In the mail, and looks promising: Courting Failure: How School Finance Lawsuits Exploit Judges' Good Intentions And Harm Our Children, edited by Eric A. Hanushek of the Hoover Institution, takes a skeptical look at the results of lawsuits challenging public school finance on grounds of inequality between districts or inadequacy of funding. Among the findings, per the book's summary: court orders "have not had a beneficial effect on student performance" and "cost studies on the price of an adequate education turn out to be more politics than science." Contributors include, besides Hanushek, Williamson M. Evers and Paul Clopton, E. D. Hirsch Jr., Alfred Lindseth, Paul E. Peterson, Marguerite Roza and Paul T. Hill, Sol Stern, and Herbert J. Walberg.
Some other books that the authors have written in to tell us about, but which we haven't seen actual copies of: Christopher Smithies, a British-born surgeon practicing in Bellevue, Wash., has published The Hall Chair: A Satirical Novel on the Medical Malpractice Crisis in America. And Kevin M. McDonald, an assistant general counsel at Volkswagen of America, has published Shifting Out of Park: Moving Auto Safety from Recalls to Reason, which argues that current law on auto safety recalls is something between ineffective and actively dangerous; he looks at the interaction of recalls with litigation, and "compares the current American recall process and its history with the recall processes of several foreign countries with excellent auto safety histories."