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author of Interpreting Early America: Historiographical Essays (Virginia) -
For almost fifty years, J. R. Pole has been the central contributor in the United Kingdom to the revival of scholarly interest in colonial British America, showing a particular concern to spell out the British roots of American ideas and institutions and the American variations in those inherited ideas and institutions. Contract and Consent illustrates the ways that legal culture deeply informs all aspects of history and takes the history of law out of the technical hands of the modern legal establishment and brings it into the mainstream of Anglo-American historical studies. Contract and Consent is a superb piece of historical analysis and represents a fitting culmination of Pole’s distinguished scholarly career.