It seems as though books are the theme of my blogging this week, so I thought I’d recommend another great new book: Professor Michael Sullivan’s Legal Pragmatism: Community, Rights, and Democracy (Indiana Univ. Press 2007). From the book jacket:
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I‘m very excited to announce that my new book, The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy, is now hot off the presses! Copies are now in stock and available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble’s website. Copies will hit bookstores in a few weeks.
As there are tons of new scholarly works in the privacy law field each year, I thought it might be useful to point out a few books and articles that I found particularly interesting and useful from the past year. This post will cover only those books and articles published in 2006.
I’ve written a short essay (about 20 pages), entitled Data Mining and the Security-Liberty Debate, for an upcoming symposium on surveillance for the U. Chicago Law Review. The symposium website is here. The symposium looks to be a terrific event. The event will be held on June 15-16, 2007 (registration information is available at the symposium website). Besides myself, participants include Julie Cohen, Ronald Lee, Ira Rubenstein, Ken Bamberger, Deirdre Mulligan, Timothy Muris, Lior Strahilevitz, Anita Allen, Thomas Brown , Richard A. Epstein , Orin Kerr, Patricia Bellia, Richard A. Posner, Paul Schwartz, and Chris Slogobin. Continue Reading
Over at Balkinization, Brian Tamanaha (law, St. John’s) writes:
A few months ago I found myself in a fix over a book review I had committed to. When the Editor asked me to do the review, I readily agreed because I have known the author (in a collegial way) for many years, and I admire his work. I expected that the book, which I had not yet seen, would be excellent. Unfortunately, after reading the book, I had very serious reservations about the argument. . . .
From now on, to avoid being in these situations, I have resolved to only write reviews for books that I truly like (which I have done with pleasure a number of times). I feel like a coward, shirking my responsibility as an academic.
I haven’t always been reluctant to offer pointed criticisms of academic work, and I still do so—as I recently did in a post about the “judicial politics” field—if I think that a useful point would come of it. But I am becoming increasingly gun shy about the whole “honest academic debate” enterprise.
One reason for my reluctance is that I know I have offended people in the past—people I like and admire—by giving my honest critical opinion on an academic matter, an opinion which I meant as a part of an intellectual exchange but which they took personally. Although I was careful to not articulate my objections in personal terms, we all take our own ideas seriously, and thus it is easy to be put off personally by criticisms of the ideas. . . .
It’s not as much fun as it used to be to have a frank exchange of ideas, at least for me. More importantly, if we all start censoring our critical thoughts out of a desire not to offend others, or to avoid provoking a backlash, academic discourse will suffer. For this reason, I hope others do not share in my cowardice.