Tuesday, January 07, 2014

A recent (highly critical) review of "In the Balance"

Mark Tushnet

I ordinarily wouldn't do anything in response to the highly critical review of "In the Balance" that was published in the Law and Politics Book Review. But the reviewer's "main substantive complaint about the book is the frequent failure to provide evidence and elaboration to support its claims." The reviewer noted that "at many points," "I wrote 'evidence?' or 'citation?' in the margins." The reviewer also wrote, "you do not have to be a social scientist to expect that a reference would be provided for sentences that explicitly state 'academic studies indicate' or 'some studies find that or 'one academic study suggests.'"

It turns out that the reviewer based the review on an advance proof that lacked the "Notes" on sources at the end. So, caveat lector (of the review, not the book). (And, since I'd be have to be superhuman not to say something about the review's substance, I'll simply mention the story about the cross-examination of a witness who said that some milk had been diluted with water. The opposing lawyer asked, "Did you see my client pour water into the milk?," to which the response was, "No, but the fish swimming around in it was circumstantial evidence.")

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