Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just released: War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences

Mary L. Dudziak

I hope you will indulge this little announcement:  My new book, War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences, has just been released by Oxford University Press.  You have had a preview, of course, since I've occasionally talked about it here. In the acknowledgments is a thank you to everyone who sent an email and posted a blog comment (a group thank you, since of course I couldn't list everyone).  I could not address all the great suggestions I received, but I greatly benefited from your engagement.

Here's the press book description:
When is wartime? On the surface, it is a period of time in which a society is at war. But we now live in what President Obama has called "an age without surrender ceremonies," as the Administration announced an "end to conflict in Iraq," even though conflict on the ground is ongoing. It is no longer easy to distinguish between wartime and peacetime. In this inventive meditation on war, time, and the law, Mary Dudziak argues that wartime is not as discrete a time period as we like to think. Instead, America has been engaged in some form of ongoing overseas armed conflict for over a century. Meanwhile policy makers and the American public continue to view wars as exceptional events that eventually give way to normal peace times. This has two consequences. First, because war is thought to be exceptional, "wartime" remains a shorthand argument justifying extreme actions like torture and detention without trial. Second, ongoing warfare is enabled by the inattention of the American people. More disconnected than ever from the wars their nation is fighting, public disengagement leaves us without political restraints on the exercise of American war powers.
There are endorsements from a couple of your favorite con law scholars and others. The table of contents and introduction are on SSRN.  Other details are here and here. Book news, information about public events, and discussion of related works, can be found here.  And you can read the whole book right now on Kindle and Nook.

Cross-posted from the Legal History Blog.

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