This week over at Balkinization, Mark Graber reviews Looking for Rights in All the Wrong Places: Why State Constitutions Contain America’s Positive Rights by Emily Zackin (Princeton University Press). He calls the book "an excellent example of the wonderful scholarship that can be produced when exceptional scholars analyze state constitutions through the prism of state constitutional actors rather than through the prism of Warren Court liberalism."
Law and Politics Book Review has two reviews to note. The first is Jill Norgren’s Rebels at the Bar: The Fascinating, Forgotten Stories of America's First Women Lawyers (NYU Press), which “will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students of American legal history, labor, and gender. Norgren’s well written and thorough volume illuminates the experiences of these determined women and shows the impact of their struggles on the legal profession and the struggles for women’s civil rights.”
The second is Statebuilding from the Margins: Between Reconstruction and the New Deal edited by Carol Nackenoff and Julie Novkov (University of Pennsylvania Press).
“In an enjoyable, well-researched, and well-edited compilation of eclectic case studies edited by Carol Nackenoff and Julie Novkov, scholars examine how non-state actors of various civic, social, and ideological groups during the Progressive Era brought the state back in as a means of achieving desired policy ends. The accounts are notable for drawing attention to previously unexamined policy areas that provide leverage for claims that statebuilding is not always rational or linear, the distinction between public and private actors is not so cut-and-dried, and that the agency of actors is bounded by institutions and prevailing ideologies of the public good. Taken together, the chapters of this important contribution to the subfield of American Political Development exemplify the quintessential nature of the fragmented, piecemeal, inconsistent, and often jarring development of the capacity of the American state."
Abigail Perkiss talks with New Books in History about her new book, Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia (Cornell University Press).
And, Michael Bryant talks with New Books in Law about his new book, Eyewitness to Genocide: The Operation Reinhard Death Camp Trials, 1955-1966 (University of Tennessee Press).
H-Net has a review of Brian Klopotek's Recognition Odysseys: Indigeneity, Race, and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities (Duke University Press).
“A recent trend in Native studies is tribal-level examinations on indigenous nation-building and the expanding definitions of sovereignty, as well as examinations regarding citizenship that are inevitably generated from such endeavors. Brian Klopotek, in Recognition Odyssey: Indigeneity, Race, and Federal Tribal Recognition Policy in Three Louisiana Indian Communities, brings a much-needed perspective to these conversations through his detailed analysis of the variability in the recognition process and how success or failure is predicated more on the intersections of larger historical social structures with specific circumstances than on objective qualifications. Using a multidisciplinary approach combining history, anthropology, and sociology, Klopotek has written an immensely impressive and supremely complex history of three distinct Indian communities in late twentieth-century Louisiana seeking state and federal recognition: the Tunica-Biloxi, the Jena Choctaws, and the Clifton-Choctaws.”