HLS Authors: Selected alumni books

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Credit: Ellen Weinstein

“Living Originalism,”

by Jack M. Balkin ’81 (Belknap). Rejecting the long-running debate pitting originalism against living constitutionalism, Balkin proposes a new constitutional theory called framework originalism, which regards the Constitution as an “initial framework for governance that sets politics in motion.” The constitutional law professor at Yale Law School distinguishes between text creating unambiguous rules that should be followed, and language that is ambiguous, which requires looking to the principles behind the text to help us understand how to apply it. “Fidelity to the Constitution means applying its text and its principles to our present circumstances, and making use of the entire tradition of opinions and precedents that have sought to vindicate and implement the Constitution,” he writes.


“Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race,”

by Todd G. Buchholz ’86 (Hudson Street). As a former White House director of economic policy and managing director of a hedge fund, Buchholz has lived life in the fast lane. That is the best place to be, he explains in a book that celebrates competition and contends that “necessity is the mother of happiness.” Even stress and, as he puts it, chasing our own tail are good for us. Delving into history, evolutionary biology, and neuroeconomics, the author points to the importance of hard work, the benefits of being a “control freak,” and why everyone should put off retirement.“We should set ambitious goals,” he advises, “not settle for a Zen-like sense of calm.”


“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,”

by Susan Cain ’93 (Crown). Cain has written a manifesto for a large but often marginalized subset of the population: introverts. Though numbering about one out of every three people, they nevertheless frequently remain closeted in a society that idealizes the “oppressive standard” of extroversion, she writes. In the book, she examines how this extrovert ideal developed, the biological differences between introverts and extroverts, the cultural component of the different personality types, and offers a practical guide to help introverts navigate a world not often friendly to them. These tips can even work for an introverted lawyer seeking to represent clients forcefully and negotiate on their behalf, as she experienced firsthand.


“Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code, and the Play of Everyday Practice,”

by Julie E. Cohen ’91 (Yale). The growth of networked information and communications technologies over the past 20 years has spurred efforts to control the economic opportunities and threats they have created, according to Cohen, a Georgetown University Law Center professor who teaches intellectual property law and privacy law. She critiques the rules governing the flow of information, contending that they restrict cultural and technical information too much and personal information not at all. Instead, she argues that “the production of the networked information society should proceed in ways that promote the well-being of the situated, embodied beings who inhabit it.”


“Henry Friendly, Greatest Judge of His Era,”

by David M. Dorsen ’59 (Harvard). In the first comprehensive biography of Friendly ’27, who served on the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit from 1959 to 1986, Dorsen examines the life, legacy and influential decisions of a judge with “a towering reputation.” Marked by thorough research, the book is grounded in more than 250 interviews, including with all of Friendly’s law clerks (among them, Chief Justice John Roberts ’79), as well as analysis of his opinions arranged by subject matter. The author presents a portrait of a brilliant and pragmatic judge who “seemed to know what was required to make the law better.”


“Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits,”

by Lesley Rosenthal ’89 (Wiley). A guide for the most common legal, governance and fundraising compliance issues facing nonprofits. Rosenthal, who is general counsel of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, offers practical tools including focus questions, practice pointers, case studies and sample documents, along with a dose of humor and storytelling.