Reading Group: Law's History

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE 3:45 - 5:35 pm TNH 3.128

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This non-writing seminar will meet every other week to discuss the professor's recently published book, Law's History: American Legal Thought and the Transatlantic Turn to History (Cambridge University Press 2013). The book places the turn to history in American legal thought following the Civil War in the broader context of the prevalence of historical explanation, in law and in other disciplines, in Europe and the United States. It addresses the close intellectual connections between American, English, and German legal scholars during the nineteenth century. It also discusses twentieth-century interpretations of late nineteenth-century legal thought, challenging the prevalent view that "deductive formalism" and political conservatism were the main features of "Classical Legal Thought." Because many of the legal scholars covered in the book wrote about the early history of English law, the seminar should appeal to students interested in English legal history as well as in American legal history and the history of legal thought. Students will write two to three page reaction papers for every seminar meeting. This course does not satisfy the law school's writing requirement. Grading will be pass/fail. 

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Law's History *
David Rabban
Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-0-521-76191-8


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