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The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: the Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy

by Horwitz, Morton J.

The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy cover
  • ISBN: 9780195070248
  • ISBN10: 0195070240

The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: the Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy

by Horwitz, Morton J.

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 07/16/1992
  • ISBN: 9780195070248
  • ISBN10: 0195070240
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Description: When the first volume of Morton Horwitz's monumental history of American law appeared in 1977, it was universally acclaimed as one of the most significant works ever published in American legal history. The New Republic called it an "extremely valuable book". Eric Foner, in The New York Review of Books, wrote that the issues it raises are indispensable for understanding nineteenth-century America", and it won the coveted Bancroft Prize in American History. Now, Horwitz presents the long-awaited sequel that brings his sweeping history to completion. In his pathbreaking first volume, Horwitz showed how economic conflicts helped transform law in antebellum America. Here, Horwitz picks up where he left off, tracing the struggle in American law between the entrenched legal orthodoxy and the Progressive movement, which arose in response to ever-increasing social and economic inequality. Horwitz introduces us to the people and events that fueled this contest between the old order and the new. We sit in on Lochner v. New York in 1905--where the new thinkers sought to undermine orthodox claims for the autonomy of law--and watch as Progressive thought first crystallized. We witness the culmination of the Progressive challenge to orthodoxy with the emergence of Legal Realism in the 1920s and '30s, a movement closely allied with other intellectual trends of the day. And as postwar events unfold--the rise of totalitarianism abroad, the McCarthyism rampant in our own country, the astonishingly hostile academic reaction to Brown v. Board of Education--we come to understand that, rather than self-destructing as some historians have asserted, the Progressive movement was alive and well and forming theroots of the legal debates that still confront us today. The Progressive legacy continues to speak to us eloquently across nearly a century of American life. In telling its story, Horwitz strikes a balance between a traditional interpretation of history on the one hand, and an approach informed by the latest historical theory on the other. The Transformation of American Law is a book certain to revise past thinking on the origins and evolution of law in our country. For anyone hoping to understand the structure of American law--or of America itself--this volume is indispensable.
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