My dear friend and brilliant travel writer and blogger Tammy Burns (click on the link now; I’ll wait) tipped me off to Kenji Yoshino’s A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare’s Plays Teach Us About Justice. Garry Wills’s devastating review in last Sunday’s New York Times indicates to me that this is the kind of superficial book about Shakespeare I’m here to warn you against. I’ve ordered the book (again, thank you Bookfinder.com!) and probably won’t review it here—I know better than to compete with Wills—but don’t be surprised if I take bits and pieces of it as we go through the play-by-play.
I should mention that Professor Yoshino was not my constitutional law teacher at NYU. I was way before his time; my teacher was David Richards, a dear man and that rarest of creatures in law school, an actual philosopher (if I remember correctly, his dissertation adviser was no less than John Rawls.) Interestingly but not quite ironically, the last time I saw Professor Richards was at a production of Cymbeline in the East Village whose wackiness contrasted vividly with the Globe production that happened to be at the Brooklyn Academy of Music at the same time (yes, I saw them both; how often are you going to get two productions of Cymbeline in the same city at the same time?) but was equally true to the text. Ah New York, how I miss you sometimes!