The Boston Globe:
"It's not often that a reader stumbles on a funny book by a constitutional law professor and divinity school graduate. . . . But author Jay Wexler has managed the unlikely with "Holy Hullabaloos" . . . Viewing their religious practices and issues up close, Wexler humorously but candidly discusses how their cases fit into US law, and often draws his own conclusions on where the boundaries should be. In so doing, he effectively combines the legal and the everyday, bringing high concepts down to ground level, which is, after all, where people spend their lives."
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review):
"Boston University law professor Wexler is also a published humorist. This felicitous combination of talents is put to good use as he visits the towns and cities where the always controversial cases concerning separation of church and state arise. Wexler’s lucid explications of difficult constitutional concepts and the vagaries of Supreme Court rulings are superb, providing readers a deeper understanding of the First Amendment and Supreme Court jurisprudence. But that’s only half the story. Wexler is laugh-out-loud funny as he narrates his odyssey through battleground sites from rural Wisconsin through Texas to the chambers of the U.S. Senate. Along the way he happily and with a usually generous spirit skewers Supreme Court justices, legislators, educators, law school professors and pretty much anyone else, including himself, who has ever taken a position on the enduring American controversies surrounding prayer in schools, religious displays on public property, or the teaching of evolution. This is a rare treat, a combination of thoughtful analysis and quirky humor that illuminates an issue that rarely elicits a laugh—and that is central to the American body politic."
"Law professor Wexler, himself a Jewish atheist, took advantage of a sabbatical to inspect the sites at which celebrated recent church-state Supreme Court cases originated. In plain, often wry prose, he writes, as his road-trip destinations allow, about the exercise of government power by religious institutions, religious discrimination, displaying religious symbols and imagery, legislative prayer, school prayer, funding religious schools, and religious influences on public schools. . . . An entertaining ramble that is also thoughtful, even enlightening."
"Irreverent, Obnoxious, Arrogant, Silly, and Probing"
Blurbs from the Cover
"The sharpest, the most insightful, the most side-splittlingly funny book on law since -- Supreme Courtship." -Christopher Buckley, bestselling author of Thank You for Smoking and Supreme Courtship
"I've read a lot of entertaining travelogues and informative studies of Supreme Court cases, but never at the same time. Think Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation meets Peter Irons' Courage of Their Convictions. When Jay Wexler revives the old practice of riding the circuits to visit the sites of the Court's great religion clauses cases, readers who tag along will enjoy the ride so much that they may not realize how much law they've learned along the way. Thank God for Holy Hullabaloos." --Professor Pamela Karlan, Stanford Law School
"Religion and politics are the two things we are not supposed to talk about. Jay Wexler does--with deadpan humor. We need to tone down the anger on these issues, and he shows the way." --Alan Wolfe, Professor of Political Science, and Director, Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life, Boston College
"Jay Wexler takes a fascinating and frequently funny journey through many of the sites of the greatest church and state squabbles in modern American history. He has a well tuned ear as he listens to people speak directly but also tunes in the cultural "background noise" that gives us the full picture of events. Court cases matter because real people are harmed or helped by their outcomes. Holy Hullabaloos does an admirable job of mixing constitutional theory with human experience" --Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State