100 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of the Law about their New Books

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    • Social Sciences
    • 4.8 • 8 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of the Law about their New Books

    Lara M. Brown, "Amateur Hour: Presidential Character and the Question of Leadership" (Routledge, 2020)

    Lara M. Brown, "Amateur Hour: Presidential Character and the Question of Leadership" (Routledge, 2020)

    Political scientist Lara Brown’s new book, Amateur Hour, is a complex and important multi-method study of the presidency, starting from the original conception of the office at the constitutional convention and George Washington’s role as the first occupant of the office. The centerpiece of Amateur Hour: Presidential Character and the Question of Leadership (Routledge, 2020) is the focus on our understanding—from the time of Washington, through Lincoln, to the contemporary period—of the role that character should play, but often has not, of late, in terms of the person elected to the White House and how they conduct themselves in the office and as a leader. Brown’s analysis interrogates the scholarship around the concept of presidential psychology and leadership, while unpacking the connections between leadership in this complicated elected office and how we have, more recently, elected presidents who are often lacking in experience, and why this is problematic.Amateur Hour integrates historical analysis of American political development alongside contemporary methodological tools developed to assess leadership qualities. Brown brings a deep knowledge of the presidency to the evaluation of our contemporary presidents, those elected post-Watergate, and compels the reader to consider the interaction of character, leadership, and the demands of the office on each of the individuals who has been elected to the presidency since 1976. Amateur Hour joins a growing stable of recent books that focus on the American presidency and those who have been elected to the office, with attention to some of the weaknesses we have come to observe in the constitutional structure and functioning of the Executive Branch.
    Lilly J. Goren is professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015).
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    • 52 min
    F. B. Chang and S. T. Rucker-Chang, "Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    F. B. Chang and S. T. Rucker-Chang, "Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    F. B. Chang and S. T. Rucker-Chang's Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison (Cambridge UP, 2020) tackles the movements for - and expressions of - equality for Roma in Central and Southeast Europe and African Americans from two complementary perspectives: law and cultural studies. Interdisciplinary in approach, the book engages with comparative law, European studies, cultural studies, and critical race theory. Its central contribution is to compare the experiences of Roma and African Americans regarding racialization, marginalization, and mobilization for equality. Deploying a novel approach, the book challenges conventional notions of civil rights and paradigms in Romani studies.
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    • 55 min
    Matthew McManus, "A Critical Legal Examination of Liberalism and Liberal Rights" (Palgrave, 2020)

    Matthew McManus, "A Critical Legal Examination of Liberalism and Liberal Rights" (Palgrave, 2020)

    The tradition of political liberalism has a long and complicated history, filled with twists, turns, critiques and responses that have filled books, essays and lectures for several centuries now. Questions of the importance and limitations of individual rights and how to balance different interests have produced no shortage of theoretical conflict as different figures have attempted to make sense of the importance and limits of individuals and their rights. 
    Diving right into this debate is Matt McManus, returning again to the New Books Network to discuss his recent book A Critical Legal Examination of Liberalism and Liberal Rights (Palgrave, 2020). Going back as far as Burke, Hobbes, Kant and Locke, and then through critiques of liberalism from both radically progressive and reactionary orientations, the book traces the various ideas of liberalism up to the present in figures such as Habermas, Rawls and MacIntyre. It also posits it’s own understanding of liberalism, which emphasizes every individual's right to self-authorship as a central pillar for developing the liberal project. Crossing the fields of history, philosophy, political theory and law, the book offers a number of interventions across an array of fields, and will be of immense use to those seeking to understand some of the most pressing concerns of our time.
    Matt McManus is a professor of politics at Whitman College. He is the author of a number of books, including The Rise of Postmodern Conservatism, and is also one of the coauthors of Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson, both of which we discussed in previous episodes of this podcast.
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    • 1 hr 19 min
    Chris Hamby, "Soul Full of Coal Dust: The True Story of an Epic Battle for Justice" (Little Brown, 2020)

    Chris Hamby, "Soul Full of Coal Dust: The True Story of an Epic Battle for Justice" (Little Brown, 2020)

    Today I talked to Chris Hamby about his book Soul Full of Coal Dust: The True Story of an Epic Battle for Justice (Little Brown, 2020). Hamby looks into why there has been a surge in black-lung disease in West Virginia and elsewhere in recent years. Poor self-policing and rapacious business practices go a long way in explaining the upsurge. Add in a tradition of fatalism caused by King Coal, and it becomes a minor miracle –but a miracle all the same—that some miners have been able to secure a measure of justice.
    Chris Hamby is an investigative reporter for the New York Times. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism in 2014 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting in 2017.
    Dan Hill, PhD, is the author of eight books and leads Sensory Logic, Inc. (https://www.sensorylogic.com). To check out his related “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” blog, visit https://emotionswizard.com.
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    • 36 min
    Christoph Menke, "Critique of Rights" (Polity, 2019)

    Christoph Menke, "Critique of Rights" (Polity, 2019)

    Christoph Menke, who is professor of philosophy at the Goethe University in Frankfurt Germany and considered the most important representative of the third generation of the "Frankfurt School of Critical Theory", presents in Critique of Rights (Polity Press 2020) a critical reflection on modern normativity in the so-called "Western world". More specifically: He analyzes “subjective rights”. To have a right means to have a justified and binding claim. Now Menke exposes in his book – which is both a genealogy and an ontology of law – that these “subjective rights”, which mark the birth of bourgeois society, have ambivalent properties. They are not only expressions of individuality and freedom everybody of us enjoys today as the most important achievement that Enlightenment has transferred to us. They also create what Karl Marx called "the entitlement of the egoistic human being, set apart from his fellow human being and from the community”. Private interests become the new natural basis for politics. Contrary to what one might think “subjective rights” do not empower the citizens of a political community but disempower them.
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    • 1 hr 28 min
    K. Mistry and H. Gurman, "Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    K. Mistry and H. Gurman, "Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy" (Columbia UP, 2020)

    In the past decade, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden became household names. They were celebrated by many as truth-tellers who blew the whistle on governmental abuses. Yet, in the eyes of the state, Manning and Snowden had made so-called “unauthorized disclosures” that jeopardized the nation’s security. Described as such, they could not be labelled “whistleblowers.”
    This is an example of what the editors of a new, rousing edited volume––not words typically strung together––call the “paradox of national security whistleblowing”: whistleblowing is widely acknowledged to be an essential feature of democracy, but the US government denies its existence. In Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of Secrecy, editors Hannah Gurman––a Clinical Associate Professor at New York University’s Gallatin School––and Kaeten Mistry––a senior lecturer in American Studies at the University of East Anglia––and their star-studded cast of contributors help makes sense of the odd place of whistleblowing in American politics.
    Their book shows how the history of whistleblowing raises questions about democracy, citizenship, and truth itself. And, as the US war against whistleblowers has continued unabated since the Vietnam War, it’s a much-needed volume. The book should interest scholars of national security, information, and civil liberties, along with concerned citizens.
    And, to listeners of this podcast, Mistry and Gurman are offering a discount code—CUP30—which, if entered on the Columbia University Press website, knocks 30% off the book’s price. 
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    • 1 hr 5 min

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8 Ratings

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