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While the specifics of individual wars vary, they share a common epilogue: the task of finding and identifying the "disappeared." The Bosnian war of the early 1990s, which destroyed the sovereign state of Yugoslavia, is no exception. In Working in the Killing Fields, Howard Ball focuses on recent developments in the technology of forensic science and on the work of forensic professionals in Bosnia following that conflict. Ball balances the examination of complex features of new forensic technology with insights into the lives of the men and women from around the globe who are tasked with finding and excavating bodies and conducting pathological examinations. Having found the disappeared, however, these same pathologists must then also explain the cause of death to international-court criminal prosecutors and surviving families of the victims. Ball considers the physical dangers these professionals regularly confront while performing their site excavations, as well as the emotional pain, including post-traumatic stress disorder, they contend with while in Bosnia and after they leave the killing fields.

Working in the Killing Fields integrates discussion of cutting-edge forensic technology into a wider view of what these searches mean, the damage they do to people, and the healing and good they bring to those in search of answers. Even though the Balkan wars took place two decades ago, the fields where so many men, women, and children died still have gruesome and disturbing stories to tell. Ball puts the spotlight on the forensic professionals tasked with telling that story and on what their work means to them as individuals and to the wider world's understanding of genocide and war.

During his thirty-four year tenure as a Justice of the Supreme Court, Hugo L. Black demonstrated, in the words of one of his colleagues, "a true passion for the Constitution." At a moment's notice, in front of visiting students or a clutch of legal dignitaries, the Judge would whip his tattered copy of the Constitution from his coat pocket, flip through it to a particular passage and then, in a high voice, read the passage con vivace. And though Black began his political career in Alabama as the candidate of the Ku Klux Klan--with their help in 1926 he became a U.S. Senator--thirty years later, he would argue forcefully for an end to segregation in the South. In Hugo L. Black: Cold Steel Warrior, distinguished writer Howard Ball draws from Black's extensive files in the Library of Congress and on interviews with his colleagues on the Court, his law clerks, and his family to illuminate the enigmatic career of a man who became one of the twentieth century's most vigilant defenders of freedoms and liberty. Ball's examination of Black's life reveals a consummate politician who kept, in a safe beside his desk, the names, addresses, and backgrounds of all those who gave Black support from the time he ran for the county solicitor's job in Jefferson County, Alabama, through his two terms as a U.S. Senator. A fervent New Deal advocate, Black lent his support to F.D.R.'s court packing plan, and was one of the few who stood with the President until the measure's defeat in 1937. Less than one month later, F.D.R. rewarded Black by nominating him to the Supreme Court. Soon after Black's confirmation by the Senate, the story of his Klan membership spread across the nation, prompting Time magazine to write that "Hugo won't have to buy a robe, he can dye his white one black." One of Black's early opinions for the Court, however, changed most of the negative opinion about him. Writing for the majority in Chambers v. Florida, Black and his colleagues overturned charges against four African-American men unjustly accused of murder. In addition to Black's political and judicial career, Ball captures some of the great legal minds at work--Earl Warren, Thurgood Marshall, Felix Frankfurter, William O. Douglas, John M. Harlan II, and William J. Brennan--and their encounters with the tough Justice who was an immovable force when engaged in a constitutional battle. From Brown v. Board of Education and the first tests of the power of the federal courts to implement the Brown decision, to the height of McCarthyism and the national hysteria about Communism, to New York Times v. United States, the famous Pentagon Papers case in 1971 (Black's last opinion for the Court which defended a newspaper's First Amendment rights), Black emerges as a staunch defender of federalism and the primacy of the First Amendment, a strict, literal interpreter of the Constitution, and always proud to be a member of the Supreme Court. Throughout his life, Hugo Black's cockiness, sternness, and stubborn determination won him many critics. On every occasion, as Howard Ball shows, Black proved his critics wrong. He became a major presence in the Senate and one of the great Justices ever to sit on the Supreme Court.
Over the past hundred years, average life expectancy in America has nearly doubled, due largely to scientific and medical advances, but also as a consequence of safer working conditions, a heightened awareness of the importance of diet and health, and other factors. Yet while longevity is celebrated as an achievement in modern civilization, the longer people live, the more likely they are to succumb to chronic, terminal illnesses. In 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years, with a majority of American deaths attributed to influenza, tuberculosis, pneumonia, or other diseases. In 2000, the average life expectancy was nearly 80 years, and for too many people, these long lifespans included cancer, heart failure, Lou Gehrig’s disease, AIDS, or other fatal illnesses, and with them, came debilitating pain and the loss of a once-full and often independent lifestyle. In this compelling and provocative book, noted legal scholar Howard Ball poses the pressing question: is it appropriate, legally and ethically, for a competent individual to have the liberty to decide how and when to die when faced with a terminal illness?

At Liberty to Die charts how, the right of a competent, terminally ill person to die on his or her own terms with the help of a doctor has come deeply embroiled in debates about the relationship between religion, civil liberties, politics, and law in American life. Exploring both the legal rulings and the media frenzies that accompanied the Terry Schiavo case and others like it, Howard Ball contends that despite raging battles in all the states where right to die legislation has been proposed, the opposition to the right to die is intractable in its stance. Combining constitutional analysis, legal history, and current events, Ball surveys the constitutional arguments that have driven the right to die debate.

Thurgood Marshall's extraordinary contribution to civil rights and overcoming racism is more topical than ever, as the national debate on race and the overturning of affirmative action policies make headlines nationwide. Howard Ball, author of eighteen books on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, has done copious research for this incisive biography to present an authoritative portrait of Marshall the jurist.

Born to a middle-class black family in "Jim Crow" Baltimore at the turn of the century, Marshall's race informed his worldview from an early age. He was rejected by the University of Maryland Law School because of the color of his skin. He then attended Howard University's Law School, where his racial consciousness was awakened by the brilliant lawyer and activist Charlie Houston. Marshall suddenly knew what he wanted to be: a civil rights lawyer, one of Houston's "social engineers." As the chief attorney for the NAACP, he developed the strategy for the legal challenge to racial discrimination. His soaring achievements and his lasting impact on the nation's legal system--as the NAACP's advocate, as a federal appeals court judge, as President Lyndon Johnson's solicitor general, and finally as the first African American Supreme Court Justice--are symbolized by Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case that ended legal segregation in public schools.

Using race as the defining theme, Ball spotlights Marshall's genius in working within the legal system to further his lifelong commitment to racial equality. With the help of numerous, previously unpublished sources, Ball presents a lucid account of Marshall's illustrious career and his historic impact on American civil rights.
In 1900, the average age at which people died in America was 47 years of age; the primary causes of death were tuberculosis and other respiratory illnesses. In the 21st century, as a result of better health care and working conditions as well as advances in medical technology, we live much longer—as of 2016, about 80 years. A much larger proportion of Americans now die from chronic diseases that generally appear at an advanced age, such as heart disease, cancer, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Should this fundamental change in human lifespan alter how society and government view right-to-die legislation? What are the pros and cons of giving a mentally competent person who is terminally ill and in great pain the right to end his or her life?

The Right to Die: A Reference Handbook provides a complete examination of right-to-die issues in the United States that dissects the complex arguments for and against a person's liberty to receive a physician's assistance to hasten death. It covers the legal aspects and the politics of the right-to-die controversy, analyzes the battles over the right to die in state and federal courts, and supplies primary source documents that illustrate the political, medical, legal, religious, and ethical landscape of the right to die. Additionally, the book examines how members of our society typically die has changed in the past 150 years and how the practice of medicine has evolved over that time; explains why the right to die is strongly opposed by many religious groups as well as members of the medical profession; considers the "slippery slope" argument against doctor-assisted suicide; and identifies the reasons that the disabled, the poor, the elderly and infirm, and some members of ethnic, racial, and religious minority groups typically fear physician-assisted death.

While the specifics of individual wars vary, they share a common epilogue: the task of finding and identifying the “disappeared.” The Bosnian war of the early 1990s, which destroyed the sovereign state of Yugoslavia, is no exception. In Working in the Killing Fields, Howard Ball focuses on recent developments in the technology of forensic science and on the work of forensic professionals in Bosnia following that conflict. Ball balances the examination of complex features of new forensic technology with insights into the lives of the men and women from around the globe who are tasked with finding and excavating bodies and conducting pathological examinations. Having found the disappeared, however, these same pathologists must then also explain the cause of death to international-court criminal prosecutors and surviving families of the victims. Ball considers the physical dangers these professionals regularly confront while performing their site excavations, as well as the emotional pain, including post-traumatic stress disorder, they contend with while in Bosnia and after they leave the killing fields.

Working in the Killing Fields integrates discussion of cutting-edge forensic technology into a wider view of what these searches mean, the damage they do to people, and the healing and good they bring to those in search of answers. Even though the Balkan wars took place two decades ago, the fields where so many men, women, and children died still have gruesome and disturbing stories to tell. Ball puts the spotlight on the forensic professionals tasked with telling that story and on what their work means to them as individuals and to the wider world’s understanding of genocide and war.

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