Book Review: Robert F. Barsky, Clamouring for Legal Protection: What the Great Books Teach Us About People Fleeing from Persecution

Forthcoming in the AALS Journal of Legal Education

8 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2022

See all articles by Cori Alonso-Yoder

Cori Alonso-Yoder

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: December 1, 2022

Abstract

In his latest book, Robert F. Barsky makes a plea for empathy toward those seeking humanitarian protection by deepening our understanding of the humanities. In Clamouring for Legal Protection: What the Great Books Teach Us About People Fleeing from Persecution, Barsky suggests that the plight of refugees and other border crossers can be better understood by reference to classic literature. While his study is based in the law and literature movement, the book is accessible to those without that specialized background. Indeed, Barsky has crafted a book that according to the back cover synopsis will appeal to “law students, lawyers, social scientists, literary scholars and general readers who are interested in learning about international refugee law and immigration.” Barsky makes the point that the literary theory and storytelling serves as an antidote to the at times impersonal and mechanical application of laws, regulations, and dry court decisions that predominate in immigration law. He argues that students and practitioners can use literary texts to move beyond the legal texts to rehumanize the experiences of migrants. The core of Barsky’s thesis about the humanizing and persuasive effect of storytelling in the law is well founded and has been championed by a number of scholars including Gerald P. López, Margaret Montoya, Richard Delgado, Robin West, and Patricia Williams. This concept has figured prominently in my approach to teaching practical lawyering skills, and I am so pleased that Barsky’s book offers another resource that tethers this theory to the specific practice of immigration law.

Suggested Citation

Alonso-Yoder, Cori, Book Review: Robert F. Barsky, Clamouring for Legal Protection: What the Great Books Teach Us About People Fleeing from Persecution (December 1, 2022). Forthcoming in the AALS Journal of Legal Education, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4291011

Cori Alonso-Yoder (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https//www.law.gwu.edu/cori-alonso-yoder

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