Teles's The Rise of The Conservative Legal Movement:

I've just read this book, and it's very interesting, and recommended to anyone interested in, well, the rise of the conservative legal movement.

I should note, however, that the book is not a comprehensive look at its subject matter. The book focuses on the intellectual and organizational history of law and economics, select (non religiously based) conservative public interest firms, and the Federalist Society. You won't find much if anything here about, to take some examples off the top of my head, Reagan's appointment of prominent academics such as Posner, Easterbrook and Winter to the federal appellate courts, clerkship selection by Justice Scalia, the Manhattan Institute's civil justice program, the role of the Institute for Humane Studies in nurturing future libertarian and libertarian-ish law professors, the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, the Rutherford Institute, or Regent Law School, among many other pertinent subjects.

I'll have some more detailed comments over the next several days. But I'll start with the one "correction" I have from personal knowledge. Teles attributes the idea for the Federalist Society's Olin fellowships entirely to Professor Gary Lawson. Lawson was responding to a query from Gene Meyer, the Society's president, regarding how the Society could most efficiently help its members pursue academic careers. I had a very similar conversation with Meyer, responding to the same query. Having spent the 1994-95 academic year as a research fellow at Columbia Law School, I made the same suggestion independent of Lawson. I don't know who suggested it first, and it's entirely plausible that Meyer was far more impressed with Lawson's "pitch" than with mine. Still, while it's not exactly like I came up with a cure for cancer, I'm proud of the successes of the fellowship alumni.