Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman (2015)
This is a decent history of how African Americans struggled to get the vote in reality, including coverage of the Jim Crow era. But the real meat of the book starts about page 236 when the whole Shelby disaster gutting the Civil Rights Act began.
It is especially bitter to be writing this today. Today, April 7, 2017, was the day the Supreme Court was killed by Mitch McConnell and his cronies by changing the rules to get the judge, Neil Gorsuch (forever will be Gorsuck to me) that ruled against women’s access to contraception in the disastrous Hobby Lobby decision [rest in hell Scalia] on the freaking Supreme Court. His opinion was based on the absurd belief that WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS were subordinate to the religious delusions of employers. His claim was based on the notion that ANYTHING that allowed women employees to have access to birth control made the “religious” employers “complicit” in allowing women to have bodily autonomy and not be forced to become pregnant and subsequently be forced to give birth.
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America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By. (c 2012) Akhil Reed Amar,
the author of America’s Constitution: A Biography (c 2005)
Okay read. Could be better.
I am completely mystified about this blank page. I am sure I wrote something on the first title of these books, but I see I tagged it “must re-checkout from library.
As I recall, this first one was a good book. I remember have a few criticisms like the ill-designed index and somewhat inadequate index (not the author’s fault, professional indexers are usually used to create).
I learned a bunch of stuff from this book and it really peeves me that I read and did not, apparently, write a post at the same time. I guess that means it had pretty gripping material.
I do recommend it for a read.
I also checked out his other book, The Constitution Today Read parts and skimmed most, but did not find it particularly good. To explain what I mean by good, it has to tell me stuff I didn’t already know, be organized in a coherent and useful pattern, and have some kind of consistent point-of-view. It seemed to me that this was just a thrown together collection of somewhat outdated essays. Not recommended reading; a disappointment.
Wrong and Dangerous: Ten Right-Wing Myths about Our Constitution by Garrett Epps (2012)
This slim volume is a fun read (the touches of sarcasm are a delight) about what the Constitution actually says and directly refutes right-wing claims to the contrary. Excellent notes and list of books for further reading by categories like “the Bill of Rights” and an appendix that provides the actual text of the Constitution plus the first version that failed to meet the needs of the nation due to lack of sufficient federal authority over states’ rights. Personally, I long for the day that the entire concept of “states’ rights” is abolished. My rights as a citizen should not depend on geography. States’ rights is a vestigial concept leftover from the fear of a central “kingdom” type of government.
I may write the author and suggest he dedicate another volume to the Fourteenth Amendment, and social justice issues related to it that have had Supreme Court (bad or good) rulings, especially in the area of racism and sexism.
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America’s Constitution: A Biography by Akhil Reed Amor (c 2005)
This is a very long book, 477 pages including the postscript, plus back matter that includes the text of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, plus extensive notes, and an index that brings it up to 655 pages. When approaching such a vast book, I rarely read straight through, or even all of it since some of it is redundant to what I already know. Unfortunately, the chapter titles in the book are next to useless in describing the content one might expect to see in the book and it is clearly not organized by any logical organization. As a “biography” the author obviously declares that he must start at the beginning. Back in the day when I was a book development editor, I would have strongly recommended some alternative structure than starting at the beginning. Since no dates are included in the headers or chapter pages.
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I have completely gotten bogged down due to issues with my eyes. There may be a need for me to get a reading machine at this rate. I am going to have to give a bunch up and then come back to this page to re-reserve when I get down to a handful, 90 is simply too many to juggle! I need to stop hitting the reserve every time I see something on BookTV and just do a future to read page so I don’t forget them. A few have already slipped by but a few more I did remember to make a note of them to read later.
Betting on Famine: why the World STILL Goes Hungry by Jean Ziegler (2013) is a compelling read, and I want to do it justice. The pages I did read are terrifying and mortifying. There is considerable discussion about the fact that the Nazi’s deliberately starved people in the concentration camps before they killed them. Since I have seen horrible images of the survivors, I know this to be true. Unbelievably wicked but everywhere everyday children and adults are dying from hunger. Fewer people would be a good start to avoiding the problem in the first place, but that is never going to happen since the various religions believe having children is the whole point of women’s lives.
Continue reading Overdue and Out of Renewals for Darn Good Books