Labor & Capital

When Michael Tigar expressed interest as a child in becoming a lawyer, his father gave him Irving Stone’s biography of Clarence Darrow, Clarence Darrow for the Defense. Darrow influenced Tigar in many respects, as he explains in his own autobiography, Fighting Injustice and in Nine Principles of Litigation–And Life. Darrow’s defense of labor leaders like Eugene Debs compellingly illustrated the necessity of responding to government attempts to quash movements seeking reform of the prevailing political-economic system.

As early as Tigar’s years at Berkeley, his ideology took on a notably Marxist perspective, and his later legal and scholarly work made no attempt to hide the influence and evolution of this perspective over the decades. During his career, Tigar regularly encountered the historical nexus of law and capital, identifying a symbiotic relationship between the law and those who have control over the means of production. His thoughts in this arena framed his approaches in other areas that dealt with inequality, including what he laments as the fracturing of the labor movement since the 1940s.

This section includes the text of the second edition of his keystone work in this area, Law and the Rise of Capitalism, first published in 1977. Also included is a play he wrote, Haymarket: Whose Name the Few Still Say with Tears, featuring reimagined dialogues between Darrow and anarchist Lucy Parsons, whose labor-leader husband had been hanged as a result of the Haymarket riots. These and other materials in this section, both historical and contemporary, highlight the centrality of Tigar’s views on labor and capital to his social justice efforts.

15 archive items found.

Preview Type Title Year
Miscellany Fifty Years of Cooperation

Oral History The Need for History

Oral History Developing a Left Critique of the Law

Oral History Marx and a Sense of History

Oral History Fracturing of the US Labor Movement

Oral History Globalization & the Reserve Army of Labor

Oral History Reading Clarence Darrow

Books Law and the Rise of Capitalism

Speeches Query: Judges or Lawyers–Who Are the Keepers of the Flame?

Journal Articles It Does the Crime But Not the Time: Corporate Criminal Liability in Federal Law

Plays Haymarket: Whose Name the Few Still Say with Tears

Journal Articles The Right of Property and the Law of Theft

Book Review Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition

Essays The Hobbs Act and RICO in Takeover Litigation

Journal Articles Automatic Extinction Of Cross-Demands: Compensation From Rome To California