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Glenn C. Altschuler
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Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies and Vice President for University Relations at Cornell University.

Entries by Glenn C. Altschuler

The Transnational Dimensions of the New Deal

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 2:55 PM

Review of The New Deal: A Global History. By Kiran Klaus Patel. Princeton University Press. 435 pp. $35

"We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace," Franklin Roosevelt declared in 1945; "our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other Nations, far away." That lesson, President Roosevelt...

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Here Comes Da Judge

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 7:45 AM

Review of Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary. By Richard A. Posner. Harvard University Press. 432 pp. $29.95

Richard Posner confesses to being "outspoken for a judge." His career - as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; a senior lecturer at the...

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Money Talks

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 7:44 AM

Review of Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections. By Richard L. Hasen. Yale University Press. 256 pp. $32.50

"There are two things that are important in politics," Marcus Hanna, chairman of the Republican National Committee and United States Senator from Ohio once declared:...

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Digital Dystopia

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2015 | 8:09 AM

Review of Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age. By Bernard E. Harcourt. Harvard University Press. 364 pp. $35.

In 2015, the National Security Agency is apparently intercepting and storing well over 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other communications every day. The NSA's approach, an internal memo produced...

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How to End Hazing in Fraternities and Sororities

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 3:08 PM

Some traditions die hard. Some do not die at all. Hazing has been a pervasive practice in fraternities and sororities on college campuses for generations. A 2008 study by the National Collaborative for Hazing Research and Prevention found that more than 73% of "Greeks" reported being hazed. The...

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Remains of the Day

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2015 | 8:40 AM

Review of The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains. By Thomas W. Laqueur. Princeton University Press. 711 pp. $39.95.

For more than two thousand years, some people, inspired perhaps by Diogenes the Cynic (ca. 412-323 B.C.E.), have made fun of burial practices and monuments. Poor, naked,...

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Who Won the War on Secrecy?

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2015 | 9:02 AM

Review of The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency, 1945-1975. By Michael Schudson. Harvard University Press. 348 pp. $29.95


Almost half a century ago, Ralph Nader declared that "A well-informed citizenry is the lifeblood of democracy; and in all areas...

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Ties That B(l)ind

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 10:10 AM

Review of Just Married: Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy & the Future of Marriage. By Stephen Macedo. Princeton University Press. 300 pp. $29.95.

During the litigation over the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman, Attorney Charles Cooper maintained that...

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Sanford & Sins

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Review of The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics. By Barton Swaim. Simon & Schuster. 204 pp. $25.

On June 24, 2009, at a hastily arranged press conference in the rotunda of the State House, Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, and a rising star in the...

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The Tyranny of GDP

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 1:25 PM

Review of The Little Big Number: How GDP Came to Rule the World and What to Do About It. By Dirk Philipsen. Princeton University Press. 398 pp. $29.95

"He who has enough to satisfy his want," a philosopher declared in the fourteenth century, "and nevertheless ceaselessly labors to acquire riches,...

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The Greatest Danger to the World

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 12:14 PM

Review of Inequality: What Can Be Done? By Anthony B. Atkinson. Harvard University Press. 384 pp. $29.95

More than 80 years ago, during the Great Depression, R.H. Tawney asserted that "while inequality is easy, since it demands no more than to float with the current, equality is difficult, for it...

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Political Trash Talk's Toll

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 12:26 PM

Review of In-Your-Face Politics: The Consequences of Uncivil Media by Diana C. Mutz. 263 pp. $29.95

"If a producer can find someone who eggs on conservative listeners to spout off and prods liberals into shouting back, he's got a show," Bill O'Reilly, host of The O'Reilly Factor, declared a few...

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(Pro)creationism in Schools

(1) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 2:10 PM

Review of Too Hot To Handle: A Global History of Sex Education. By Jonathan Zimmerman. Princeton University Press. 202 pp.

Written in 1891, Spring Awakening, a play by Frank Wedekind, dealt with adolescent sexuality, abortion, homosexuality, rape and suicide. Censored by German officials, Spring Awakening did not have its debut...

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Faculty Governance

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 3:38 PM

Review of Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education, by William G. Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin.

These days, colleges and universities are struggling to deal with rising costs, defaults on student loans, reduced appropriations from state and federal agencies, competition from...

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Genocidaires

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 5:08 PM

Review of The Killing Compartments: The Mentality of Mass Murder by Abram De Swaan. Yale University Press: 332 p.p., $35

As far as we know, human beings have always engaged in mass murder. With the emergence of the nation-state, however, sustained violence, including wars between more or less symmetric parties...

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No Holds Barred

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 4:42 PM

Review of Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics. By Marie Gottschalk. Princeton University Press. 474 pp. $35

In 1994, California mandated that defendants with two or more serious convictions be sentenced to a minimum of twenty-five years to life on conviction of any third felony. Sixteen...

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Ballot Boxers

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 6:32 PM

Review of The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won't Admit It. By Jason Weeden & Robert Kurzban. Princeton University Press.

We know, with precision, for whom American voters cast their ballots. But it is much less clear why they pull...

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Berne, Baby, Berne

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 7:29 PM

Review of The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Trans-Atlantic Battle. By Peter Baldwin. Princeton University Press. 535 pp. $35.

In 1989, the United States joined the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Established in 1886, the Berne Convention assumed that such works were a form of...

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Noise Makers

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 11:08 PM

Review of The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs. By Greil Marcus. Yale University Press. 307 pp. $28.

Sometimes, Greil Marcus claims, "a song says what its words never could." It hints that some things cannot be captured in words or shouldn't be. Inside the loudness "is a...

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A Whole 'Nuther Country

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 7:03 PM

Review of Rough Country: How Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State. By Robert Wuthnow. Princeton University Press. 654 pp. $39.50.


After Governor Dan Moody proclaimed in 1930 that a few of his Texas Rangers could rid the city of Chicago of its gangsters, the Chicago Daily Tribune...

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