arguably over-optimistic, the author explains how, without such provisions—as well as the elimination of any reason to cheat at the ballot box since everyone will be able to vote—the amendment could gain favor with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. The trouble with Hasen’s case is that the author doesn’t fully account for the brutal politics facing any amendment’s congressional approval, followed by ratification by the states. Nonetheless, his lively, closely argued book is bound to ignite a public effort to achieve its ends.A persuasive, up-to-date proposal that deserves widespread attention.
Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2024
Page Count: 232
Publisher: Princeton Univ.
Review Posted Online: Sept. 22, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
by Cassidy Hutchinson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 26, 2023
A mostly compelling account of one woman’s struggles within Trumpworld.
An insider’s account of the rampant misconduct within the Trump administration, including the tumult surrounding the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021.
Hutchinson, who served as an assistant to Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, gained national prominence when she testified to the House Select Committee, providing possibly the most damaging portrait of Trump’s erratic behavior to date. In her hotly anticipated memoir, the author traces the challenges and triumphs of her upbringing in New Jersey and the work (including a stint as an intern with Sen. Ted Cruz) that led her to coveted White House internships and eventual positions in the Office of Legislative Affairs and with Meadows. While the book offers few big reveals beyond her testimony (many details leaked before publication), her behind-the-scenes account of the chaotic Trump administration is intermittently insightful. Her initial portrait of Trump is less critical than those written by other former staffers, as the author gauges how his actions were seemingly stirred more by vanity and fear of appearing weak, rather than pure malevolency. For example, she recalls how he attended an event without a mask because he didn’t want to smear his face bronzer. Hutchinson also provides fairly nuanced portraits of Meadows and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who, along with Trump, eventually turned against her. She shares far more negative assessments about others in Trump’s orbit, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and adviser Rudy Giuliani, recounting how Giuliani groped her backstage during Trump’s Jan. 6 speech. The narrative lags after the author leaves the White House, but the story intensifies as she’s faced with subpoenas to testify and is forced to undergo deep soul-searching before choosing to sever ties with Trump and provide the incriminating information that could help take him down.A mostly compelling account of one woman’s struggles within Trumpworld.
Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
More About This Book
SEEN & HEARD
A wide-ranging collection of testaments to what moves the heart.
Black Americans declare their love.
This anthology brings together dozens of love letters by prominent Black Americans. The entries, interspersed with illustrations, address an eclectic mix of topics arranged under five categories: Care, Awe, Loss, Ambivalence, and Transformation. In their introduction, editors Brown and Johnson note the book’s inspiration in the witnessing of violence directed at Black America. Reckonings with outrage and grief, they explain, remain an urgent task and a precondition of creating and sustaining loving bonds. The editors seek to create “a site for our people to come together on the deepest, strongest emotion we share” and thus open “the possibility for shared deliverance” and “carve out a space for healing, together.” This aim is powerfully realized in many of the letters, which offer often poignant portrayals of where redemptive love has and might yet be found. Among the most memorable are Joy Reid’s “A Love Letter to My Hair,” a sensitive articulation of a hard-won sense of self-love; Morgan Jerkins’ “Dear Egypt,” an exploration of a lifelong passion for an ancient world; and VJ Jenkins’ “Pops and Dad,” an affirmation that it “is beautiful to be Black, to be a man, and to be gay.” Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts’ “Home: A Reckoning” is particularly thoughtful and incisive in its examination of a profound attachment, “in the best and worst ways,” to Louisville, Kentucky. Most of the pieces pair personal recollections with incisive cultural commentary. The cumulative effect of these letters is to set forth a panorama of opportunities for maintaining the ties that matter most, especially in the face of a cultural milieu that continues to produce virulent forms of love’s opposite. Other contributors include Nadia Owusu, Jamila Woods, Ben Crump, Eric Michael Dyson, Kwame Dawes, Jenna Wortham, and Imani Perry.A wide-ranging collection of testaments to what moves the heart.
Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023
Page Count: 240
Publisher: Get Lifted Books/Zando
Review Posted Online: June 29, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!