A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us About Justice

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9780061769108: A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us About Justice

“Fascinating....Loaded with perceptive and provocative comments on Shakespeare’s plots, characters, and contemporary analogs.”
—Justice John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court of the United States

“Kenji Yoshino is the face and the voice of the new civil rights.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickled and Dimed

A Thousand Times More Fair is a highly inventive and provocative exploration of ethics and the law that uses the plays of William Shakespeare as a prism through which to view the nature of justice in our contemporary lives. Celebrated law professor and author Kenji Yoshino delves into ten of the most important works of the Immortal Bard of Avon, offering prescient and thought-provoking discussions of lawyers, property rights, vengeance (legal and otherwise), and restitution that have tremendous significance to the defining events of our times—from the O.J. Simpson trial to Abu Ghraib. Anyone fascinated by important legal and social issues—as well as fans of Shakespeare-centered bestsellers like Will in the World—will find A Thousand Times More Fair an exceptionally rewarding reading experience.

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From the Back Cover:

A provocative exploration of justice in our time through fresh readings of Shakespeare's greatest plays

Celebrated legal scholar Kenji Yoshino's first book, Covering, was acclaimed–from the New York Times Book Review to O, The Oprah Magazine to the American Lawyer–for its elegant prose, its good humor, and its brilliant insights into civil rights and discrimination law. Now, in A Thousand Times More Fair, Yoshino turns his attention to the broad question of what makes a fair and just society, and he delves deep into a surprising source to answer it: Shakespeare's greatest plays.

An enormously creative and provocative book, A Thousand Times More Fair addresses fundamental questions we ask about our world today: Why is the rule of law better than revenge? How much mercy should we show a wrongdoer? What does it mean to "prove" guilt or innocence? As Yoshino argues, a searching examination of Shakespeare's plays–and the many advocates, judges, criminals, and vigilantes who populate them–can elucidate some of the most troubling issues in contemporary life.

With a great ear for Shakespeare and an eye trained steadily on current affairs, Yoshino considers how competing models of judging presented in Measure for Measure resurfaced around the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; how the revenge cycle of Titus Andronicus illuminates the "war on terror" and our military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq; how the white handkerchief in Othello and the black glove in the O. J. Simpson trial reflect forms of proof that overwhelm all other evidence; and how the spectacle of an omnipotent ruler voluntarily surrendering power in The Tempest, as Cincinnatus did before him and George Washington did after him, informs regime change in our own time.

A Thousand Times More Fair is an altogether original book about Shakespeare and the law, and an ideal starting point to explore the nature of a just society–and our own.

About the Author:

Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New YorkUniversity School of Law, is the author of the award-winning memoir Covering. He lives inNew York City.

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