The Lost World of Classical Legal Thought: Law and Ideology in America, 1886-1937 / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$35.70
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $24.12
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 42%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $24.12   
  • New (4) from $40.27   
  • Used (1) from $24.12   

Overview

This book examines the ideology of elite lawyers and judges from the Gilded Age through the New Deal. Between 1866 and 1937, a coherent outlook shaped the way the American bar understood the sources of law, the role of the courts, and the relationship between law and the larger society. William M. Wiecek explores this outlook—often called "legal orthodoxy" or "classical legal thought"—which assumed that law was apolitical, determinate, objective, and neutral.

American classical legal thought was forged in the heat of the social crises that punctuated the late nineteenth century. Fearing labor unions, immigrants, and working people generally, American elites, including those on the bench and bar, sought ways to repress disorder and prevent political majorities from using democratic processes to redistribute wealth and power. Classical legal thought provided a rationale that assured the legitimacy of the extant distribution of society's resources. It enabled the legal suppression of unions and the subordination of workers to management's authority.

As the twentieth-century U.S. economy grew in complexity, the antiregulatory, individualistic bias of classical legal thought became more and more distanced from reality. Brittle and dogmatic, legal ideology lost legitimacy in the eyes of both laypeople and ever-larger segments of the bar. It was at last abandoned in the "constitutional revolution of 1937", but—as Wiecek argues in this detailed analysis—nothing has arisen since to replace it as an explanation of what law is and why courts have such broad power in a democratic society.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"William Wiecek's The Lost World of Classical Legal Thought is a remarkable achievement. It has an extraordinary sweep, synthesizing with admirable clarity a transformation of enormous scope and importance. The book can serve extremely well as an introduction to the legal history of the period. Scholars who toil in these fields will find in the book a well-balanced yet distinctive point of view. For them it will also be a consistently useful resource because of Wiecek's wide-ranging use and discussion of primary and secondary sources, capped by a wonderful bibliographical essay."—Richard Friedman, Oxford University
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195147131
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

William M. Wiecek is Congdon Professor of Public Law at Syracuse University

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Challenge of Classical Legal Thought 3
1 The Foundations of Classical Legal Thought, 1760-1860 19
2 The Emergence of Legal Classicism, 1860-1890 64
3 Classicism Ascendant, 1880-1930 123
4 Classicism Contested, 1893-1932 175
5 The Collapse of Legal Classicism, 1930-1942 218
Epilogue 246
App Historiography and the Supreme Court 253
Index 278
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)