Almost everyone says the same thing about books you don’t finish: Just move on. Read something better, read something that’s more engaging. But for some reason, I stubbornly want to finish books that I’ve started.
If I start a book, I want to finish it so I can either write a review of what I didn’t like or be pleasantly surprised when the book improves as I read. And if I’ve gone to the trouble of buying a book and spent time reading it, it seems like a waste of time and money to abandon it.
Despite good intentions, I abandoned several books in 2017. Here are 10 books I didn’t finish last year: Continue reading
William Nelson gives the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison ample historical context and addresses new interpretations of it in light of recent scholarship in Marbury v. Madison: The Origins and Legacy of Judicial Review. Continue reading
The Life and Times of Martin Luther is a 44-page picture book written by Meike Roth-Beck in German, translated to English by Laura Watkinson, and illustrated by Klaus Ensikat. It was published in English by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers and is intended for readers 7 and up.
I was excited to read and review this because I’ve studied Luther and the Reformation in college courses and through my international travels. I’ve read (okay, skimmed) several biographies of Martin Luther, and I lived in Wittenberg, Germany, for two months and visited the Wartburg Castle, Eisenach, and Erfurt. Continue reading
Stephen P. Halbrook argues in Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, Updated Edition that the Fourteenth Amendment was understood to protect the Bill of Rights, especially the Second Amendment right to bear arms, from infringement by the States. Halbrook also argues that the Supreme Court did not fully understand this argument in its decisions from the 1870s until District of Columbia v. Heller.
I read Kurt Senske’s book on Christian leadership for my Business Ethics class during my last semester of college. Senske’s Executive Values: A Christian Approach to Organizational Leadership explores how Christian values can support long-term organizational success. The book gives practical advice and real examples of companies and leaders who have followed Christian values and seen success because of it. Continue reading
In Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell, Paul A. Lombardo argues that a small, zealous faction of the eugenics movement pushed for sterilization laws by exploiting Carrie Buck in a court case (Buck v. Bell) designed to set a precedent for the constitutionality of sterilization laws and protect practicing members of the eugenics community from prosecution. Lombardo successfully uses the narrative of the 1927 Buck v. Bell case to tie together different arguments and topics relating to the legal, political, and scientific (or lack of scientific) history of the eugenics movement and then shifts from the story of Buck v. Bell to its implications in current legal history. Continue reading
Akhil Reed Amar tries to do a lot of things in his most recent book The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era. He acknowledges his ambitious goals in his lengthy introduction where he writes that he is offering three books in one: a book on constitutional substance, a book on constitutional method, and a book on constitutional time. Amar explains that he wants to help readers understand the Constitution by presenting a survey of contemporary constitutional law, a lesson in how to do constitutional law, and a reflection in the tensions between constitutionalism and journalism. Continue reading