Book Talks • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Cancelled! Book Talk: Charles Fried’s Medical Experimentation: Personal Integrity and Social Policy: New Edition, Wed., Nov. 9 at noon

THIS BOOK TALK WILL BE RESCHEDULED AT A LATER DATE

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Professor Charles Fried’s recently published book titled Medical Experimentation: Personal Integrity and Social Policy: New Edition (Franklin Miller, and Alan Wertheimer, eds., Oxford Univ. Press, May 2016).

Copies of Medical Experimentation will be available for sale and Professor Fried will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East B/C (Directions)

1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Charles Fried poster

About Charles Fried

Educated at Princeton, Oxford and Columbia Law School, Charles Fried, the Beneficial Professor of Law, has been teaching at Harvard Law School since 1961. He was Solicitor General of the United States, 1985-89, and an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1995-99. His scholarly and teaching interests have been moved by the connection between normative theory and the concrete institutions of public and private law. During his career at Harvard he has taught Criminal Law, Commercial Law, Roman Law, Torts, Contracts, Labor Law, Constitutional Law and Federal Courts, Appellate and Supreme Court Advocacy. The author of many books and articles, his Anatomy of Values (1970), Right and Wrong (1978), and Modern Liberty (2006) develop themes in moral and political philosophy with applications to law. Contract as Promise (1980), Making Tort Law (2003, with David Rosenberg) and Saying What the Law Is: The Constitution in the Supreme Court (2004) are fundamental inquiries into broad legal institutions. Order & Law: Arguing the Reagan Revolution (1991) discusses major themes developed in Fried’s time as Solicitor General. In recent years Fried has taught Constitutional Law and Contracts. During his time as a teacher he has also argued a number of major cases in state and federal courts, most notably Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, in which the Supreme Court established the standards for the use of expert and scientific evidence in federal courts.

More About Medical Experimentation: Personal Integrity and Social Policy: New Edition

“First published in 1974, Charles Fried’s Medical Experimentation is a classic statement of the moral relationship between doctor and patient, as expressed within the concept of personal care. This concept is then tested in the context of medical experimentation and, more specifically, the randomized controlled trial (RCT). Regularly referred to as a point of departure for ethical and legal discussions of the RCT, the book has long been out of print. This new, second edition includes a general introduction by Franklin Miller and the late Alan Wertheimer, a reprint of the 1974 text, and an in-depth analysis by Harvard Law School scholars I. Glenn Cohen and D. James Greiner which discusses the extension of RTCTs to social science and public policy contexts. The volume concludes with a new essay by Charles Fried that reflects on the original text and how it applies to the contemporary landscape of medicine and medical experimentation.” — Oxford University Press

Panelists

Glenn Cohen

 

 

I. Glenn Cohen, Professor of Law, Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics, Harvard Law School

 

James Greiner

 

 

D. James Greiner, William Henry Bloomberg Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Access to Justice Lab

 

Barbara Bierer

 

 

Barbara Bierer, M.D., Faculty Co-Director, Multi-Regional Clinical Trials (MRCT) Center of Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Director, Regulatory Foundations, Ethics and the Law Program, Harvard Catalyst, Harvard Medical School, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Senior Physician, Division of Global Health Equity, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Book Talk: Cass Sunstein’s The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science, Wed., Nov. 2 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Cass Sunstein’s recently published book titled The Ethics of Influence:  Government in the Age of Behavioral Science (Cambridge Univ. Press).

Copies of The Ethics of Influence will be available for sale and Professor Sunstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East C (Directions)

1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Sunstein poste

About Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein is Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University, Massachusetts. From 2009 to 2012, he was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School, and he is the author of many articles and books, including the best-selling Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013), Why Nudge? (2014), Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas (2014), Wiser: Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter (2014), Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State (2014), Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice (2015), Constitutional Personae: Heroes, Soldiers, Minimalists, and Mutes (2015), and The World According to Star Wars (2016).

More About The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science

“In recent years, ‘Nudge Units’ or ‘Behavioral Insights Teams’ have been created in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and other nations. All over the world, public officials are using the behavioral sciences to protect the environment, promote employment and economic growth, reduce poverty, and increase national security. In this book, Cass R. Sunstein, the eminent legal scholar and best-selling co-author of Nudge (2008), breaks new ground with a deep yet highly readable investigation into the ethical issues surrounding nudges, choice architecture, and mandates, addressing such issues as welfare, autonomy, self-government, dignity, manipulation, and the constraints and responsibilities of an ethical state. Complementing the ethical discussion, The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science contains a wealth of new data on people’s attitudes towards a broad range of nudges, choice architecture, and mandates.” — Cambridge Univ. Press

Reviews of The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science

“In this era of intransigence and intolerance, The Ethics of Influence is a vitally needed book. It embraces what all of us – left, right, and center – mutually want: a balance between the goals of welfare, autonomy, dignity, and self-government. What’s more, it is a hoot to read. Roll over Mill and Marx; tell Hayek and Gramsci the news.” — George A. Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001

“As more governments and businesses turn to “nudging”, pioneer Sunstein turns his brilliant mind to building an ethical framework for these powerful approaches. New findings on public attitudes to nudges – showing surprisingly high levels of support even among traditionally skeptical Americans – are combined with Sunstein’s trademark clarity of thought to offer a timely framework that will be influential across the world.” — David Halpern, CEO, Behavioural Insights Team, and author, Inside the Nudge Unit

“In a book full of convincing detail but free of dogmatism, Sunstein walks us through the case for and against nudges. Nudges are, in some circumstances, the best tool government has at its disposal – cheaper than financial incentives, more freedom-preserving than mandates, and more effective than information. Our government is sometimes ethically required to nudge us. Nonetheless, nudges raise legitimate ethical concerns, foremost among them that they can be manipulative. Sunstein ultimately makes a powerful argument for the widespread use of nudges by government, but without shortchanging the ethical arguments on both sides.”
— Anne Barnhill, University of Pennsylvania

“One need not agree with all of Cass R. Sunstein’s arguments about nudging to admire him for doing more than anyone to champion the importance of behavioral science for public policymaking. Owing to him, it is an increasingly recognized ethical imperative to measure government actions not only against societal values but also against evidence.”
— Ralph Hertwig, Director, Center for Adaptive Rationality, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany

“Cass R. Sunstein knows more than anyone about nudging, and in this very insightful book he brings his acute reasoning to understanding the ethics behind choice architecture. Here he considers sources from Mill to Hayak to Ostrom, and argues that choice architecture is unavoidable and in many cases it is the right thing to do. Just as importantly, he talks about when nudging is wrong and when it is manipulative. All in all, it is an essential book for anyone interested in the ethics of behavioral intervention, either by governments or firms.”  — Eric J. Johnson, Norman Eig Professor of Business, Columbia University, New York

“Behavioural regulation has spread to governments worldwide. This brilliant book tackles the many myths that have evolved around the use of behavioural economics in politics. Cass R. Sunstein explains in clear words how (and why) the core values of an Ethical State – welfare, autonomy, dignity, and self-government – are indeed best served by governments that carefully base their policies on an empirical foundation and use behavioural insights as additional effective policy tools.” — Lucia A. Reisch, Copenhagen Business School

“We typically consider ourselves rational actors, whose dignity derives from our autonomy. In fact, our behavior is easily shaped by other actors and by external factors, often outside our awareness and control. When government intervenes to influence our behaviors, often to improve our lives, we recoil. But if government remains uninvolved while other interests are free to shape our world, how autonomous are we then? Sunstein confronts our naiveté with a penetrating discussion about how to balance government influence against personal dignity, manipulation against autonomy, and behavioral facts against political ideals. This book is an engrossing read.” — Eldar Shafir, William Stuart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, Princeton University, New Jersey, and co-author of Scarcity

 

 

Book Talk: Joshua Rubenstein’s “The Last Days of Stalin,” Mon., Oct. 31 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Joshua Rubenstein’s recently published book titled The Last Days of Stalin (Yale Univ. Press).  This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library and the Harvard Law School East Asian Legal Studies program.

Copies of The Last Days of Stalin will be available for sale and Joshua Rubenstein will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Monday, October 31, 2016 at noon, with lunch

Harvard Law School Room Lewis 214A (Directions)



1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Josh Rubenstein poster

About Joshua Rubenstein

Joshua Rubenstein is an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University. He was an organizer and regional director for Amnesty International USA for thirty-seven years. His previous books include the National Jewish Book Award-winner Stalin’s Secret Pogrom, published by Yale University Press.

More About The Last Days of Stalin

“Joshua Rubenstein’s riveting account takes us back to the second half of 1952 when no one could foresee an end to Joseph Stalin’s murderous regime. He was poised to challenge the newly elected U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower with armed force, and was also broadening a vicious campaign against Soviet Jews. Stalin’s sudden collapse and death in March 1953 was as dramatic and mysterious as his life. It is no overstatement to say that his passing marked a major turning point in the twentieth century.

The Last Days of Stalin is an engaging, briskly told account of the dictator’s final active months, the vigil at his deathbed, and the unfolding of Soviet and international events in the months after his death. Rubenstein throws fresh light on:

  • the devious plotting of Beria, Malenkov, Khrushchev, and other “comrades in arms” who well understood the significance of the dictator’s impending death;
  • the witness-documented events of his death as compared to official published versions;
    Stalin’s rumored plans to forcibly exile Soviet Jews;
  • the responses of Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles to the Kremlin’s conciliatory gestures after Stalin’s death; and
  • the momentous repercussions when Stalin’s regime of terror was cut short.” — Yale Univ. Press

Commentator

William C. Taubman

William C. Taubman, Bertrand Snell Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Amherst College

Reviews of The Last Days of Stalin

“Stalin’s death in March 1953 cut short another spasm of blood purges he was planning, but triggered only limited Soviet reforms. To some Westerners it promised an extended period of peace, but others feared it would leave the West even more vulnerable. Joshua Rubenstein’s lively, detailed, carefully crafted book chronicles a key twentieth-century turning point that didn’t entirely turn, revealing what difference Stalin’s death did and didn’t make and why.” – William Taubman, author of Khrushchev: The Man and His Era

“A clear, sober and emotionally powerful narrative that brings to life the last years of Joseph Stalin’s rule, showing vividly how the death of the tyrant changed Soviet and international politics and brought relief to millions of his existing and potential victims, and first and foremost the Soviet Jews.” —  Serhii Plokhy, author of The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine

“Based on a plethora of primary Soviet sources, Rubenstein has produced a persuasive and well-written account of the convoluted time that followed Stalin’s death in March 1953. He discusses the complex succession politics in the Kremlin and provides much new information. Rubenstein also explores Eisenhower’s and Dulles’ disinterest in taking up Churchill’s proposals to exploit the ‘narrow window of opportunity’ to embark on constructive negotiations with Moscow once Stalin had gone. This is an enlightening and important book.” —  Klaus Larres, author of Churchill’s Cold War: The Politics of Personal Diplomacy

“Securely based on multilingual primary sources, The Last Days of Stalin is a fascinating and often chilling reconstruction of the months surrounding the Soviet dictator’s death and the opportunities that arose for meaningful change — not all of them taken.”— Saul David, Evening Standard

“Joshua Rubenstein, in his vivid, brisk account, describes the months on each side of Stalin’s death to give the reader a sense of the significance of this turning point.”— Robbie Millen, the Times

“Joshua Rubenstein’s account of Stalin’s death and the responses to it is very well done… an accessible and engaging book.”— Geoffrey Roberts, Irish Times

“Intriguing.”— David Mikics, Tablet

“A fascinating work.”— Amy Lewonstin, Library Journal

“Joshua Rubenstein tells a gripping tale of the year around Stalin’s death, including revealing previously unknown details of the trial of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and Stalin’s version of the Final Solution, the Doctors’ Plot.”— Brett M. Rhyne, The Jewish Advocate

“Joshua Rubenstein’s extremely interesting account of the ailing Stalin’s last days draws upon personal memoirs and new research – and conveys the deep fear inculcated during “the Black Years of Soviet Jewry”.” — Colin Shindler, Jewish Chronicle

“Convincing . . . fascinating.” — Rosemary Sullivan, The Wall Street Journal

“[Stalin’s] last days make a dramatic story, and Rubenstein tells it well.”— Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Guardian

“A compact, chilling account.”— Harvey Blume, The Arts Fuse

 

 

Book Talk: Hal S. Scott’s “Connectedness and Contagion: Protecting the Financial System From Panic,” Wed., Oct. 19 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Hal S. Scott’s recently published book titled Connectedness and Contagion: Protecting the Financial System From Panic (MIT Press).

Copies of Connectedness and Contagion will be available for sale and Professor Scott will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at noon.  Please feel free to bring your own lunch.


Harvard Law School Room WCC 2019 Milstein West A (Directions)


1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Hal Scott Book Talk Poster


About Hal S. Scott

Hal S. Scott is the Nomura Professor and Director of the Program on International Financial Systems (PIFS) at Harvard Law School, where he has taught since 1975. He teaches courses on Capital Markets Regulation, International Finance, and Securities Regulation.

The Program on International Financial Systems, founded in 1986, engages in a variety of research projects. Its book, Capital Adequacy Beyond Basel (Oxford University Press 2004), examines capital adequacy rules for banks, insurance companies and securities firms. The Program also organizes the annual invitation-only U.S.-China, U.S.-Europe, U.S.-Japan, and U.S.-Latin America Symposia on Building the Financial System of the 21st Century, attended by financial system leaders in the concerned countries.

Professor Scott is the Director of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, a bi-partisan non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. capital markets and ensuring the stability of the U.S. financial system via research and advocacy. He is also an independent director of Lazard, Ltd., a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, a member of the Market Monitoring Group of the Institute of International Finance, a past President of the International Academy of Consumer and Commercial Law and a past Governor of the American Stock Exchange (2002-2005).

About Connectedness and Contagion: Protecting the Financial System From Panic

“The Dodd–Frank Act of 2010 was intended to reform financial policies in order to prevent another massive crisis such as the financial meltdown of 2008. Dodd–Frank is largely premised on the diagnosis that connectedness was the major problem in that crisis—that is, that financial institutions were overexposed to one another, resulting in a possible chain reaction of failures. In this book, Hal Scott argues that it is not connectedness but contagion that is the most significant element of systemic risk facing the financial system. Contagion is an indiscriminate run by short-term creditors of financial institutions that can render otherwise solvent institutions insolvent. It poses a serious risk because, as Scott explains, our financial system still depends on approximately $7.4 to $8.2 trillion of runnable and uninsured short-term liabilities, 60 percent of which are held by nonbanks.

Scott argues that efforts by the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the Treasury to stop the contagion that exploded after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers lessened the economic damage. And yet Congress, spurred by the public’s aversion to bailouts, has dramatically weakened the power of the government to respond to contagion, including limitations on the Fed’s powers as a lender of last resort. Offering uniquely detailed forensic analyses of the Lehman Brothers and AIG failures, and suggesting alternative regulatory approaches, Scott makes the case that we need to restore and strengthen our weapons for fighting contagion.” — The MIT Press

Panelists

Hal Scott

 

 

 

Howell E. Jackson, James S. Reid, Jr. Professor of Law

 

Mark Roe

 

 

 

Mark J. Roe, David Berg Professor of Law

 

Jeremy Stein

 

 

 

Jeremy Stein, Moise Y. Safra Professor of Economics, Harvard University

 

More About Connectedness and Contagion: Protecting the Financial System From Panic

“Anyone with good sense should want to consider Hal Scott’s thoughtful analysis of our policy response to the last financial crisis. Agree or disagree, Scott’s views deserve careful consideration in the debates over financial stability that are sure to come.”
—  Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University

“Scott has written the definitive work on how contagion in the financial sector spread and amplified an initial shock to housing into the global financial crisis, at great economic cost, and how it was only contained by the liquidity supplying efforts of the Federal Reserve and other authorities. He raises serious and legitimate questions about whether constraints on the Fed’s lending authority in Dodd–Frank will leave us short of the tools necessary to stop the next financial panic, and he warns persuasively against any further limits on the Fed’s ability to act as lender of last resort to banks and nonbanks alike.”
—  Donald Kohn, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

“Abolishing taxpayer bailouts of fundamentally bust institutions is essential if finance is to be a worthwhile, legitimate part of a market economy. Hal Scott rightly argues that this will not dispose of the need for central bank liquidity insurance given problems of contagion and panic during crises. He worries that, by tying the hands of the Federal Reserve behind its back, US legislators got this wrong, exposing the American people and the wider world to unnecessary risk. Whether or not he is correct matters hugely. Read this book to make up your own mind.”
—  Paul Tucker, Chair, Systemic Risk Council, and Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School

Book Talk: Michael J. Klarman’s “The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution,” Mon., Oct. 17 at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Michael J. Klarman’s recently published book titled The Framers’ Coup:  The Making of the United States Constitution (Oxford University Press).

Copies of The Framers’ Coup will be available for sale and Professor Klarman will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Monday, October 17, 2016 at noon.  Please feel free to bring your own lunch.
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East A/B (Directions)

1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

About Professor Klarman

Professor Michael J. Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School, where he joined the faculty in 2008.  He received his B.A. and M.A. (political theory) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1983, and his D. Phil. in legal history from the University of Oxford (1988), where he was a Marshall Scholar.  After law school, Professor Klarman clerked for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1983-84).  He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1987 and served there until 2008 as the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History.

Klarman’s first book, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 and received the 2005 Bancroft Prize in History.  He published two books in the summer of 2007, also with Oxford University Press: Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement and Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History, which is part of Oxford’s Inalienable Rights series.  In 2012, he published From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage.

About The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution

“Americans revere their Constitution. However, most of us are unaware how tumultuous and improbable the drafting and ratification processes were. As Benjamin Franklin keenly observed, any assembly of men bring with them “all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests and their selfish views.” One need not deny that the Framers had good intentions in order to believe that they also had interests. Based on prodigious research and told largely through the voices of the participants, Michael Klarman’s The Framers’ Coup narrates how the Framers’ clashing interests shaped the Constitution–and American history itself.

The Philadelphia convention could easily have been a failure, and the risk of collapse was always present. Had the convention dissolved, any number of adverse outcomes could have resulted, including civil war or a reversion to monarchy. Not only does Klarman capture the knife’s-edge atmosphere of the convention, he populates his narrative with riveting and colorful stories: the rebellion of debtor farmers in Massachusetts; George Washington’s uncertainty about whether to attend; Gunning Bedford’s threat to turn to a European prince if the small states were denied equal representation in the Senate; slave staters’ threats to take their marbles and go home if denied representation for their slaves; Hamilton’s quasi-monarchist speech to the convention; and Patrick Henry’s herculean efforts to defeat the Constitution in Virginia through demagoguery and conspiracy theories.

The Framers’ Coup is more than a compendium of great stories, however, and the powerful arguments that feature throughout will reshape our understanding of the nation’s founding. Simply put, the Constitutional Convention almost didn’t happen, and once it happened, it almost failed. And, even after the convention succeeded, the Constitution it produced almost failed to be ratified. Just as importantly, the Constitution was hardly the product of philosophical reflections by brilliant, disinterested statesmen, but rather ordinary interest group politics. Multiple conflicting interests had a say, from creditors and debtors to city dwellers and backwoodsmen. The upper class overwhelmingly supported the Constitution; many working class colonists were more dubious. Slave states and nonslave states had different perspectives on how well the Constitution served their interests.

Ultimately, both the Constitution’s content and its ratification process raise troubling questions about democratic legitimacy. The Federalists were eager to avoid full-fledged democratic deliberation over the Constitution, and the document that was ratified was stacked in favor of their preferences. And in terms of substance, the Constitution was a significant departure from the more democratic state constitutions of the 1770s. Definitive and authoritative, The Framers’ Coup explains why the Framers preferred such a constitution and how they managed to persuade the country to adopt it. We have lived with the consequences, both positive and negative, ever since.” — Oxford University Press

More About The Framers’ Coup

“A magisterial history of the creation of the United States Constitution… In crisp, precise style, and without undue reverence for the framers or their handiwork, Klarman explores in great depth, with ample illustrative quotations, the varying proposals and the heated arguments for and against them… A monumental project carried off to a high degree of excellence… Constitutional scholars will find this thorough and authoritative work indispensable reading.”– Kirkus, Starred Review

 

Book Talk: Gillian Thomas with Judge Nancy Gertner, “Because of Sex,” Thur. Oct. 6, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Gillian Thomas recently published book titled Because of Sex:  one law, ten cases, and fifty years that changed American women’s lives at work (St. Martin’s Press).

Copies of Because of Sex will be available for sale and Gillian Thomas will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Thursday, October 6, 2016 at noon.  Please feel free to bring your own lunch.

Harvard Law School Room Lewis 214A (Directions)


1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Gillian Thomas book talk poster

Gillian Thomas is a Senior Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project. She previously litigated sex discrimination cases at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Slate, and she has been interviewed by NPR and The Wall Street Journal, among others. She’s a graduate of Yale University and the University of Michigan Law School, and lives in Brooklyn.

“The 1964 Civil Rights Act is best known as a monumental achievement of the civil rights movement, but few realize that it also revolutionized the lives of America’s working women. Title VII of the law made it illegal to discriminate “because of sex.” That simple phrase didn’t mean much, though, until ordinary women began using the law to get justice on the job—and some of them took their fights all the way to the Supreme Court. In Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work , Gillian Thomas, a lawyer with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, uses first person accounts and vivid narrative to tell the story of how one law, our highest court, and a few unsung heroines changed our country’s workplace forever.

Because of Sex takes readers through ten landmark sex discrimination cases that helped dismantle a “Mad Men” world where women could only hope to play supporting roles, where bosses’ leers and propositions were as much a part of the air women breathed as cigarette smoke, and where pregnancy meant getting a pink slip. Readers will meet Ida Phillips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool-age child; Kim Rawlinson, who fought to become a prison guard—a “man’s job”; Mechelle Vinson, who endured sexual abuse by her boss before “sexual harassment” even had a name; Ann Hopkins, denied partnership at a Big Eight accounting firm because the men in charge thought she needed “a course at charm school”; and most recently, Peggy Young, forced off her UPS delivery route while pregnant because she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting.

Today, women make up close to half of all American workers, and the majority of them have children. Women are visible at the top ranks of business, science, and journalism, to name just a few. A third of the justices on the Supreme Court now are women, and a woman president is inevitable—possibly imminent.

We never would have gotten here without Title VII. The law’s enactment in 1964 was just the beginning. What happened next is where Because of Sex begins.” — St. Martin’s Press

Panelist:

Nancy Gertner

 

 

 

Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.), Senior Lecturer on Law

 

 

More about Because of Sex:  one law, ten cases, and fifty years that changed American women’s lives at work:

“Meticulously researched and rewarding to read. Thomas is a gifted storyteller.” — The New York Times

“Gives well-earned attention to women who remained unknown even as the causes they fought for gained support and the legal actions they brought entered the casebooks under their names.”  — Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books

“Thomas writes with precision and grace (and a lovely lack of jargon) about 10 cases that established the full reach and scope of Title VII. The plaintiffs and attorneys she profiles … helped build the precedents that enable women to seek formerly male-only jobs, to work through marriage and parenthood, to be free from sexual harassment.”  ― The Boston Globe

“Compulsively readable … a moving and informative account of a struggle for equality that remains incomplete.” — Publishers Weekly

 

Book Talk: Stephen Davis, What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It, Oct. 5, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and panel discussion in celebration of Stephen Davis’ recently published book with co-authors Jon Lukomnik and David Pitt-Watson, What They Do With Your Money:  How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It  (Yale Univ. Press).

Copies of What They Do With Your Money will be available for sale and the authors Davis and Lukomnik will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at noon.  Please feel free to bring your own lunch.
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2019 Milstein West A/B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

What They Do With Your Money poster

Stephen Davis is Associate Director of the Harvard Law School Programs on Corporate Governance and Institutional Investors, and a senior fellow at the Program on Corporate Governance. He is also a nonresident senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution. From 2007-2012 he was executive director of the Yale School of Management’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance and Lecturer on the SOM faculty.  Jon Lukomnik is Executive Director of the Investor Responsibility Research Center and David Pitt-Watson is the former head of the Hermes shareholder activist funds in Europe and an Executive Fellow of Finance at the London Business School.

“Each year we pay billions in fees to those who run our financial system. The money comes from our bank accounts, our pensions, our borrowing, and often we aren’t told that the money has been taken. These billions may be justified if the finance industry does a good job, but as this book shows, it too often fails us. Financial institutions regularly place their business interests first, charging for advice that does nothing to improve performance, employing short-term buying strategies that are corrosive to building long-term value, and sometimes even concealing both their practices and their investment strategies from investors.

In their previous prizewinning book, The New Capitalists, the authors demonstrated how ordinary people are working together to demand accountability from even the most powerful corporations. Here they explain how a tyranny of errant expertise, naive regulation, and a misreading of economics combine to impose a huge stealth tax on our savings and our economies. More important, the trio lay out an agenda for curtailing the misalignments that allow the financial industry to profit at our expense. With our financial future at stake, this is a book that analysts, economists, policy makers, and anyone with a retirement nest egg can’t afford to ignore.” — Yale University Press

Panelists

Robert C. Clark

 

 

Robert C. Clark, Austin Wakeman Scott Professor of Law

 

Robert Eccles

 

 

Robert G. Eccles, Chairman of Arabesque Partners, formerly Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School

 

Nell Minow

 

 

Nell Minow, Vice Chair of ValueEdge Advisors

 

More About What They Do With Your Money:

“This excellent and well written book exposes the multiple leakages to various agents operating between savers and pensioners and the companies they are invested in as well as the problems of collective industry failure. It does not just make clear the problems and the often perverse incentives in the current system, but with clear “takeaways” after each chapter, the authors propose practical solutions from greater transparency to systemic regulation, with an outline of what a “People’s Pension Plan” and a “Common-Sense Bank” would look like. The book has insights for the individual investor as well as those in the industry interested in making the investment process fairer and more responsible.” — Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell

“For those wishing to know what’s right with our financial system and how it can go wrong—or what’s wrong with it and how it can be set right, this is the book for you. Its return to common sense and the basics of finance is refreshing in a world too often characterized by obfuscation and complexity. Clear, concise, sensible, and incontrovertible.” —  Steve Lydenberg, Founder and CEO of The Investment Integration Project

“This book brilliantly describes what finance is for and shows how we, the people, who are the ultimate owners, can influence the system to meet our long-term needs.” — Dame Barbara Stocking, President, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

“Davis, Lukomnik and Pitt-Watson paint a bleak picture of an out-of-control financial system that fails to serve the aspirations of ordinary individuals.  Not content simply to identify the problem, the authors propose creative (principles-based) solutions.  If you care about the role of finance in today’s economy, read this provocative, compelling book.” — David Swensen, Chief Investment Officer, Yale University

This fine book provides remarkable insights into what has gone wrong in our financial institutions and markets. In its call for action by us–we investors who collectively own corporate America–the authors offer clear and actionable steps that we can take to build a corporate world that serves our own interests, not Wall Street’s. —  John C. Bogle, founder and former chief, The Vanguard Group

“This is a clear and persuasive analysis of what is wrong with the financial system. The good news is that much of it is fixable, and this excellent book gives a compelling account of how.”— David Walker, Chairman of Winton Capital, former Chairman of Barclays

“As only insiders can, Davis, Lukomnik, and Pitt-Watson shine a spotlight on hidden cracks in the system that can still put hard-earned savings at risk. This is a vital book for anyone concerned about how to make the finance industry generate wealth for all of us.”— Former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd

“Uncompromising in its critique and optimistic in its vision, What They Do With Your Money not only addresses the problems in the finance industry but offers practical solutions that can change the world for the better.” — Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

“….the interests of the underlying clients of the finance industry—the depositors, the workers and the pensioners—should come first. Everyone is a capitalist these days. That means keeping a much closer eye on those who manage that capital”— The Economist

“A new book by three of the best thinkers in financial sustainability . . . does an outstanding job of fusing the public necessity and investor rationale for sustainable investment. . . . The timing of this book is impeccable, and it is required reading.”— Hugh Whelan, ESG Magazine

“A thoughtful, meticulously documented, and downright infuriating indictment of the American financial services industry.”— Nell Minow, Huffington Post

 

Faculty Book Talk: Henry J. Steiner’s Eyeing the World, Thur. Sept. 29, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a talk and discussion about a recently published photography book titled Eyeing the World by Henry J. Steiner, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School.

Copies of Eyeing the World will be available for sale and Professor Steiner will be available for signing books at the end of his talk.

Thursday September 29, 2016 at noon, with lunch


Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East A (Directions)


1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Henry Steiner book talk poster

About the Photographer

“Early in my life, photography became a favorite pastime.  Over the decades its grip on my interests and time strengthened to the point that it turned into more than a hobby if less than a career.

My academic career involved international issues requiring foreign trips, particularly in the poorer developing countries.  Beyond their professional attraction, such travels fascinated me culturally and visually.  They offered eyefuls of people and nature that seemed at once familiar and novel, conventional and puzzling.  The desire was irresistible to search for and explore those eyefuls photographically after or between my trips’ scheduled events. In addition to these academic ventures, my vacations, hikes and treks gave occasion for most of the website’s images.

Over a half century, the subject matter of my photography remained markedly diverse.  It never concentrated on a particular theme, topic or region.  The vast majority of pictures on the website cannot be cabined within a particular ideology or purpose.  Nonetheless, certain underlying ideas and beliefs are common to many photos.  They suggest a deep relationship between my academic work and much of my photography.

Over the years, the photography predictably migrated from black-and-white to color, and from film to digital. Both trends heightened and broadened my engagement with picture-taking.  They indeed transformed my relationship to the entire practice of photography.

A few words about my principal career. The images in the book straddle the four decades during which I taught at Harvard Law School, as well as the most recent decade after I became professor emeritus. Over this period, international human rights became my principal commitment in scholarship, teaching and consulting. Today I continue to explore questions of human rights and pursue public interest projects, while engaging more systematically and intensely with this brave new world of digital photography.”  — Henry J. Steiner, April 2016

Book Talk: Judge Robert L. Wilkins’ Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Mon., Sept. 19, at noon

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk in celebration of Judge Robert L. Wilkins recently published book,  Long Road to Hard Truth:  The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture Copies will be available for sale and Judge Wilkins will be available for signing books at the end of his talk.

Monday, September 19, 2016 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2036 Milstein East A/B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

Judge Wilkins Book Talk Poster

 

Judge Wilkins was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on January 15, 2014. A native of Muncie Indiana, he obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1986 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989. Following law school, Judge Wilkins served as a law clerk to the Honorable Earl B. Gilliam of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. In 1990, he joined the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he served first as a staff attorney in the trial and appellate divisions and later for several years as Special Litigation Chief. In 2002, he joined the law firm of Venable LLP as a partner, handling white-collar defense, intellectual property and complex civil litigation matters. During his tenure with the Public Defender Service and in private practice, Judge Wilkins served as the lead plaintiff in Wilkins, et al. v. State of Maryland, a landmark civil rights lawsuit that inspired nationwide legislative and executive reform of police stop-and-search practices and the collection of data regarding those practices. Judge Wilkins also played a key role in the establishment of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (scheduled to open in September 2016 on the National Mall), serving as the Chairman of the Site and Building Committee of the Presidential Commission whose work led to the Congressional authorization of the museum and the selection of its location. As a practicing lawyer, he was named one of the “40 under 40 most successful young litigators in America” by the National Law Journal (2002) and one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years” by the Legal Times (2008). On December 27, 2010, Judge Wilkins was appointed United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, where he served until his appointment to the D.C. Circuit.

More about Long Road to Hard Truth:  The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture

“In Long Road to Hard Truth: The 100-Year Mission to Create the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Robert L. Wilkins tells the story of how his curiosity about why there wasn’t a national museum dedicated to African American history and culture became an obsession – eventually leading him to quit his job as an attorney when his wife was seven months pregnant with their second child, and make it his mission to help the museum become a reality. Long Road to Hard Truth chronicles the early history, when staunch advocates sought to create a monument for Black soldiers fifty years after the end of the Civil War and in response to the pervasive indignities of the time, including lynching, Jim Crow segregation, and the slander of the racist film Birth of a Nation. The movement soon evolved to envision creating a national museum, and Wilkins follows the endless obstacles through the decades, culminating in his honor of becoming a member of the Presidential Commission that wrote the plan for creating the museum and how, with support of both Black and White Democrats and Republicans, Congress finally authorized the museum. In September 2016, exactly 100 years after the movement to create it began, the Smithsonian will open the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The book’s title is inspired in part by James Baldwin, who testified in Congress in 1968 that “My history . . . contains the truth about America. It is going to be hard to teach it.” Long Road to Hard Truth concludes that this journey took 100 years because many in America are unwilling to confront the history of America’s legacy of slavery and discrimination, and that the only reason this museum finally became a reality is that an unlikely, bipartisan coalition of political leaders had the courage and wisdom to declare that America could not, and should not, continue to evade the hard truth.” — booklife.com

Special Ticketed Event! Cass R. Sunstein, “The World According to Star Wars,” Mon. May 23, at 6 pm, Brattle Theatre Cambridge

The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk in celebration of Professor Cass Sunstein’s recently published book, The World According to Star Wars (Harper Collins).

Monday May 23, 2016 at 6 pm
Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA  (Directions)

Doors open at 5:30 pm.  Festive attire welcome!

Tickets required for this event.

General admission tickets are available for $5.00 and include a $5.00 coupon for the Harvard Bookstore.

General admission tickets available online, in person at the Harvard Book Store, and by phone at (617)661-1515 beginning April 26, 2016.

Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the Brattle Theatre when the doors open at 5:30 pm.

sunstein star wars brattle theatre poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A deeply original celebration of George Lucas’s masterpiece as it relates to history, presidential politics, law, economics, fatherhood, and culture by Harvard legal scholar and former White House advisor.

There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, The Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting with down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’ score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

In rich detail, Sunstein tells story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and what it has to say about why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about the freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines new light on the most beloved story of our time.” — Harper Collins

“In this gem of a book, Cass Sunstein uses the Star Wars series to explore profound questions about being a parent, a child, and a human. It will change the way you think about your own journey, might even make you pick up the phone and call your dad.” — Walter Isaacson

“Irresistibly charming, acclaimed legal scholar Sunstein writes partly as a rigorous academic and partly as a helpless fanboy as he explores our fascination with Star Wars and what the series can teach us about the law, behavioral economics, history, even fatherhood. This book is fun, brilliant, and deeply original.” — Lee Child

“In this remarkable, book Sunstein manages to connect invisible gorillas, hit songs, conspiracy theories, and constitutional law. For anyone who loves the movies, or loves to think about how the world works, or simply loves their father “The World According to Star Wars” will provoke and inspire.” — Duncan Watts, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and author of Everything is Obvious (Once You Know the Answer)

“Smart and interesting.” — Kirkus Reviews

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