University of California

Hostility in America
August 25, 1997

Wilson reviews Crime is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America in 1997.

Stare Indecisis
December 23, 1996

On November 27, three weeks after the citizens of California ratified the California Civil Rights Initiative, Judge Thelton Henderson of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco enjoined Governor Pete Wilson from enforcing it. Invoking a Supreme Court decision from 1982, Washington v. Seattle School District No.

With God on Their Sides
November 25, 1996

The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia by Michael A. Sells (University of California Press, 244 pp., $19.95) The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia edited by Mark Pinson. (Harvard University Press, 207 pp., $14.95)   Was it genocide that occurred in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? Were the Serbs and the Croats who attacked the Muslims motivated mainly by religious nationalism?

The Day the Quotas Died
April 26, 1996

Great Supreme Court decisions, for all their theatricality, are notoriously weak engines of social change. The commands of Brown v. Board of Education weren't implemented until decades later; Roe v. Wade confirmed a trend toward the liberalization of abortion laws that had been percolating in the states. But, a year after it was handed down, Adarand v. Pena is proving to be a startling exception. Like a boulder thrown into a placid pond, Adarand has been sending ripples through the lower courts in ways that are already transforming affirmative action as we know it.

Sins of Admission
June 08, 1995

James Q. Wilson argues the controversial effects of affirmative action in this article from July, 1996.

Is Affirmative Action Doomed?
October 17, 1994

On September 7 Deval Patrick, the assistant attorney general for civil rights, filed a brief in a New Jersey case arguing that it is legal to fire a white teacher over a black teacher purely because of her race. And on August 19 a federal district judge in Austin, Texas, held that aspects of the affirmative action program at the University of Texas law school are unconstitutional. One or both of the cases may reach the Supreme Court before long. Each on its own could revive the debate about racial preferences and ventilate their more troubling assumptions.

Can Labor Come Back?
May 23, 1994

The recent Teamsters strike, The Los Angeles Times declared, "has served as a reminder of how much the union's influence has waned." The outcome, The New York Times wrote, showed how the union's "power has shrunk." There is some truth in these statements, but they reveal more about the national press's attitude toward labor than about the Teamsters union. During the twenty-four-day strike, the longest in Teamster history and the first since 1979, the union achieved almost 100 percent support from its rank and file, in spite of violent dissension in its upper ranks. In the provisional settlemen

The Lost Lesbian
May 23, 1994

Sappho: A Garland The Poems and Fragments of Sappho Translated by Jim Powell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 65 pp., $15) The Laughter of Aphrodite: A Novel about Sappho of Lesbos By Peter Green (University of California Press, 274 pp., $22) The "garland" of Jim Powell's felicitous translation of Sappho is a tattered remnant. It might well have been subtitled The Poem and Fragments of Sappho, for there is only one poem in the book that we can be reasonably sure is complete, the playful summons to Aphrodite that stands at its head. There is one other poem—the famous description of the physical

The New Historicism
February 28, 1988

Shakespearean Negotiations  By Stephen Greenblatt (University of California Press, 205 pp., $20) The Place of the Stage: License, Play and Power in Renaissance England By Steven Mullaney (University of Chicago Press, 178 pp., $24.95) External observers must have noticed abundant signs of tumult in the world of academic literary criticism. Some, remarking with dismay the proliferation of forbiddingly obscure titles, may have lost interest or given up the hope of discovering what is going on.

The Improlific Appetite
July 01, 1985

Byron and Greek Love: Homophobia in 19th-century England by Louis Crompton (University of California Press, 419 pp., $24.95) The central subject of this book is declared in its subtitle rather than in its title. Homophobia (fear and hatred of homosexuals) played a particular role in English life. No executions for homosexual acts are recorded in Continental Europe after 1791, but the figures remained constant at about two a year in England for the three decades after 1806. Executions for every other capital offense declined dramatically.

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