Faculty Reading Recommendations

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Alice L. Hearst, Associate Professor of Government

Alice L. Hearst

Alice Hearst teaches courses in public law, and her research focuses on state regulation of the family. She is currently working on a manuscript exploring issues of cultural identity for children subject to transracial/transnational adoption and foster care, tentatively entitled "Children and the Politics of Belonging." Professor Hearst attended the University of Washington law school, and practiced law for six years prior to returning to Cornell University, from which she obtained a PhD in Government.

Here are Professor Hearst's responses to our questions:

Q. What are three books in your field that you feel are most helpful/interesting for lay readers who want to learn more?

Both of these books give a good understanding of the Supreme Court and how it operates:

Both of these books introduce the reader to the problems of having a panel of 9 people decide what our fundamental values:

Q. What books have influenced your life?

A. Too many to list--these two come first to mind:

  • Marilynne Robinson, Gilead -- a gentle book
  • Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory -- In addition to this being a superb book, it affected my decision to leave the practice of law. When I tried to discuss this book with a partner in my law firm, he was not interested and was irritated that I wasn't thinking about a case we were working on, which helped me realize that I didn't want to be a lawyer for the next thirty years.

Q. What are you reading now?