Tom Phillips

As an attorney for 35 years, Tom worked diligently to prevent interesting things from happening to his clients even when they deserved some of them. After retiring the first time, he became an adjunct prof in Communications Studies at Northwestern University. He now does political blogging from an outpost in Chicago. His particular interests are politics, history, law, travel, most poetry, musical theatre, opera and historical and escapist fiction (multi-volume sagas preferred), not necessarily in that order. He wishes he could act, sing and play the piano, too, but there appear to be limits.

10 entries by Tom Phillips

Book Review

Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution

A former Supreme Court Justice offers his personal adjustments to the Constitution.

Book Review

On Dissent: Its Meaning in America

Ronald K. L. Collins and David M. Skover

On Dissent: Its Meaning in America

Two professors of constitutional law tease out the meaning of dissent.

Book Review

The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution

A seasoned reporter dissects ideologically charged cases on racial preferences, gun rights, campaign financing and challenges to Obamacare.

Book Review

The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court

The author suggests that the law is a political instrument used at the highest levels to advance political ends.

Book Review

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?

The Pulitzer prize-winning author argues that modern-day Western approaches to cultural and social matters should be informed by the study of traditional societies.

Book Review

George Michael

Lone Wolf Terror and the Rise of Leaderless Resistance

An expert on counterproliferation looks at the troubling rise in political violence committed by disaffected people whose actions are hard to track.

Book Review

John Kelly

The Graves Are Walking: The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People

As chronicled in this historical account of Ireland’s greatest natural disaster, the ineptitude and apathy of those in power largely contributed to the depth and extent of the resulting human tragedy.

Book Review

Benjamin Black


The fifth installment in the Hackett-Quirke series finds the inspector and pathologist duo investigating the suicide of one businessman, and the possible murder of another.

Book Review

Stephen Hinton

Weill’s Musical Theater: Stages of Reform

This eminently readable biography captures the genius of the composer whose music captured the time, place and climate of the times.

Book Review

William Lee Miller

Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower,  and a Dangerous World

A look at two consecutive presidents, both ordinary men hailing from the Midwest, each hurled upward via different routes to the most powerful of positions.