Ilya Somin’s The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain is the definitive review of one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases of the 21st century. Somin provides a thorough analysis of the case’s historic and factual background along with the broader history of American public-purpose takings and the challenges posed by economic-development takings. The book offers a detailed account of the trajectory of theKelo case itself, from the neighbors electing to fight their eviction through finding legal representation via a collection of strange-bedfellow public-interest groups. The litigators’ strategies are examined and Somin brings us into the Supreme Court to scrutinize the thrust and parry of oral argument. Somin’s close reading and incisive critique of theKelo opinion is the heart of the book. Holding that the Court made several serious doctrinal errors, Somin carefully parses the majority opinion, concurrences, and dissents to show where the Justices went wrong, and even offers some responsible speculation about why. A notably unpopular verdict, Kelo sparked significant political backlash. Somin takes a qualitative and quantitative tour through the large number of new state laws passed in the wake ofKelo, studying the mechanisms by which they were passed, their effectiveness, and public awareness of these new laws. The work concludes with recommendations toward reform, or prohibition, of takings justified on the premise of blight or hoped-for private economic development.