At first blush, a book about law professors doesn't sound very interesting--even to a law professor. But Stephen Presser's new book Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law scored a lengthy and very positive review in The Economist:
If the fight [over Supreme Court nominations] has become more heated, it is because the authority of the judiciary in America, notably its ability “to legislate”—to expand the reach of law and find new, unstated (and possibly unintended) rights—has been a pivotal feature of politics since the 1950s. “Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law”, a well-timed book by Stephen Presser, a professor at Northwestern University, traces how this emerged.
The book is organised around the intellectual biographies of 29 individuals, including one Barack Obama, who spent 12 years as a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago before taking an eight-year tour as America’s president. “There is no country on Earth in which law professors have played a more prominent role,” writes Mr Presser, a statement that neither lawyers nor politicians in any camp would dispute. ...
Mr Presser’s book does not always make for easy reading, but the ideas that he has gathered together, all of them put forward by intelligent people, are complex. America is consumed by serious legal debates about issues, what the law says, what people think the law should say—and whether that is law. This may be the book that comes closest to spelling out what is really being argued.
Congratulations to Professor Presser! Sounds like a must read, even if you aren't a law professor. I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on a copy.