Now that the school year is well underway, it might be worth noting that a new book is about to appear from a member of the faculty. But against all odds, his last name isn't Posner (though the Judge and the Professor do have recent books out). It's Obama.
There is a lot to say about Senator Obama and his time at the University of Chicago Law School. (He remains affiliated with the law school, and he has an office on the fifth floor -- though the list of faculty members notes, in a way that seems at once proud and forlorn, that he is now "out of residence.") He was, and is, widely admired by students and faculty alike -- and entirely across political divisions. How well I remember past elections in which faculty members, who disagreed on a great deal, agreed that Obama would be a magnificent addition to the United States Congress. I think their agreement resulted from Obama's character (he's a genuinely wonderful guy), his evident ability and sheer excellence (for example, he's a terrific teacher, and we tried to convince him to join the faculty full-time on several occasions), and his independence and unpredictability (he toes no party line; he knows how markets work, and how government can make things worse).
To say the least, it has been extraordinary to see what has happened to our colleague, not long ago teaching early am classes and asking us to join him for breakfast, in the last few years. Will his next few years be extraordinary too? Stay tuned. For now, congratulations to Illinois' junior senator on his new book.