Practitioners will better understand Posner’s impact on the law; general readers will appreciate this introduction to that...


A practicing attorney and close observer of the federal courts examines the career of a present-day legal titan.

Each era produces a jurist who, while passed over for the Supreme Court, nevertheless exerts an outsized influence on the law. For our generation, that pre-eminent judge is Richard A. Posner (b. 1939) of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Measured in citations alone—i.e., the number of times other judges invoke his opinions as authority—Posner far outstrips any contemporary. Known principally for his pragmatism and economic analysis of law, he has authored thousands of opinions on a wide range of legal issues during his 35 years on the bench. His decisions are notable for their impeccable reasoning, broadly allusive language, original analysis, and memorable turns of phrase. In addition, as a teacher and scholar, legal reformer, frequent debater, lecturer, interviewee, and the author of more than 40 books and innumerable articles and essays, he has extended his provocative thinking and influence to an audience beyond the legal community. Relying on extensive interviews, a thorough familiarity with Posner’s formidable paper trail, and a forthright acknowledgment of the judge’s many critics—including the likes of philosophers Martha Nussbaum and Ronald Dworkin, former Harvard Law Dean Erwin Griswold, and Justice Antonin Scalia—Domnarski (Swimming in Deep Water: Lawyers, Judges, and Our Troubled Legal Profession, 2014, etc.) compiles a useful, well-informed guidebook to Posner. The author provides plenty of biographical information, most of it supplied early on in his treatment of the judge’s youth, his undergraduate and law school days, and his years in Washington, D.C. But the focus is on the work, on the issues and ideas that preoccupied Posner through the decades, first as a professor at Stanford and Chicago Law and then as an appellate judge.

Practitioners will better understand Posner’s impact on the law; general readers will appreciate this introduction to that increasingly rare breed: a public intellectual worthy of their time.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-19-933231-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?