April 2008 Special Edition: Legal Fiction Reviews

pp. 288-290

Editor’s Note

This marks the first special issue on Legal Fiction from THE LAW AND POLITICS BOOK REVIEW. Thanks to Mary Atwell and Jack Call (both at Radford University), who commissioned reviews and edited this special issue. This was a major undertaking, and Mary and Jack did a superb job of it. Finally, special thanks go to our 22 reviewers, whose reviews represent a most valuable resource to our larger community.


Often during the fifteen years we have been colleagues in the criminal justice department at Radford University, we have talked about including works of fiction in our classes. Each of us has favorites. Jack is partial to RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY and SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS. Mary often uses TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and A LESSON BEFORE DYING. We agreed it would be interesting to find out how others who teach courses in political science, criminal justice, or law use novels in their teaching.

We approached Wayne McIntosh to propose a special issue of the LAW AND POLITICS BOOK REVIEW devoted to fiction. In it, contributors would discuss specifically their interest and experience with novels as sources for student learning. In October we sent out a request for reviewers. Although we provided a list of books that seemed appropriate, we also asked for suggestions from potential contributors who might discuss novels they had used effectively. The response was immediate and enthusiastic. Professors from a variety of universities and disciplines either volunteered to consider a book from our list or suggested a work they and their students found particularly worthwhile. A list of all the proposed books, whether reviewed or not, is included below.

Thanks to our excellent contributors, the special issue includes twenty-two reviews of American, British, and European novels from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

It has been a pleasure to serve as guest editors. We hope readers of the LPBR will find this special issue interesting and informative.

Book, Author
1984, George Orwell
Advise and Consent, Allen Drury
All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, Walter Mosely
An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
At End of Day, George V. Higgins
Billy Budd, Herman Melville
Bleak House, Charles Dickens
Bodega’s Dream, Ernesto Quinonez
Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk
Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The Cave, Jose Saramago
The Chamber, John Grisham
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
The Constant Gardener, John Le Carre
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler
Defending Billy Ryan, George V. Higgins
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Richard Louis Stevenson
Famous All Over Town, Danny Santiago
The Fixer, Bernard Malamud
Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
The Good Terrorist, Doris Lessing
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
A House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus
The Human Stain, Philip Roth
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Joanne Greenberg
I, Robot, Isaac Asimov
Involuntary Witness, Gianrico Carofiglio
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
Knock on Any Door, Willard Motley
The Last Hurrah, Edwin O’Connor
A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest Gaines
The Monkeywrench Game, Edward Abbey
The Once and Future King, T.H. White
The Ox-bow Incident, Walter von Tilburg Clark
Paradise, Toni Morrison
The Plague, Albert Camus
Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow
Protect and Defend, Richard North Patterson
Pudd’nhead Wilson, Mark Twain
Render the Body, Marianne Wesson
Rumpole of the Bailey, John Mortimer
Rumpole for the Prosecution, John Mortimer
Saturday, Ian McEwan
Seeing, Jose Saramago
Snow Falling on Cedars, David Guterson
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Love in the Time of Butterflies, Julia Alvarez
A Time to Kill , John Grisham
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Reader, Bernhard Schlink
The Seven Who Were Hanged, Leonid Andreyev
The Trial, Franz Kafka
The Virginian, Owen Wister
Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee
Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine, Bebe Moore Campbell