The Trial in American Life / Edition 1

The Trial in American Life / Edition 1

by Robert A. Ferguson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226243257

ISBN-13: 9780226243252

Pub. Date: 03/15/2007

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

In a bravura performance that ranges from Aaron Burr to O. J. Simpson, Robert A. Ferguson traces the legal meaning and cultural implications of prominent American trials across the history of the nation. His interdisciplinary investigation carries him from courtroom transcripts to newspaper accounts, and on to the work of such imaginative writers as Emerson, Thoreau,…  See more details below

Overview

In a bravura performance that ranges from Aaron Burr to O. J. Simpson, Robert A. Ferguson traces the legal meaning and cultural implications of prominent American trials across the history of the nation. His interdisciplinary investigation carries him from courtroom transcripts to newspaper accounts, and on to the work of such imaginative writers as Emerson, Thoreau, William Dean Howells, and E. L. Doctorow. Ferguson shows how courtrooms are forced to cope with unresolved communal anxieties and how they sometimes make legal decisions that change the way Americans think about themselves. Burning questions control the narrative. How do such trials mushroom into major public dramas with fundamental ideas at stake? Why did outcomes that we now see as unjust enjoy such strong communal support at the time? At what point does overexposure undermine a trial's role as a legal proceeding? The Trial in American Life weaves Ferguson's deep knowledge of American history, law, and culture into a fascinating book of tremendous contemporary relevance.

About the Author:
Robert A. Ferguson is the George Edward Woodberry Professor of Law, Literature, and Criticism at Columbia University

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226243252
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
03/15/2007
Series:
American Politics and Political Economy Ser.
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
414
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xi
The High-Profile Trial     1
Where Courtrooms and Communities Meet     5
Inside the Courtroom     29
A Case-Study Sequence     75
The Punishing of Aaron Burr     79
John Brown: Defendant on the Loose     117
Mary Surratt on the Altar of National Identity     153
Traitors in Name Only: The Haymarket Defendants     191
Killing the Rosenbergs     233
In Court Today     267
The Trial in Television America     271
Seeing Justice Done     305
Notes     337
Index     393

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