Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture

Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture

by Marc Galanter
     
 

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What do you call 600 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? Marc Galanter calls it an opportunity to investigate the meanings of a rich and time-honored genre of American humor: lawyer jokes. Lowering the Bar analyzes hundreds of jokes from Mark Twain classics to contemporary anecdotes about Dan Quayle, Johnnie Cochran, and Kenneth Starr. Drawing on representations

Overview

What do you call 600 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? Marc Galanter calls it an opportunity to investigate the meanings of a rich and time-honored genre of American humor: lawyer jokes. Lowering the Bar analyzes hundreds of jokes from Mark Twain classics to contemporary anecdotes about Dan Quayle, Johnnie Cochran, and Kenneth Starr. Drawing on representations of law and lawyers in the mass media, political discourse, and public opinion surveys, Galanter finds that the increasing reliance on law has coexisted uneasily with anxiety about the “legalization” of society. Informative and always entertaining, his book explores the tensions between Americans’ deep-seated belief in the law and their ambivalence about lawyers.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A tour de force. . . . THE classic collection of lawyer jokes and analysis.”—Alan Dundes, University of California, Berkeley

Lowering the Bar should be on the shelves of all humor scholars as a work of reference, on the shelves of all lawyers as a source of self-insight and to bring them repentance and on the shelves of anyone who likes to laugh at jokes.”—Christie Davies, HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299213534
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
10/10/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
File size:
7 MB

Meet the Author

Marc Galanter is the John and Rylla Bosshard Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Centennial Professor in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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