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Commodity & Propriety Competing Visions of Property in American Legal Thought 1776-1970 cover
  • ISBN: 9780226013534
  • ISBN10: 0226013537

Commodity & Propriety Competing Visions of Property in American Legal Thought 1776-1970

by Gregory S. Alexander

  • List Price: $87.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 12/01/1997
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Property usually is understood as something that is owned, a means of creating individual wealth. But in Commodity and Propriety, the first full-length history of the meaning of property, Gregory S. Alexander uncovers in American legal writing a competing vision of property that has existed alongside the traditional conception. Property, Alexander argues, has also been understood as proprietary, a mechanism for creating and maintaining a properly ordered society. This view of property has held influence even in periods -- such as the second half of the nineteenth century -- when market forces seemed to dominate social and legal relationships. In demonstrating how the understanding of property as a private basis for the public good has competed with the better-known market-oriented conception, Alexander radically rewrites the history of property, with significant implications for current political debates and recent Supreme Court decisions.

"Nothing even comes close to canvassing this territory in the detailed and comprehensive way this terrific book does". -- Joseph W. Singer, Harvard Law School

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