Best Selling Books in Law - Perspectives on Law

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release date: May 09, 2017
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Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom
From the former secretary of state and bestselling author -- a sweeping look at the global struggle for democracy and why America must continue to support the cause of human freedom.

"This heartfelt and at times very moving book shows why democracy proponents are so committed to their work...Both supporters and skeptics of democracy promotion will come away from this book wiser and better informed." --The New York Times

From the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to the ongoing struggle for human rights in the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice has served on the front lines of history. As a child, she was an eyewitness to a third awakening of freedom, when her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, became the epicenter of the civil rights movement for black Americans.

In this book, Rice explains what these epochal events teach us about democracy. At a time when people around the world are wondering whether democracy is in decline, Rice shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in order to put democracy's challenges into perspective.

When the United States was founded, it was the only attempt at self-government in the world. Today more than half of all countries qualify as democracies, and in the long run that number will continue to grow. Yet nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Using America's long struggle as a template, Rice draws lessons for democracy around the world -- from Russia, Poland, and Ukraine, to Kenya, Colombia, and the Middle East. She finds that no transitions to democracy are the same because every country starts in a different place. Pathways diverge and sometimes circle backward. Time frames for success vary dramatically, and countries often suffer false starts before getting it right. But, Rice argues, that does not mean they should not try. While the ideal conditions for democracy are well known in academia, they never exist in the real world. The question is not how to create perfect circumstances but how to move forward under difficult ones.

These same insights apply in overcoming the challenges faced by governments today. The pursuit of democracy is a continuing struggle shared by people around the world, whether they are opposing authoritarian regimes, establishing new democratic institutions, or reforming mature democracies to better live up to their ideals. The work of securing it is never finished.
release date: Feb 21, 2017
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Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law

How American race law provided a blueprint for Nazi Germany

Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws--the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's influence on racist practices in the wider world.

release date: Apr 04, 2017
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A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System
New York Times bestelling author T. R. Reid travels around the world to solve the urgent problem of America's failing tax code, unravelling a complex topic in plain English - and telling a rollicking story along the way. 

The U.S. tax code is a total write-off. Crammed with loopholes and special interest provisions, it works for no one except tax lawyers, accountants, and huge corporations. Not for the first time, we have reached a breaking point. That happened in 1922, and again in 1954, and again in 1986. In other words, every thirty-two years. Which means that the next complete overhaul is due in 2018. But what should be in this new tax code? Can we make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient? Yes, yes, and yes. Can we cut tax rates and still bring in more revenue? Yes.
 
Other rich countries, from Estonia to New Zealand to the UK—advanced, high-tech, free-market democracies—have all devised tax regimes that are equitable, effective, and easy on the taxpayer.  But the United States has languished. So byzantine are the current statutes that, by our government’s own estimates, Americans spend six billion hours and $10 billion every year preparing and filing their taxes. In the Netherlands that task takes a mere fifteen minutes! Successful American companies like Apple, Caterpillar, and Google effectively pay no tax at all in some instances because of loopholes that allow them to move profits offshore. Indeed, the dysfunctional tax system has become a major cause of economic inequality.
 
In A Fine Mess, T. R. Reid crisscrosses the globe in search of the exact solutions to these urgent problems. With an uncanny knack for making a complex subject not just accessible but gripping, he investigates what makes good taxation (no, that’s not an oxymoron) and brings that knowledge home where it is needed most. Never talking down or reflexively siding with either wing of politics, T. R. Reid presses the case for sensible root-and-branch reforms with a companionable ebullience. This affects everyone. Doing our taxes will never be America's favorite pastime, but it can and should be so much easier and fairer.
release date: Sep 17, 2013
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Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities. The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:

   - China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?
   - Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?
   - What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More
philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions?

Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world.
release date: Jun 06, 2017
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The Retreat of Western Liberalism
In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times chief US columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of America’s relative decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil.

In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy―of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society’s economic losers, and complacency about our system’s durability―attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. The West’s faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different.

Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the literature and economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.
release date: Sep 01, 2014
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Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About American Law, Fourth Edition
In each of the first three editions of the bestselling Law 101, Jay Feinman gave readers an upbeat and vivid examination of the American legal system. Since the third edition was published in 2010, much has happened: several key Supreme Court cases have been decided, we've seen sensational criminal trials, and the legal system has had to account for the latest developments in Internet law.

This fully updated fourth edition of Law 101 accounts for all this and more, as Feinman once again provides a clear introduction to American law. The book covers all the main subjects taught in the first year of law school, and discusses every facet of the American legal tradition, including constitutional law, the litigation process, and criminal, property, and contracts law.

To accomplish this, Feinman brings in the most noteworthy, infamous, and often outrageous examples and cases. We learn about the case involving scalding coffee that cost McDonald's half a million dollars, the murder trial in Victorian London that gave us the legal definition of insanity, and the epochal decision of Marbury vs. Madison that gave the Supreme Court the power to declare state and federal law unconstitutional. A key to learning about the law is learning legal vocabulary, and Feinman helps by clarifying terms like "due process" and "equal protection," as well as by drawing distinctions between terms like "murder" and "manslaughter."

Above all, though, is that Feinman reveals to readers of all kinds that despite its complexities and quirks, the law is can be understood by everyone. Perfect for students contemplating law school, journalists covering legislature, or even casual fans of "court-television" shows, Law 101 is a clear and accessible introduction to the American legal system.

New to this edition:
Featured analysis of:
-the Obamacare case
-Citizens United
-the DOMA decision
-the Trayvon Martin case

As well as recent legal developments pertaining to:
-online contracting
-mortgages
-police investigations
-criminal sentencing
release date: Jul 31, 2012
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The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics
For eighteen years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been part of a team revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. They start from a single assertion: Leaders do whatever keeps them in power. They don't care about the “national interest”—or even their subjects—unless they have to.

This clever and accessible book shows that the difference between tyrants and democrats is just a convenient fiction. Governments do not differ in kind but only in the number of essential supporters, or backs that need scratching. The size of this group determines almost everything about politics: what leaders can get away with, and the quality of life or misery under them. The picture the authors paint is not pretty. But it just may be the truth, which is a good starting point for anyone seeking to improve human governance.

release date: Apr 01, 1995
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Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom)
The landmark legal document of the United States, the U.S. Constitution comprises the primary law of the Federal Government. Signed by the members of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787, the Constitution outlines the powers and responsibilities of the three chief branches of the Federal Government, as well as the basic rights of the citizens of the United States. This beautiful gift edition contains the complete text of the United States Constitution, as well as all of its amendments. It is a treasure for Americans of all ages.
release date: Mar 25, 2013
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Trial Techniques, Ninth Edition (Aspen Coursebooks)
Best-selling author Thomas A. Mauet--renowned for his skills as a writer and litigator--breaks the trial process down into its critical components for better and quicker student comprehension. His clear, engaging writing features excellent examples that illustrate strategies for opening statements, jury selection, direct- and cross-examination, exhibits, objections, and more. The Federal Rules of Evidence are given in the appendix for easy reference.

The Ninth Edition combines the most effective chapters from Trial Techniques (trial process, the psychology of persuasion, trial preparation and strategy, bench trials) with those from Trials (jury selection, opening statements and closing arguments, direct and cross-examinations).An updated, modern design follows a revised, thoughtful organization. Examples in the Ninth Edition reflect the three principal types of trials: tort, criminal, and commercial. A flexible new approach allows students to either read all the examples or, if they prefer, focus on the plaintiff's and defendant's side of a particular kind of case. Online access has been provided to an edited video of a jury trial, formerly only available to users of Trials.

Features:

  • best-selling author--renowned for his skills both as a writer and litigator
  • clear, engaging writing breaks process down into critical components
  • excellent examples illustrating strategy
    • opening statements
    • jury selection
    • direct- and cross-examination
    • exhibits
    • objections, and more
  • Federal Rules of Evidence in appendix for easy reference

Thoroughly updated, the revised Ninth Edition presents:

  • the most effective chapters from Trial Techniques and Trials
    • Trial Techniques chapters: trial process, the psychology of persuasion, trial preparation and strategy, bench trials
    • Trials chapters: jury selection, opening statements and closing arguments, direct and cross-examinations
  • examples that reflect three principal types of trials: tort, criminal, and commercial
  • a flexible approach
    • read all the examples, as one approach
    • focus on plaintiff's and defendant's side of a particular kind of case, as the other
  • online access to an edited video of a jury trial
    • formerly only available to users of Trials
  • an updated, modern design and a revised, thoughtful organization

release date: Jan 03, 2015
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Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction (11th Edition)
For courses in Introduction to Criminal Justice

 

The gold standard for criminal justice texts

Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction, Eleventh Edition offers a contemporary, authoritative look at crime in America with a focus on police, courts, and corrections. To make information resonate with students, Schmalleger asks readers to consider the  balance between freedom and security issues and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the American justice system as it adapts to cultural, political, and societal changes. An interactive website along with author tweets (@schmalleger) extends chapter material and provides up-to-the minute information on this ever-evolving field. Its unifying theme, unmatched timeliness, and coverage of trends and technology make this text the standard by which all other brief texts are judged.

 

 

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