RaveThe New York Review of BooksMueller conducted a herculean two-year investigation, issuing more than 2,800 subpoenas, executing nearly 500 search warrants and 280 orders for electronic communications intercepts and records, and interviewing about 500 witnesses, 80 before a grand jury. The report rests its determinations of credibility on multiple named sources and thoroughly explains its reasoning. Its objective \'just the facts\' approach only underscores its veracity ... No reasonable reader can come away from the report with anything but the conclusion that the president repeatedly sought to obstruct an investigation into one of the most significant breaches of our sovereignty in generations, in order to avoid disclosure of embarrassing and illegal conduct by himself and his associates.
PositiveThe Nation...Winkler offers a balanced guide to a controversial constitutional issue, and succeeds in showing that the issue is far more nuanced than advocates on either side care to admit ... Winkler is critical of the proposition that corporations should receive constitutional protections because they are associations of individuals who enjoy the same ... He is less clear, however, on what basis he thinks the courts should decide the latter question ... Perhaps the most important lesson of Winkler’s book is that we should have seen Citizens United coming. It did not spring, fully formed, from the head of Justice Anthony Kennedy, much less Zeus; it has deep roots in our nation’s constitutional and economic history. And its premises are not self-evidently wrong ... Winkler’s careful history will help us do a better job of getting it right about what Citizens United got wrong.
James Forman Jr.
RaveThe New York Review of BooksForman agrees that the war on drugs has had only a minor part in the dramatic rise of incarceration rates. But his moving, nuanced, and candid account challenges another aspect of the ‘new Jim Crow’ thesis. He shows that some of the most ardent proponents of tough-on-crime policies in the era that brought us mass incarceration were black politicians and community leaders—many of whom were veterans of the civil rights movement. They supported these policies not to subordinate African-Americans, but to protect them from the all-too-real scourges of crime and violence in many inner-city communities … These facts do not negate the standard account of mass incarceration, but they certainly complicate it. The problem cannot be reduced to drug laws, longer sentences, a crackdown on nonviolent offenders, or a racist conspiracy … As Forman suggests in an inspiring account of an armed robbery case he handled as a public defender, part of the solution may involve encouraging victims to favor mercy rather than vengeance.
Melvin I. Urofsky
RaveThe Washington PostHis new book, Dissent and the Supreme Court, masterfully recounts the history of dissent on the court, from its earliest days, when dissents were rare and strongly discouraged, to the modern era, when they often outnumber majority opinions.