A Thousand Times More Fair
What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us about Justice
By Kenji Yoshino
Ecco Press, Paperback, 9780061769122, 305pp.
Publication Date: April 2012
List Price: $15.99*
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Celebrated legal scholar Kenji Yoshino's first book, Covering, was acclaimedfrom the New York Times Book Review to O, The Oprah Magazine to the American Lawyerfor its elegant prose, its good humor, and its brilliant insights into civil rights and discrimination law. Now, in A Thousand Times More Fair, Yoshino turns his attention to the question of what makes a fair and just society, and delves deep into a surprising source to answer it: Shakespeare's greatest plays. Through fresh and insightful readings of Measure for Measure, Titus Andronicus, Othello, and others, he addresses the fundamental questions we ask about our world today and elucidates some of the most troubling issues in contemporary life.
Enormously creative, engaging, and provocative, A Thousand Times More Fair is an altogether original book about Shakespeare and the law, and an ideal starting point to explore the nature of a just societyand our own.
“A sensitive and lively mind work[s] its way through the legal themes in some of the most beautiful passages in English literature.”
“[An] insightful inquiry into the contemporary relevance of the Bard’s vision of justice. . . . A refreshing reminder that questions of justice may lead to dramatic poetry, not legal jargon.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Readers will find Yoshino provocative, often controversial, and Shakespeare, as always, entertaining.”
“Neither a prosecutor nor a defense lawyer herein, Yoshino is a refreshingly engaging advocate for Shakespeare.”
-Newark Star Ledger
“[W]ell-informed by scholarship, nuanced and appealingly written. . . . [P]erhaps the most enlightening study of the subject to appear in a century.”
“In the enlightening and readable A Thousand Times More Fair, author Kenji Yoshino opens a window on Shakespearean dramaturgy and scholarship and lets in a breath of fresh air.”
-New York Journal of Books
“A remarkably imaginative and scholarly work. It reminds us that in Shakespeare’s time, like our own, the law and ideas of justice were in flux.”
“Fascinating. . . . Loaded with perceptive and provocative comments on Shakespeare’s plots, characters, and contemporary analogs.”
-Justice John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court of the United States
“Until Kenji Yoshino’s book, I had found little of value in ‘Law and Literature’ studies. He redeems the mode. Shakespeare, most capacious of souls, is shown by Yoshino to illuminate the vast and complex structures that must inform the role of law in our struggle for a just society.”
-Harold Bloom, author of SHAKESPEARE: THE INVENTION OF THE HUMAN
“Kenji Yoshino brings to his lively reading of the plays the full force of his passionate brooding on issues of justice in contemporary society. A THOUSAND TIMES MORE FAIR will appeal to anyone interested in the uses of great art to reflect on some of our culture’s most vexing problems.”
-Stephen Greenblatt, author of WILL IN THE WORLD
“Who knew that there was such a brilliant and fresh reading of Shakespeare waiting to be discovered? Only Kenji Yoshino, with a poet’s ear for language and a lawyer’s passion for justice, could have done it.”
-Carol Gilligan, University Professor, NYU
“The ingenious and well-argued premise of Kenji Yoshino’s new book is that justice in a form that we can understand and relate to modern concepts of legal justice is a pervasive theme of Shakespearean drama. . . . Shakespeare, in law as in so much else, remains our contemporary.”
-Judge Richard A. Posner