Short Takes on library books I have to return

Some of these books I had to return because other people wanted to read them and put a reserve on them, so that’s a good sign, but makes it hard for me to put the time in with quotes that they deserve. Vacation put me too far behind in my juggling of due dates and reserves. 🙂


book jacket with scales of justice
Richard Thompson Ford

Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality by Richard Thompson Ford (author of The Race Card), 2011

I was not able to do more than quickly glance at this one for particular index terms that interested me. This concept is an interesting parallel to another book on interlibrary loan I hope to extend called “Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil.” The law is the law and is not JUSTICE. And the sooner people grasp that, then we have a chance for true equality under the law and social justice. But too many people in power abuse that privilege by passing unconstitutional and unjust laws and because of the weird but sometimes useful requirement of “standing” to be able to act to change the law, we get stuck with them. For example, all the hundreds of limitations that are undue burdens for abortion. The Michigan anti-sodomy law that was passed recently (2016? 2015?) DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SUPREME COURT RULED SUCH LAWS UNCONSTITUTIONAL (2003?).

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The Life of the Parties by A. James Reichley

The Life of the Parties: A History of American Political Parties (2000, 1992)

the life of the partiesThis link is to the 2000 edition, the one I am reading is 1992 but not as dated as one might think given that it begins at the beginning of America’s founding and all the information up to then and is extremely detailed and analyzed and described very well.

This book answers the many questions I have had over the years of how we ended up with an essentially two-party system that is run like two warring corporations for a monopoly of the United States government as the prize.

I knew that the Founding Fathers had not begun nor wanted political parties, but apparently not “until they began running parties themselves.” Thomas Jefferson was pro-party. Alexander Hamilton “associated parties with ‘ambition, avarice, personal animosity.'” I’m going to side with Hamilton on this point. James Madison “wrote in Federalist Number Ten of ‘the mischiefs of faction. John Adams expressed ‘dread’ toward ‘division of the republic into to great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.'” Now that was prescient!

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