Literary law professors

BY HUGO TORRES

Two Harvard Law School professors have recently been making headlines thanks to their books. One book has been out for two years but has recently received an award; the other just came out last week but has already provoked discussion.Professor Gerald F

rug’s book, “City Making: Building Communities Without Building Walls,” released in 2001, was recently named the 2003 recipient of the Paul Davidoff Award, which is given by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. According to the ACSP website, the award, which is given every two years, is meant to recognize an “outstanding book publication promoting participatory democracy and positive social change, opposing poverty and racism as factors in society, and reducing disparities between rich and poor, white and black, men and women.”

Professor Frug is best-known at the law school for his course on Local Government Law.

Professor Elizabeth Warren and daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi (a former McKinsey consultant) have penned a new book, “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke,” which makes the argument that middle-class families are increasingly likely to find themselves in serious financial trouble. The book charts the dramatic increase in the fixed costs inherent in maintaining middle-class status – chief among them buying a home in a neighborhood with good schools. The book also argues passionately for a hard look at the consumer credit industry, and whether the relaxation of usury laws have made borrowing above one’s means just too easy.

The book, written for a lay audience, is garnering a great deal of media attention in publications including Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and the New Yorker. The New Yorker article, by James Surowiecki, uses the book as an impetus to call for more governmental support for families, and asserts that since children are a public good – necessary to sustain future growth and pay off current debts – the government should subsidize the costs of raising them.

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