Other Publications by
Northwestern Faculty and Staff

Reviews by Martin Brady


The Left-Handed Marriage
Leigh Buchanan Bienen, senior lecturer, School of Law (Ontario Review Press, 2001)
These 10 short stories may sprawl a tad in their execution, but, interestingly, so do their characters, themes and locales. Besides presenting a wide range of dramatis personae, Bienen’s tales harbor a distinctive flavor of wanderlust, with the scenery shifting rapidly from Kent, England, to Tokyo to New Jersey to Chicago to California to various African nations. Two lengthy stories might more rightly be considered novelettes: "Technician," in which a young man’s new job brings him a little too close to the inner workings of the justice system; and the title piece, which tells of a contemporary couple’s unique — and irony-filled — approach to midlife crisis. Some stories were originally published in such prestigious literary publications as Mississippi Review, Ontario Review and TriQuarterly.

Zero Tolerance: Resisting the Drive for Punishment in Our Schools — A Handbook for Parents, Students, Educators and Citizens
Bernardine Dohrn, associate clinical professor of law and director of the Children and Family Justice Center, William Ayers and Rick Ayers, eds. (The New Press, 2001)
This full-bodied collection of essays basically assails the "zero tolerance" policy on behavior as it has been instituted in American schools. Originally presented as a means to enforce a prohibition against firearms and other instruments of violence, zero tolerance, as shown here, expanded rather swiftly into an all-encompassing system of disciplinary measures that actually make schools less safe. The end result has been an erosion of trust among teachers, students and the community at large but especially in educational systems with high minority enrollments. The 20 articles offer solid writing, compelling arguments for rethinking the issues and contemporary case studies that are rife with credible anecdotal evidence. The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson provides the foreword.

For Better and for Worse: Welfare Reform and the Well-Being of Children and Families
Greg J. Duncan, professor of education and social policy, and P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, professor of education and social policy, eds. (Russell Sage Foundation, 2001)
Conceived from the special perspective of the passage of the Clinton administration’s 1996 welfare reform legislation, this collection strives to assess the current status of children and families under the new statutes. Particular attention is focused on the recent effects of the earned- income tax credit and the present-day welfare of children in the new age of work-based safety-net programs for parents. Editors Duncan and Chase-Lansdale provide the book’s opening, title essay and the concluding piece, "Lessons Learned." The 30 contributors comprise sociologists, economists and anthropologists from distinguished universities and think tanks.

Gifted Tongues: High School Debate and Adolescent Culture
Gary Alan Fine, professor of sociology (Princeton University Press, 2001)
Members of the high school debate team have always been considered rather singular individuals. Fine’s decidedly esoteric but nonetheless sociologically compelling study affirms the typical profile — Caucasian (and, increasingly, Asian) males from upper-middle-class homes who apparently have something to prove. Yet his book also offers a thoughtful portrait of the entire culture of forensics. Fine’s major focus is on schools in Minnesota, where debate remains a highly regarded and very cutthroat affair. (Georgia and Texas are also apparently forensics hotbeds.) Fine describes the styles of debate, the competition procedures, the national circuit of teachers and coaches, and the psychosexual gamesmanship (e.g., young lady debaters wear short skirts or sometimes flirt consciously for predominantly male judging panels). He also describes how the keen adolescent mind benefits from and can also suddenly become quite ambivalent about this intense field of personal expression.

Democracy and the Foreigner
Bonnie Honig, professor of political science and director of the Center for Law, Culture and Social Thought (Princeton University Press, 2001)
At its heart, this rather succinct yet well-written and balanced volume addresses the contemporary American dilemma regarding attitudes toward immigrants in our midst. In five basic sections — "Natives and Foreigners," "The Foreigner as Founder," "The Foreigner as Immigrant," "The Foreigner as Citizen," and "The Genres of Democracy" — Honig cites fictional characters (e.g., Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz), biblical figures such as Moses and Ruth, and the writings of, among others, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Sigmund Freud, to define the image of the "foreign-founder," that societal newcomer (or interloper) who may offer a people renewed insight, different yet vital energies or enlightened perspectives. Without stepping into the debate on national identity, Honig simply poses the question, "How can foreigners become a problem-solving resource?" This is a thought-provoking treatise on xenophobia versus xenophilia. The work includes copious notes and bibliography.

Across This Land: A Regional Geography of the United States and Canada
John C. Hudson, professor of geography and director of the Program in Environmental Sciences (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002)
Geography is one of those subjects that holds a wide fascination for many. It’s ultimately fun to learn and always useful to know about. Happily, this fact-packed, well-organized and felicitously written book goes miles beyond the mere recitation of state capitals. Drawing upon his nearly 30 years of teaching university-level geography, Hudson offers a comprehensive history of the geological, agricultural, topographical, industrial, social and political development of the United States and Canada. Ten basic sections divide the North American continent (with the exception of Mexico) into general regional features — e.g., "The Lowland South," "The Intermountain West" — within which Hudson discusses such wide-ranging pertinent considerations as soil formation, vegetation, early American travel routes, urban versus rural economies, farming trends, the history of coastal and overland exploration, the impact of immigration, technological changes such as the building of dams and railroads, and endlessly more. Excellent maps offer intriguing information at a glance, and there are also some modest but illustrative black-and-white photos scattered throughout. Each chapter is fully referenced so readers can investigate the subject further. A wonderful addition to any home or school library.

Magic in the Middle Ages
Richard Kieckhefer, professor of religion and history (Cambridge University Press, 2001)
In this reprint of a book first published in 1989, Kieckhefer strives to "examine the full range of medieval magical beliefs and practices." Drawing on a vast array of internationally published historical research into the legend and lore of the Middle Ages, the author focuses on the "monks, parish priests, physicians, surgeon-barbers, midwives, folk healers and diviners with no formal training." Their practices involved sorcery; astrology; herbal medicine; alchemy; the use of protective amulets, talismans and other magical objects; trickery; books of secrets; and, finally, necromancy, i.e., the conjuring of spirits or demons. The text offers an authoritative overview of magic’s heritage in myth, classical literature and pagan ritual and concluding chapters on the culminating societal prohibition, condemnation and prosecution of magic’s practitioners, including the rise of witch trials.

Marketing Moves: A New Approach to Profits, Growth and Renewal
Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management; Dipak C. Jain, dean and Sandy and Morton Goldman Professor in Entrepreneurial Studies and Marketing, Kellogg School of Management; and Suvit Maesincee (Harvard Business School Press, 2002)
When it comes to marketing, Philip Kotler is a one-stop-shopping resource. Here he heads up a team that describes marketing approaches evinced by the rise of the digital economy. Older strategies have not kept pace with the increasingly technology-driven business climate, say the authors, whose text offers good information on identifying market opportunities, building a business infrastructure and designing effective sales schemes buoyed by efficient operational systems. The desired result is a renewal of markets that will provide sound growth and desirable profit margins.

Nothing but the Truth: Why Trial Lawyers Don’t, Can’t and Shouldn’t Have to Tell the Whole Truth
Steven Lubet, professor of law and director of the Program on Advocacy and Professionalism (New York University Press, 2001)
The Alabama district attorney in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird may have played the "race" card, but whoever considered that the book’s noblest figure, the admirable Atticus Finch, played the "hysterical female" card when in court he attempted to discredit a local woman’s reputation? These and other fascinating angles on evidence gathering and courtroom testimony are the subject of Lubet’s eminently readable book, which basically riffs on the notion that lawyers become storytellers when they seek not only the truth but the surest defense for their clients. Seven chapters explore both real-life and fictional trials, the defendants ranging from wild-eyed, fanatical abolitionist John Brown to legendary Old West peace officer Wyatt Earp to, most recently, finance lawyer Sheila McGough, convicted of assisting a con man in his fraudulent schemes.

Money Talks: Speech, Economic Power and the Values of Democracy
Martin H. Redish, Louis and Harriet Ancel Professor of Law and Public Policy (New York University Press, 2001
It might be fairly postulated that oft-published law professor Redish should make some points with U.S. Big Money interests, offering as he does a "coherent theoretical rationale to support the view that restrictions on the expression of the economically powerful or the use of money for expression threaten fundamental First Amendment values." Offering dense, elliptical arguments and citing essential court cases, Redish stands firmly behind the Constitution in his claim.

Beyond College for All: Careers Paths for the Forgotten Half
James E. Rosenbaum, professor of sociology, education and social policy (Russell Sage Foundation, 2001)
An investigation of that rarefied sociological U.S. stratum: non-college-attending high school graduates. After citing Germany and Japan as positive examples that have found better ways to productively incorporate the "forgotten half" into their work forces, Rosenbaum discusses ways to reverse the downward spiral of the U.S. youth labor market; investigates the school-to-work transition and the role played by teachers and counselors; and critiques the apparent lack of formal linkages between schools and business.

Writing to Save Your Life: How to Honor Your Story through Journaling
Michele Weldon, senior lecturer, Medill School of Journalism (Hazelden, 2001)
Based on workshops the author conducts around the country, this handbook offers therapeutic encouragement for those persons looking to deal creatively with life challenges or to enhance or jump-start their writing craft. Weldon provides instructive essays as well as samples of her own writing, all intended to spur creativity and induce thoughtful and dedicated pursuit of the "journaling" experience. A regimen of exercises, dubbed "scribotherapy," is designed to inspire writers to find their own words to come to grips with personal difficulties and, thus, to hasten the healing process.

James Madison
Garry Wills, adjunct professor of history (Times Books, Henry Holt and Co., 2002)
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Garry Wills joins the roster of distinguished writers who have contributed to this on-going American Presidents Series under the editorship of historian Arthur M. Schlesinger. Wills serves up a compact yet informative summary of our fourth chief executive’s life, with primary focus on his careers as Founding Father, politician and statesman. At 5’ feet 4’ inches, with a seemingly sickly physical constitution, the landed-gentry Virginian Madison (1751-1836) lived to a ripe old age. In the process he played a vital role at the Constitutional Convention and served in the Washington and Jefferson administrations before ascending to a two-term presidency. Despite some obvious flaws, missteps and singular challenges, his administration included the successful waging of the War of 1812, acquisition of key new territory, the development of an effective U.S. Navy and the young republic’s forward steps in the arena of international affairs. Wills further charts Madison’s continued post-presidential involvement in the Virginia legislature, and he also drops in a few tidbits about the man’s famous wife, Dolley. Schlesinger provides a brief but insightful opening essay on the nature of presidents and their missions.

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