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Law in America
Law in America の表紙
Law in America
A Short History
"Law in America is a little gem. It is a peerless introduction to our legal history--concise, clear, tellingly told, and beautifully written. The greatest living historian of American law has done it again."
--Stanley N. Katz,
former president of the American Society for Legal History and the Organization of American Historians

"All societies have laws, but neither all laws nor all legal systems are alike. No one has thought more deeply or written more clearly about the peculiar role of law in American life than Lawrence Friedman. In this trenchant, illuminating book, he distills a lifetime of scholarship and teaching into a concise and provocative explanation of the role that law has played in shaping the distinctive contours of American history and culture."
--David M. Kennedy,
professor of history at Stanford University and author of Freedom from Fear

Throughout America's history, our laws have been a reflection of who we are, of what we value, of who has control. They embody our society's genetic code. In the masterful hands of the subject's greatest living historian, the story of the evolution of our laws serves to lay bare the deciding struggles over power and justice that have shaped this country from its birth pangs to the present. Law in America is a supreme example of the historian's art, its brevity a testament to the great elegance and wit of its composition.
"Law in America is a little gem. It is a peerless introduction to our legal history--concise, clear, tellingly told, and beautifully written. The greatest living historian of American law has done it again."
--Stanley N. Katz,
former president of the American Society for Legal History and the Organization of American Historians

"All societies have laws, but neither all laws nor all legal systems are alike. No one has thought more deeply or written more clearly about the peculiar role of law in American life than Lawrence Friedman. In this trenchant, illuminating book, he distills a lifetime of scholarship and teaching into a concise and provocative explanation of the role that law has played in shaping the distinctive contours of American history and culture."
--David M. Kennedy,
professor of history at Stanford University and author of Freedom from Fear

Throughout America's history, our laws have been a reflection of who we are, of what we value, of who has control. They embody our society's genetic code. In the masterful hands of the subject's greatest living historian, the story of the evolution of our laws serves to lay bare the deciding struggles over power and justice that have shaped this country from its birth pangs to the present. Law in America is a supreme example of the historian's art, its brevity a testament to the great elegance and wit of its composition.
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引用-
  • Chapter One Introduction

    At my university (Stanford) I teach a course to undergraduates called Introduction to American Law. On my way to class, on the first day--the class usually meets at nine o'clock, and it is a tough assignment to keep the students awake--I buy a copy of the Chronicle, the morning newspaper from San Francisco. When I begin the class, after the first few announcements and the like, I wave the paper in front of the class, and read some of the headlines. The point I want to get across to the students is that every domestic story in the front part of the newspaper, before you get to the recipes and the comics and the sports pages, has a legal angle--has some connection with the legal system. Of course, I have no control over the newspaper, but the trick never fails. Almost invariably, every story about public life in the United States, or private life interesting enough to get into the newspaper, will mention a law, a legal proposal, a bill in Congress or in the state legislature, or something a judge, a policeman, a court, a lawyer has done or said; or some statement from the president or other high officials, in any case always about some affair or situation or event done by, with, through, or against the law. In the world we live in--the country we live in--almost nothing has more impact on our lives, nothing is more entangled with our everyday existence, than that something we call the law. This is a startling fact; and it gets the students attention--as it should.

    Why is it the case that the newspapers are so full of material about the legal system? What makes law so central to American society? Where does all this law come from? Is all of this emphasis on law and legal matters good for the country, or is it a sign of some deep-seated pathology? What is American law, and how did it get this way? These questions are the subject of this short book. What I am trying to do is provide a historical introduction to American law--or, perhaps more accurate, to American legal culture; or, perhaps, to the spirit of American law, and how it has related, over time, to American society in general.

    Before we go any further, I have to say a word or two about the definition of "law." There are, in fact, many ways to define this elusive term, and many ways to describe what we mean by "law." For now, I want to adopt a simple, but broad and workable definition. Law is, above all, collective action: action through and by a government. When I say "the law," I really mean "the legal system." The legal system includes, first of all, a body of rules--the "laws" themselves. Some of these are federal laws, enacted by Congress, some come from state legislatures, some are ordinances of city governments. Then there are literally tens of thousands of rules and regulations--from the Food and Drug Administration or the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Forest Service or the board that licenses doctors in Minnesota, or from local zoning boards or school boards or any of the dozens and dozens of agencies at every level of government. But all these, in themselves, are nothing but pieces of paper. What makes them come alive (when they do) are the people and the institutions that produce, interpret, and enforce them. This means police, jails, wardens, courts, judges, postal workers, FBI agents, the secretary of the treasury; it means civil servants who work for all the agencies in Washington, in the state capitals, and in city hall; and the inspectors who go out to factories and businesses, or who make sure that elevators are safe, or who put their stamp of approval on slabs of meat. It also means the lawyers (nearly a million of them) who advise people on how to follow...
著者について-
  • Lawrence M. Friedman is Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford University. He is the author of more than twenty-three books, including American Law in the Twentieth Century, A History of American Law, and Crime and Punishment in American History. Professor Friedman is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of numerous awards.
レビュー-
  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2002
    Friedman (law, Stanford Univ.; A History of American Law) is a prolific writer of works that place the growth and evolution of American law and criminal justice into historical perspective. The current text is a concise and lucid overview of the development of the law as it parallels the track of American social, economic, political, and cultural history. Friedman evinces a theory of concomitance, in which the forward movement of pressures, practices, procedures, and polities in the ostensibly nonlegal categories of American society automatically triggers a corresponding crush of complex creations in their juridical counterparts. In the early 19th century, for instance, the spotlight shone on rapid growth, the expansion of enterprise, and the release of creative economic energy. Thus, a railroad employee named Nicholas Farwell, who suffered a terrible injury on the job in 1842, was forced by the court to turn to family, friends, and the church for solace and recompense. Fortunately, by the mid-20th century, the concept of a social safety net had evolved, along with the modern administrative-welfare system and a strict regulatory framework that probably would have prevented Farwell's injury in the first place. Enjoyable for the lay reader, this book will make a pleasant addition to most public and academic libraries. Philip Y. Blue, New York State Supreme Court Criminal Branch Law Lib., First Judicial Dist., New York

    Copyright 2002 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2002
    Friedman, a law professor and author of " American Law in the 20th Century" [BKL My 1 02]," "reflects on law through the evolving social needs and circumstances of our nation. He takes the interest and circumstances of America's social realities and interposes them in the law as an interactive force. The law of the American colonial period was often the opposite of what we take for granted today; religious tolerance was nonexistent and sin was a crime. As the U.S. evolved, economic interests came to dominate the law. Thus, slavery, which is today a crime, was formerly legal, at least if the slaves were black, and indentured servitude evolved from a status predominated by whites during the colonial era and black sharecroppers in the post-Reconstruction era. Friedman shows how a free enterprise perspective dominated U.S. Supreme Court rulings until the New Deal period, when President Roosevelt shifted the focus to the concerns of ordinary people, creating administrative systems that prompted increasing reliance on regulatory agencies to address the nation's needs.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2002, American Library Association.)

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Law in America
Law in America
A Short History
Lawrence M. Friedman
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