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Tag Archives: Books/Livres

American War from Sherman to McChrystal

Share the post "American War from Sherman to McChrystal" ** This is the second in a series of four reviews of Samuel Moyn’s new book Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War. Each day this week one review will be published. On Friday, Moyn will respond. ** “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” stated an anonymous United States Major in February 1968 following the destruction of the Vietnamese city Bến Tre during the Tet...

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Dissolving the Dream of Peace

Share the post "Dissolving the Dream of Peace" ** This is the first in a series of four reviews of Samuel Moyn’s new book Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War. Each day this week one review will be published. On Friday, Moyn will respond. ** To write compellingly about the history of international law for a general audience is no mean feat, but Sam Moyn, describing himself as an old dog having to learn new tricks (383), has pulled it off....

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Kathryn Sikkink’s “The Hidden Face of Rights”

Share the post "Kathryn Sikkink’s “The Hidden Face of Rights”" Kathryn Sikkink, The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibilities (Yale University Press, 2020) Kathryn Sikkink, Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, is one of the leading academic experts on international human rights law­­—the body of principles arising out of a series of post-World War II human rights treaties, conventions, and other international instruments. Recently, I...

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Whither the 21st Century New Deal?

Share the post "Whither the 21st Century New Deal?" Review of Eric Rauchway, Why the New Deal Matters (Yale, 2021). The ongoing pandemic is the worst crisis the United States has endured since World War II. Over 600,000 people have died, and there is practically no part of social or political life that has gone unaffected. And yet the American state’s response to this crisis has been, to put it mildly, incoherent. COVID vaccines have been readily available for nearly...

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Some quasi-methodological reflections: a reply to Ghins and Ragazzoni

Share the post "Some quasi-methodological reflections: a reply to Ghins and Ragazzoni" Greg Conti offers a response to his reviewers in our “Parliamentary Thinking” book forum.  It was a pleasure for me to read the commentaries by David Ragazzoni and Arthur Ghins. These are among the most promising scholars writing about the history and theory of liberalism and democracy, and their insightful engagements with Parliament the Mirror of the Nation demonstrate well why...

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Representing Parts and Parties

Share the post "Representing Parts and Parties" This is the fourth and final review in our “Parliamentary Thinking” book forum. Review of Parliament the Mirror of the Nation: Representation, Deliberation and Democracy in Victorian Britain by Gregory Conti (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Greg Conti’s first monograph is an important, and exemplarily well-written, contribution to a fast-growing body of literature in historical political theory that makes the...

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Democracy in the Mirror

Share the post "Democracy in the Mirror" This is the third review in our “Parliamentary Thinking” book forum. Review of Parliament the Mirror of the Nation: Representation, Deliberation and Democracy in Victorian Britain by Gregory Conti (Cambridge University Press, 2019). In Political Political Theory (2016), Jeremy Waldron chided political theorists for studying ideals such as equality or liberty in a vacuum, in a way oblivious to the concrete institutional...

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“The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas”

Share the post "“The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas”" Robert Zaretsky, The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021) Simone Weil is considered today among the foremost twentieth-century French intellectuals, on par with such luminous contemporaries as Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus. And yet she was not widely known when she died at age 34 in 1943. Although she wrote profusely, only...

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“Scots and Catalans”: Comparing separatisms

Share the post "“Scots and Catalans”: Comparing separatisms" Review of J.H. Elliot, Scots and Catalans: Union and Disunion (Yale University Press). Are the United Kingdom and Scotland barreling toward a crisis over Scottish independence of the magnitude of that which rattled Spain in 2017, when Catalonia, the country’s northeast corner that includes Barcelona, unilaterally declared its independence? That possibility seems less far-fetched after early May’s...

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Les liaisons dangereuses de l’État

Share the post "Les liaisons dangereuses de l’État" Review essay on Antoine Vauchez and Pierre France, The Neoliberal Republic: Corporate Lawyers, Statecraft, and the Making of Public-Private France (Cornell University Press, 2021) En 1976, dans un témoignage résumant bien l’état d’esprit de nombreux grands commis de la Libération, François Bloch-Lainé pouvait écrire : « j’ai choisi de servir un maître et un seul : l’État. Un maître dont les agents jouissent d’une...

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