In his previous book, Claremont Boy (Bauhan Publishing, 2014), Joe Steinfield shared stories about a variety of subjects—family members and other people in his life, his love of sports, travel, and the arts, and his Claremont years. Part I of Time for Everything picks up where that book left off, with tributes to friends and heroes and essays on being Jewish, sports and humor, health, and politics. These pieces were originally published in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.
Part II, “Thinking About the Law,” contains pieces about the rule of law, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court. Most of the articles in this section were previously published in The Keene Sentinel and some first appeared in the Concord Monitor. These are eminently readable essays, written without legalese for a lay audience.
Once again, Steinfield has applied his storytelling skills to his life’s experiences, and to our legal system as well. Whatever the subject, he writes to inform, to educate, and to provoke a smile along the way. As readers will discover, the book’s subtitle, My Curious Life, is well chosen.
Joseph Steinfield was born and raised in Claremont, New Hampshire, where he graduated from Stevens High School in 1957. He is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School. He was formerly a partner at Hill & Barlow in Boston and became a partner at the Boston firm of Prince Lobel Tye in 2003. He specializes in litigation and First Amendment law. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Joe has taught First Amendment law at Boston College Law School and at University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, and he has also taught at universities in several foreign countries. He teaches constitutional law to senior citizens at Keene State College’s lifelong learning program. His book, Claremont Boy, was published in 2014 (Bauhan Publishing).
He and his wife, Virginia Eskin, live in Keene and in Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Praise for Time for Everything
I have been Joe Steinfield’s friend for nearly sixty years, as well as his professional colleague and fellow Red Sox fanatic. Joe has really hit this one out of the ballpark—lots of homespun common sense combined with trenchant analysis of some of the key constitutional issues now facing us. It should be required reading for every member of Congress—Democrats and Republicans alike.
—Michael S. Dukakis, Governor of Massachusetts (1975–79, 1983–91), 1988 presidential nominee, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Northeastern University
The only fault I’d find with Joe Steinfield’s collection of columns is his title: The adjective he chose for his life was “curious.” A more apt one, I think, is “captivating,” or perhaps “instructive.” His writings are both—just the right telling details to grab readers with each bite-sized nugget, along with nuanced and illuminating epistles on everything from constitutional crises in the Era of the Virus to how to be a better friend and father, grandson and grandpa.
—Larry Tye, author of Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy.
Joe Steinfield’s marvelous book combines touching, humorous ruminations on friends, family, and life generally, reminiscent of E. B. White’s iconic One Man’s Meat, with penetrating insights into our legal system. His observations on emerging Supreme Court decisions are especially impressive—the best I have ever seen at providing clarity without over-simplification. Time For Everything is at once a deliciously pleasurable read, a generous meditation on our human dilemma, and a compelling tutorial on this moment in our constitutional history.
—Michael A. Ponsor, author of The New York Times bestseller, The Hanging Judge
This is a love story and a life story. It’s a story of priorities and passions—from baseball to the law—with advice and encouragement if we want to see it. Joe makes complex legal issues understandable, offers nugget-sized history lessons, and encourages us to examine more closely, with new curiosity, decisions that impact our lives. He shows us that it is possible to make time for everything that’s important. His incredible memory and storytelling gifts provide rich texture, and it’s in the details that we learn how he values his relationships with his family, friends, and passions, all intricately connected. I laughed and learned.
—Heather McKernan, publisher, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Time for Everything: My Curious Life is a delight. Joe Steinfield’s columns reflecting on family, love, friendship, and life growing up in Claremont, New Hampshire, reveal a man with an enormous heart, a deep interest in and compassion for others, and a commitment to building community. And his columns analyzing developments in constitutional law and the Supreme Court—with a particular focus on the First Amendment, Joe’s area of special expertise—advance a compelling understanding of the Constitution that emphasizes the responsibility of government to act for the common good and to protect the rights and dignity of all.
—John M. Greabe, professor of law and director, Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership & Public Service, University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
Joe Steinfield is curious about a lot of things, not least people he’s encountered in his eighty-three years, including taxi drivers, clothiers, firefighters, judges, politicians, old friends and new. When he writes about these people—for example, the visitor from Alabama who gets escorted out of Fenway for shouting something into the visiting Yankees dugout—Steinfield transports you to the scene; you don’t just read about what happens, you directly witness it as he did.
The second part of this collection is a clear-headed primer on the law for the lay reader. Steinfield makes sense of what’s in the news, whether about subpoenas, torts, the pardon powers of the president, the right of assembly, or tensions between conflicting constitutional rights.
The success of all these columns owes not merely to the author’s understanding of the law and interest in the human condition, but also his considerable skills as a writer. Steinfield is quite simply a joy to read.
—Jim Rousmaniere, author, Water Connections—What Fresh Water Means to Us, What We Mean to Water; retired editor, The Keene Sentinel.
Why anyone would choose Charlie Dole over Joe Steinfield [see page 34] is a question for the ages. Joe is a delight both on and off the page; I find his curious life captivating.
—Judy Rogers, Owner, Prime Roast, Keene, New Hampshire