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I approached John Ely's' new book with the anticipation of delight, qualified by a certain apprehensiveness. Delight because Ely is almost alone among writers in my solemn field in his ability to write with humor; indeed, he writes in a style that reminds me of the marvelous Joseph Heller. There is no reason, I suppose, for constitutional law professors to be incapable of writing amusing and fresh prose or exposing a false syllogism with the light touch of juxtaposition rather than the heavy bludgeon of irony, but how rare this is! More importantly, Ely's arguments have the satisfying feel of good craft: like his wit, his arguments are unlabored, natural; idiomatic.


Constitutional Law | Law | Military, War, and Peace


War and Responsibility: Constitutional Lessons of Vietnam and Its Aftermath by John Hart Ely, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993, pp. x, 244, $24.95.