18 Booklist September 1, 2015 www.booklistreader.com
at the growing impact of globalization on
the Supreme Court, which makes decisions
that would not have been
dreamed of 20 years ago
when he started his career.
The court is now considering issues of commerce,
trade, the environment,
security, and communication that no longer involve
just U.S. corporations and
citizens. Breyer explores four areas: constitutional issues, such as how to protect basic
liberties in the face of security threats; statutory issues, such as how to apply American
commerce laws to cases involving foreigners;
treaty issues, such as competing international dispute-resolution systems; and direct
interactions between the courts of different nations. Breyer looks at issues from the
mundane (e.g., obtaining records needed to
make a sound judgement) to the lofty (e.g.,
whether the higher level of global awareness
and participation by the court will cause
more nations to accept the rule of law). In
this highly accessible book, he offers historical background and numerous examples of
how the court has had to grapple with international issues and the gradual changes
that promise the need for even greater global
perspective. —Vanessa Bush
Crack99: The Takedown of a $100
Million Chinese Software Pirate.
By David Locke Hall.
Oct. 2015. 336p. Norton, $26.95 (9780393249545).
When Homeland Securities Investiga-
Great Is the Truth: Secrecy, Scandal,
tions (HSI) special agent Hall and others
discovered that “top-of-the-line engineering
software programs for the most sophisti-
cated applications,” made by eminent U.S.
innovators, were being sold online for a frac-
tion of their prices by what appeared to be
a Chinese source, they investigated, with
nearly everything, from bosses to the Inter-
net’s mysteries, in their way. But this was a
national-security issue, right? Even so, the
risks inherent in the venture nearly capsized
it. Their pursuit of the website CRACK99
and whoever was behind it forms this thrill-
ing, fascinating tale. Hall’s background as a
federal prosecutor (with 30 years as an in-
telligence officer in the U.S. Naval reserve)
served him well, and Hall and his intrepid
buddies cracked the CRACK. Hall makes
entertainingly clear and palpable HSI’s iden-
tity (and PR) problems in a country with
more than 70 law-enforcement agencies.
A crackling good tale, well-told in Hall’s
confiding, thoughtful, and humorous tone.
For another take on stealing secrets worth
big bucks (in this case, the U.S. from the
USSR), see David E. Hoffman’s The Billion
Dollar Spy (2015). —Eloise Kinney
and the Quest for Justice at the Horace
By Amos Kamil and Sean Elder.
Nov. 2015. 256p. Farrar, $26 (9780374166625). 364.15.
Like a grenade dropped into a minefield.
That was one description of the impact made
by Kamil’s cover story in the New York Times
Magazine on sexual abuse at the Horace
Mann School. The abuse, which extended
over decades, was alleged against some of
the most admired and prominent members
of the faculty and administration at the well-regarded private school in the Bronx. After
the story ran in June 2012, it ricocheted
through the community, with alumni forming networks for support and action, and
survivors eventually going through a painful mediation process. Although Kamil, who
attended the school himself, shares some of
his own recollections of that time, along
with the experiences he had covering the
story and its aftermath, he generally keeps
a journalist’s distance, making the rare moments when his emotions come to the fore
all the more powerful. Dense with interviews as well as soul-searching reflections on
the impact of the scandal and a look at what
other institutions in similar situations have
done, this is required reading for anyone
who has followed the Horace Mann story.
It Ended Badly: 13 of the Worst
Breakups in History.
By Jennifer Wright.
Nov. 2015. 256p. illus. Holt, $21 (9781627792868). 302.02.
This delightful coverage of disastrous love affairs is richly, animatedly conversational, with
the requisite digressions, to which you just listen and laugh or shudder. Even the illustrations
don’t escape Wright’s pinpoint, sometimes bemused attention; for example, a photo of Oscar
Wilde (in his heartbreak chapter with Lord Alfred Douglas, “the saddest story in this book”)
earns this caption, “Oscar Wilde appears to
have a Katy Perry–esque firework of a flower
growing out of his lapel.” Wright is the companion to have if your heart is or was broken.
She is full of knowledge of history, romantic
peccadilloes, and the eras that endured them
(or didn’t). Best of all, she offers her own wide-ranging takes on the action. Whatever your
own history of love found and lost, you will
be shaking your head in amazement at how
marvelously you have been outdone by these
undone humans, ranging from Nero and Pop-paea to Edith Wharton to Elizabeth Taylor.
An intelligent, often funny, hard-to-put down
redaction of romance, a reminder that “life is
not a fairy tale, and often not even a fair tale.”
YA: The drama of heartbreak will likely
resonate with many older YAs. EK.
The Lufthansa Heist: Behind the Six-
Million Dollar Cash Haul That Shook the
By Henry Hill and Daniel Simone.
Sept. 2015. 376p. Lyons, $26.95 (9781493008490).
For about a fourth of this remarkable true-crime story, readers will feel these low-level
mobsters are the cutest little psychopaths
ever. Boozing, gambling, wenching, stealing—just guys having fun. Their charm
fades, though, as we move into the meat of
the story, the 1978 heist of $6 million from
the Lufthansa safe at Kennedy Airport. The
late Henry Hill—Ray Liotta played him in
Goodfellas—was on the fringe of the action.
With coauthor Simone’s help, he narrates
much of the story—up to the end, when he
turns snitch. Simone tells the rest of this engrossing tale directly, and he is one helluva
writer. One man’s “temper ignited as easily as
gasoline vapor.” A woman’s running mascara
“made her look like a spider.” Simone spends
much time on officialdom’s attempts to jail
these reprobates, and maybe it’s unintentional that he makes the cops out as no brighter
than the perps they chase. Like many of the
most compelling true-crime tales, the distinction between cops and robbers is blurry
at best. Fine reading. —Don Crinklaw
The Making of Home: The 500-Year Story
of How Our Houses Became Our Homes.
By Judith Flanders.
Sept. 2015. 368p. illus. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $26.99
(9781250067357); e-book, $12.99 (9781466875487). 392.3.
Flanders (Victorian City, 2014) asks, What
Appearing below is a list of all the print reference titles reviewed in this issue. Reference
librarians should also remember that all Booklist reference reviews can be accessed by
Booklist subscribers on Booklist Online.
Artifacts from Medieval Europe. By James Tschen-Emmons. p. 30
The Complete Book of 1940s Broadway Musicals. By Dan Dietz . p. 24
The Complete Guide to North American Fishing. By Ken Schultz. p. 32
Cuneiform. By Irving Finkel. p. 31
Runes. By Martin Findell. p. 31
Weird Sports and Wacky Games around the World: From Buzkashi to Zorbing. By
Victoria Williams. p. 38