Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression (Landmark Law Cases and American Society) (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)

Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression (Landmark Law Cases and American Society) (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)

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In the depths of the Great Depression, when foreclosure rates skyrocketed across the United States, more than two dozen states passed mortgage-extension or -adjustment laws to help farmers and homeowners keep their properties. One such statute in Minnesota led to the most important property law case of its time and still casts a long shadow upon constitutional debates and our own era’s severe economic downturn.

Fighting Foreclosure marks the first book-length study of the landmark 1934 Supreme Court decision in Home Building and Loan Association v. Blaisdell, which, by a 5–4 vote, upheld the Minnesota Mortgage Moratorium Act. Blaisdell validated efforts by states to offer legislative relief to citizens struggling to keep their farms and homes. But it caused an outcry among banking interests and conservative legal theorists, who argued that these laws violated the Contract Clause of the Constitution and interfered with our free market system.

In his majority opinion, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes argued that the reasonable and limited nature of the law and the unusual severity of the emergency it addressed placed it firmly within the “police powers” of the states to protect the health and safety of the people. In a strongly worded dissent, Justice George Sutherland argued for a consistent and strict interpretation of the Contract Clause regardless of economic exigency.

John Fliter and Derek Hoff provide a concise history and analysis of not only this landmark case and the reasoning behind its sharply divided decision but also of the entire history of the Contract Clause. They trace closely the agricultural crisis, political pressures, and farmer-protest movement that produced the Minnesota law. And their study contributes to scholarly debate about the origins of the Constitutional Revolution of 1937, by which the Supreme Court accepted the New Deal, as well as to public debates about constitutional interpretation and the role that government should play in providing relief to distressed citizens.

In the midst of our nation’s ongoing suffering from massive foreclosures and bankruptcies, Fighting Foreclosure also offers a potent reminder that the High Court’s decisions often revolve around lives at risk as much as abstract legal debates.

This book is part of the Landmark Law Cases and American Society series.

List Price: $ 19.95 Price: $ 15.00

The 20th-Century Children’s Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud

The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury: Picture Books and Stories to Read Aloud

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Unparalleled in scope and quality and designed for reading aloud and sharing, this splendid anthology brings together some of the most memorable and beloved children's books of our time. Here are classics such as Madeline and Curious George; contemporary bestsellers such as Guess How Much I Love You and The Stinky Cheese Man; Caldecott Medal winners such as Make Way for Ducklings and Where the Wild Things Are; and family favorites such as Goodnight Moon, The Sneetches, Winnie-the-Pooh, and Alexander & The Terrible, No Good Very Bad Day, soon to be a motion picture.

The selections range from concept books and wordless books to picture books and short read-aloud stories, and represent the complete array of childhood themes and reading needs: ABCs, number and color books, stories about going to bed and going to school; tales about growing up, siblings, parents, and grandparents; animal stories, fantasies; fables; magical stories; stories about everyday life--and more.

This beautiful edition includes a recommended list of books published in the time since this anthology's original compilation, including Caldecott Honors Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Olivia, with descriptive annotations intended to guide parents to these new books and new voices of the 21st century. Also included are an introduction from editor Janet Schulman, capsule biographies of the 62 writers and artists represented in the collection, color-coded running heads indicating age levels, and indexes. As a gift, a keepsake, and a companion in a child's first steps toward a lifelong love of reading, The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury belongs in every family's bookcase.Believe it or not, 44 complete read-aloud classics and future classics--from Goodnight Moon to Stellaluna--are packed in this remarkably svelte, positively historic anthology. Flipping through the 308 pages of The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury is like browsing a photo album of beloved friends and family. The familiar faces of Curious George and Ferdinand the Bull peer earnestly from the pages, and scenes from Madeline and Millions of Cats resonate as if you just experienced them yesterday. Think of the advantages of carrying this book on a vacation instead of a suitcase of single titles! (Your kids can always revisit their dog-eared hardcovers when they get home.)

This impressive collection of concept books, wordless books, picture books, and read-aloud stories was artfully compiled by longtime children's book editor and publisher Janet Schulman. Stories are coded red, blue, and green to designate age groupings from baby/toddler books such as Whose Mouse Are You?, through preschool books such as Where the Wild Things Are, to longer stories for ages 5 and older such as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The reason the book isn't bigger than Babar is because many of the illustrations from each story were reduced or removed to fit the anthology's format. (Leo Lionni's Swimmy, for example, takes up 5 pages total, compared to its original 29 pages.) Brief biographical notes that are surprisingly quirky shine a little light on the 62 authors and illustrators, and an index helps, too, for the child who likes one story best. We love the idea of being within easy reach of a Star-Belly Sneetch, a William Steig donkey, and a Sendak monster at all times, and we're sure your little bookworms will, too. (Click to see a sample spread from The 20th-Century Children's Book Treasury, compilation copyright © 1998 by Janet Schulman, illustrations © renewed 1997 by William Steig.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson

List Price: $ 40.00 Price: $ 19.86