Overview

A classic of legal and political thought, published in many editions over the years from the original 1897 Harvard Law Review article. Now in modern ebook format. Part of the new Legal Legends Series from Quid Pro Books, this ebook features quality digital formatting and presentation, close proofreading from the original text by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and photographs of the author at various stages of his prodigious career. It also features extensive new introductory and biographical material from Steven ...
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The Path of the Law

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Overview

A classic of legal and political thought, published in many editions over the years from the original 1897 Harvard Law Review article. Now in modern ebook format. Part of the new Legal Legends Series from Quid Pro Books, this ebook features quality digital formatting and presentation, close proofreading from the original text by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and photographs of the author at various stages of his prodigious career. It also features extensive new introductory and biographical material from Steven Alan Childress, J.D., Ph.D., a law professor at Tulane University. No other digital edition of this book (sold or free) features active contents, true ebook formatting, and an explanatory introduction.

Building on the pragmatic conception of law he introduced in his book 'The Common Law,' Holmes — by 1897 a jurist on Massachusetts' highest court and soon to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court — explored the limits and sources of law, as well as "the forces which determine its content and growth." This presentation is seen as laying down the gauntlet to legal scholars and judges in what would be known as the emerging "legal realism" movement. Later legal thinkers like Pound, Llewellyn and Douglas followed his lead, and that lead is seen most clearly in this famous essay.

By the time of this pithy and accessible writing, Holmes had crystallized and clarified that conception of law that he had, in introducing his earlier book, described in the famous statement "the life of the law is not logic: it is experience." Taking that observation to the next level, this essay made it clear that judges make law, not simply finding it in books — and they must draw on practical effects and ends in declaring legal rules, not simply reasoning from precedent. He does not hedge: it is a "fallacy" to think that "the only force at work in the development of the law is logic."

More controversially, this essay makes a powerful distinction between law and morality. Law is more about what judges do, and how people react to that, than some lofty sense of ethics, he suggests. The new Foreword considers the implications of this putative amoral conception of law.

Also available in the legends Series are explained and introduced editions of Holmes, 'The Common Law'; Benjamin Cardozo, 'The Nature of the Judicial Process'; and Woodrow Wilson, 'The State and Federal Governments of the United States.' An extensively-annotated edition of 'The Common Law' is available as well, to decode it for lawyer and nonlawyer alike.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012677952
  • Publisher: Quid Pro, LLC
  • Publication date: 4/7/2011
  • Series: Legal Legends Series , #0
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 194 KB

Meet the Author

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) was an influential legal thinker who became a legendary Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He brought legal realism to a new generation of scholarly thought and judicial action. His theory of law and morality is most clearly set out in "The Path of the Law."
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