Cover image for Looking back at law's century
Looking back at law's century
Sarat, Austin.
Publication Information:
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
vi, 446 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Facilitating and domesticating change : democracy, capitalism, and law's double role in the twentieth century / Robert A. Kagan, Bryant Garth, and Austin Sarat -- The idea of political freedom / Owen Fiss -- Instituting universal human rights law : the invention of tradition in the twentieth century / Martha Minow -- Racial justice : moral or political? / Kendall Thomas -- Visions of self-control : fashioning a liberal approach to crime and punishment in the twentieth century / Jonathan Simon -- Twentieth-century legal metaphors for self and society / Guyora Binder -- Citizenship, agency, and the dream of time / Carol J. Greenhouse -- The rhetoric of community : civil society and the legal order / Marianne Constable -- Law and the corporation / Morton Keller -- The legal origins of the modern American state / William J. Novak -- The legal profession / Robert W. Gordon -- Professing law : elite law school professors in the twentieth century / Laura Kalman -- The twentieth-century discipline of international law in the United States / David Kennedy.
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KF371.A2 L66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This book describes a century of tremendous legal change, of inspiring legal developments, and profound failures. The twentieth century took the United States from the Progressive Era's optimism about law and social engineering to current concerns about a hyperlegalistic society, from philosophical idealism to the implementation of democracy, the rule of law, and the idea of human rights throughout the world. At the same time, law maintained its status as the key language of governance in the United States, the most "legal" of all countries, which has succeeded in making its version of the state a point of reference around the globe.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The concept of law underwent tremendous change in the 20th century. Whether in legal education, economic regulation, international affairs, or in protection of individual rights and freedoms, the law was instrumental in redefining many aspects of life. Seeking to understand how the law and legal institutions have changed in the US during the last hundred years is the subject of this book. The introductory essay to this collection of conference papers describes law as serving dual purposes: "facilitating and containing social and political change, both advancing and domesticating challenge." Law, thus, is a constituting force, but it is also constituted by myriad factors. The essays explore this duality by surveying law's 20th-century transformation, covering topics that look at how legal education, race, human rights, citizenship, regulation, crime, and the legal profession, among other topics, have been impacted. The result? Not one but many revolutions in how the law is understood and operates in human affairs. An excellent addition for collections in law, political science, sociology, and American history. Recommended at all levels. D. Schultz Hamline University