A law book recommendation: He Calls Me By Lightning: The Life of Caliph Washington and the forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty by S Jonathan Bass

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2h64vIk.
Bass unearths the heretofore undocumented story of Caliph Washington and his trek through the depths of Jim Crow justice. The complex lives that populate his jailhouse journey from segregation through civil rights braid the movement’s gains and limitations into a red thread tracing the current crisis of race and criminal justice.
Book description from Google Books:
Caliph Washington didn’t pull the trigger but, as Officer James “Cowboy” Clark lay dying, he had no choice but to turn on his heel and run. The year was 1957; Cowboy Clark was white, Caliph Washington was black, and this was the Jim Crow South.As He Calls Me by Lightning painstakingly chronicles, Washington, then a seventeen-year-old simply returning home after a double date, was swiftly arrested, put on trial, and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. The young man endured the horrors of a hellish prison system for thirteen years, a term that included various stints on death row fearing the “lightning” of the electric chair. Twentieth-century legal history is tragically littered with thousands of stories of such judicial cruelty, but S. Jonathan Bass’s account is remarkable in that he has been able to meticulously re-create Washington’s saga, animating a life that was not supposed to matter.Given the familiar paradigm of an African American man being falsely accused of killing a white policeman, it would be all too easy to apply a reductionist view to the story. What makes He Calls Me by Lightning so unusual are a spate of unknown variables–most prominently the fact that Governor George Wallace, nationally infamous for his active advocacy of segregation, did, in fact, save this death row inmate’s life. As we discover, Wallace stayed Washington’s execution not once but more than a dozen times, reflecting a philosophy about the death penalty that has not been perpetuated by his successors.Other details make Washington’s story significant to legal history, not the least of which is that the defendant endured three separate trials and then was held in a county jail for five more years before being convicted of second-degree murder in 1970; this decision was overturned as well, although the charges were never dismissed. Bass’s account is also particularly noteworthy for his evocation of Washington’s native Bessemer, a gritty, industrial city lying only thirteen miles to the east of Birmingham, Alabama, whose singularly fascinating story is frequently overlooked by historians.By rescuing Washington’s unknown life trajectory–along with the stories of his intrepid lawyers, David Hood Jr. and Orzell Billingsley, and Christine Luna, an Italian-American teacher and activist who would become Washington’s bride upon his release–Bass brings to multidimensional life many different strands of the civil rights movement. Devastating and essential, He Calls Me by Lightning demands that we take into account the thousands of lives cast away by systemic racism, and powerfully demonstrates just how much we still do not know.
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 47 ratings. See 18 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h9dWqh.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ixeF53.

A law book recommendation: The Amateur: The Pleasures of Doing What You Love by Andy Merrifield

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2iB9Jw1.
It’s a stirring book whose critique of contemporary work culture will be instantly recognisable. It also doubles as a moving memoir of a working-class intellectual.
Book description from Google Books:
A passionate call for independent thinking We have lost our amateur spirit and need to rediscover the radical and liberating pleasure of doing things we love. In The Amateur, thinker Andy Merrifield shows us how the many spheres of our lives–work, knowledge, home, politics–have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and pedants. In response, he corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets, dabblers and square pegs who challenge accepted wisdom. Such figures as Charles Baudelaire, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt and Jane Jacobs show us the way. As we will see, the amateur takes risks, thinks the unthinkable, seeks independence–and changes the world. The Amateur is a passionate manifesto for the liberated life, one that questions authority and reclaims the iconoclast as a radical hero of our times.
The book is rated 3.26/5 at goodreads.com, from 34 ratings. See 9 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2h9IM2j.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2iBhr9x.

A law book recommendation: Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2xMqPfP.
Still, Locking Up Our Own is a compelling and indispensable volume for those who want to get the whole story on the rise of the “the New Jim Crow”—a story that must include serious attention to class and other fractures within black America.
Book description from Google Books:
Long-listed for the National Book AwardShort-listed for the Inaugural Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social JusticeIn recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods.A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.
The book is rated 4.37/5 at goodreads.com, from 218 ratings. See 51 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yvsIRY.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xSf0VF.

A law book recommendation: Life After Life: A Guildford Four Memoir by Paddy Armstrong

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2xLyKdu.
Life After Life is Paddy Armstrong’s account of the nightmare that engulfed his life. It is an extraordinary, terrifying, gripping story.
Book description from Google Books:
Looking back over the last six, almost seven decades, the images that flash through my mind are hardly believable – sometimes, it feels like I’m remembering someone else’s life. The truth is, I’ve lived three very different lives: the one before prison; the one in prison; and my life since then. It has taken years to make sense of it all, but now I’ve found a voice to speak about it.  Paddy Armstrong was one of four people falsely convicted of The Guildford Bombing in 1975. He spent fifteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Today, as a husband and father, life is wonderfully ordinary, but the memory of his ordeal lives on. Here, for the first time and with unflinching candour, he lays bare the experiences of those years and their aftermath. Life after Life is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of forgiveness. It reminds us of the privilege of freedom, and how the balm of love, family and everyday life can restore us and mend the scars of even the most savage injustice. ‘This book captures the sweet soul of Paddy. Beautifully written. For lovers of freedom everywhere.’ Jim Sheridan ‘Paddy Armstrong’s account of his wrongful conviction and imprisonment is as gripping as a work of fiction. It is an extraordinary, terrifying story. I am familiar with just about all the considerable body of memoirs arising from the miscarriages of justice of the 1970s, but I can say without equivocation that this is the best. Beautifully written. If it were a work of fiction, it would be worthy of the Man Booker shortlist.’ Chris Mullin, The Observer ‘Couldn’t put it down, stunningly written, honest, shocking, harrowing. A horrendous story, populated with some real heroes’. Noel Whelan, Barrister and Irish Times columnist 
The book is rated 4.48/5 at goodreads.com, from 44 ratings. See 3 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yuC943.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yuE5JX.

A law book recommendation: Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2xMqPfP.
Still, Locking Up Our Own is a compelling and indispensable volume for those who want to get the whole story on the rise of the “the New Jim Crow”—a story that must include serious attention to class and other fractures within black America.
Book description from Google Books:
Long-listed for the National Book AwardShort-listed for the Inaugural Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social JusticeIn recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods.A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 212 ratings. See 49 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yvsIRY.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .

A law book recommendation: Life After Life: A Guildford Four Memoir by Paddy Armstrong

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2xLyKdu.
Life After Life is Paddy Armstrong’s account of the nightmare that engulfed his life. It is an extraordinary, terrifying, gripping story.
Book description from Google Books:
Looking back over the last six, almost seven decades, the images that flash through my mind are hardly believable – sometimes, it feels like I’m remembering someone else’s life. The truth is, I’ve lived three very different lives: the one before prison; the one in prison; and my life since then. It has taken years to make sense of it all, but now I’ve found a voice to speak about it.  Paddy Armstrong was one of four people falsely convicted of The Guildford Bombing in 1975. He spent fifteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Today, as a husband and father, life is wonderfully ordinary, but the memory of his ordeal lives on. Here, for the first time and with unflinching candour, he lays bare the experiences of those years and their aftermath. Life after Life is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of forgiveness. It reminds us of the privilege of freedom, and how the balm of love, family and everyday life can restore us and mend the scars of even the most savage injustice. ‘This book captures the sweet soul of Paddy. Beautifully written. For lovers of freedom everywhere.’ Jim Sheridan ‘Paddy Armstrong’s account of his wrongful conviction and imprisonment is as gripping as a work of fiction. It is an extraordinary, terrifying story. I am familiar with just about all the considerable body of memoirs arising from the miscarriages of justice of the 1970s, but I can say without equivocation that this is the best. Beautifully written. If it were a work of fiction, it would be worthy of the Man Booker shortlist.’ Chris Mullin, The Observer ‘Couldn’t put it down, stunningly written, honest, shocking, harrowing. A horrendous story, populated with some real heroes’. Noel Whelan, Barrister and Irish Times columnist 
The book is rated 4.48/5 at goodreads.com, from 44 ratings. See 3 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yuC943.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2yuE5JX.

A law book recommendation: American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution by A. Roger Ekirch

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2yrH1H2.
Congratulations to designer M. Kristen Bearse and thanks to Pantheon’s editors for electing to go the extra mile to make a book’s look enhance its content.
Book description from Google Books:
From “one of the most wide-ranging and imaginative historians in America today; there is no one else quite like him in the profession” (Gordon S. Wood)–a dazzling and original work of history.  A. Roger Ekirch’s American Sanctuary begins in 1797 with the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy–on the British frigate HMS Hermione, four thousand miles from England’s shores, off the western coast of Puerto Rico. In the midst of the most storied epoch in British seafaring history, the mutiny struck at the very heart of military authority and at Britain’s hierarchical social order. Revolution was in the air: America had won its War of Independence, the French Revolution was still unfolding, and a ferocious rebellion loomed in Ireland, with countless dissidents already arrested.  Most of the Hermione mutineers had scattered throughout the North Atlantic; one of them, Jonathan Robbins, had made his way to American shores, and the British were asking for his extradition. Robbins let it be known that he was an American citizen from Danbury, Connecticut, and that he had been impressed into service by the British.  John Adams, the Federalist successor to Washington as president, in one of the most catastrophic blunders of his administration, sanctioned Robbins’s extradition, according to the terms of the Jay Treaty of 1794. Convicted of murder and piracy by a court-martial in Jamaica, Robbins was sentenced by the British to death, hauled up on the fore yardarm of the frigate Acasta, blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back, and hanged.  Adams’s miscalculation ignited a political firestorm, only to be fanned by news of Robbins’s execution without his constitutional rights of due process and trial by jury. Thomas Jefferson, then vice president and leader of the emergent Republican Party, said, “No one circumstance since the establishment of our government has affected the popular mind more.” Congressional Republicans tried to censure Adams, and the Federalist majority, in a bitter blow to the president, were unable to muster a vote of confidence condoning Robbins’s surrender.  American Sanctuary brilliantly lays out in full detail the story of how the Robbins affair and the presidential campaign of 1800 inflamed the new nation and set in motion a constitutional crisis, resulting in Adams’s defeat and Jefferson’s election as the third president of the United States.  Ekirch writes that the aftershocks of Robbins’s martyrdom helped to shape the infant republic’s identity in the way Americans envisioned themselves. We see how the Hermione crisis led directly to the country’s historic decision to grant political asylum to refugees from foreign governments–a major achievement in fulfilling the resonant promise of American independence, as voiced by Tom Paine, to provide “an asylum for mankind
The book is rated 3.64/5 at goodreads.com, from 39 ratings. See 11 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yrMii0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .

A law book recommendation: Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2xJzbVM.
The great virtue of “Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union”, by three academics, is that it is based on detailed regression analyses of panel surveys carried out both before and after the vote.
Book description from Google Books:
In June 2016, the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. As this book reveals, the historic vote for Brexit marked the culmination of trends in domestic politics and in the UK’s relationship with the EU that have been building over many years. Drawing on a wealth of survey evidence collected over more than ten years, this book explains why most people decided to ignore much of the national and international community and vote for Brexit. Drawing on past research on voting in major referendums in Europe and elsewhere, a team of leading academic experts analyse changes in the UK’s party system that were catalysts for the referendum vote, including the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the dynamics of public opinion during an unforgettable and divisive referendum campaign, the factors that influenced how people voted and the likely economic and political impact of this historic decision.
The book is rated 4.27/5 at goodreads.com, from 11 ratings. See 4 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2ysLQjs.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: .

A law book recommendation: Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke

A critic review (source The Economist) can be read at: http://econ.st/2xJzbVM.
The great virtue of “Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union”, by three academics, is that it is based on detailed regression analyses of panel surveys carried out both before and after the vote.
Book description from Google Books:
In June 2016, the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. As this book reveals, the historic vote for Brexit marked the culmination of trends in domestic politics and in the UK’s relationship with the EU that have been building over many years. Drawing on a wealth of survey evidence collected over more than ten years, this book explains why most people decided to ignore much of the national and international community and vote for Brexit. Drawing on past research on voting in major referendums in Europe and elsewhere, a team of leading academic experts analyse changes in the UK’s party system that were catalysts for the referendum vote, including the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the dynamics of public opinion during an unforgettable and divisive referendum campaign, the factors that influenced how people voted and the likely economic and political impact of this historic decision.
The book is rated 4.50/5 at goodreads.com, from 10 ratings. See 4 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2ysLQjs.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2ytnoOZ.

A law book recommendation: American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution by A. Roger Ekirch

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2yrH1H2.
Congratulations to designer M. Kristen Bearse and thanks to Pantheon’s editors for electing to go the extra mile to make a book’s look enhance its content.
Book description from Google Books:
From “one of the most wide-ranging and imaginative historians in America today; there is no one else quite like him in the profession” (Gordon S. Wood)–a dazzling and original work of history.  A. Roger Ekirch’s American Sanctuary begins in 1797 with the bloodiest mutiny ever suffered by the Royal Navy–on the British frigate HMS Hermione, four thousand miles from England’s shores, off the western coast of Puerto Rico. In the midst of the most storied epoch in British seafaring history, the mutiny struck at the very heart of military authority and at Britain’s hierarchical social order. Revolution was in the air: America had won its War of Independence, the French Revolution was still unfolding, and a ferocious rebellion loomed in Ireland, with countless dissidents already arrested.  Most of the Hermione mutineers had scattered throughout the North Atlantic; one of them, Jonathan Robbins, had made his way to American shores, and the British were asking for his extradition. Robbins let it be known that he was an American citizen from Danbury, Connecticut, and that he had been impressed into service by the British.  John Adams, the Federalist successor to Washington as president, in one of the most catastrophic blunders of his administration, sanctioned Robbins’s extradition, according to the terms of the Jay Treaty of 1794. Convicted of murder and piracy by a court-martial in Jamaica, Robbins was sentenced by the British to death, hauled up on the fore yardarm of the frigate Acasta, blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back, and hanged.  Adams’s miscalculation ignited a political firestorm, only to be fanned by news of Robbins’s execution without his constitutional rights of due process and trial by jury. Thomas Jefferson, then vice president and leader of the emergent Republican Party, said, “No one circumstance since the establishment of our government has affected the popular mind more.” Congressional Republicans tried to censure Adams, and the Federalist majority, in a bitter blow to the president, were unable to muster a vote of confidence condoning Robbins’s surrender.  American Sanctuary brilliantly lays out in full detail the story of how the Robbins affair and the presidential campaign of 1800 inflamed the new nation and set in motion a constitutional crisis, resulting in Adams’s defeat and Jefferson’s election as the third president of the United States.  Ekirch writes that the aftershocks of Robbins’s martyrdom helped to shape the infant republic’s identity in the way Americans envisioned themselves. We see how the Hermione crisis led directly to the country’s historic decision to grant political asylum to refugees from foreign governments–a major achievement in fulfilling the resonant promise of American independence, as voiced by Tom Paine, to provide “an asylum for mankind
The book is rated 3.64/5 at goodreads.com, from 39 ratings. See 11 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2yrMii0.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2xJaHMd.