Category Archives: Our Collection

The First Modern Risk: Workplace Accidents and the Origins of European Social States

Julia Moses. Cambridge University Press, June 2018. Available to purchase via Cambridge University Press and Amazon.

During the late nineteenth century, many countries across Europe adopted national legislation that required employers to compensate workers injured or killed in accidents at work. These laws suggested that the risk of accidents was inherent to work and not due to individual negligence. By focusing on Britain, Germany, and Italy during this time, Julia Moses demonstrates how these laws reflected a major transformation in thinking about the nature of individual responsibility and social risk. The First Modern Risk illuminates the implications of this conceptual revolution for the role of the state in managing problems of everyday life, transforming understandings about both the obligations and rights of individuals. Drawing on a wide array of disciplines including law, history, and politics, Moses offers a fascinating transnational view of a pivotal moment in the evolution of the welfare state.

Endorsements:

‘Based on detailed work in three countries and languages, this book looks broadly and comparatively at how governments dealt with workplace accidents in the nineteenth century, one of industrialization’s earliest dilemmas. With both empirical substance and theoretical sophistication, it also illuminates the more general problem of the contemporary state first undertaking what is now its foremost task, managing modernity’s ever-growing risks.’

–Peter Baldwin, University of California, Los Angeles

‘In this masterful and path breaking study, Moses identifies the genealogical origins of European social states in the neglected sphere of workplace accidents and the social policies that governments adopted to address what they came to recognize as the ‘first modern risk’. Weaving together a stunning array of research – from law and moral philosophy to state theory and citizenship studies – this book charts the shifting responsibility for the inevitable perils of industrial capitalism, from the personal agency of freedom of contract to state management of an increasingly social distribution of risk. This is a book as timely as it is profound. As neoliberalism’s unremitting assaults on today’s social states have given rise to brutalizing levels of inequality, nothing could be more urgent than our learning from Moses’ deep analysis of the social and political conditions that once created and sustained national commitments to egalitarian social rights.’

–Margaret Somers, University of Michigan

About the Author:

Julia Moses is a senior lecturer in Modern History at the University of Sheffield. She studied at Barnard College/Columbia University (New York), Oxford, and Cambridge (as a Gates Scholar). Before joining the Department of History at Sheffield in September 2011, she was a lecturer at Pembroke and Brasenose Colleges, Oxford. She has been a visiting scholar at the Berlin Collegium for the Comparative History of Europe at the Free University; a professeur invitée at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris; an International Guest Lecturer at the University of Bielefeld; a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin; and a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Göttingen.

Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America

Martha S. Jones. Cambridge University Press, June 2018. Available  via Amazon and Cambridge University Press.

Before the Civil War, colonization schemes and black laws threatened to deport former slaves born in the United States. Birthright Citizens recovers the story of how African American activists remade national belonging through battles in legislatures, conventions, and courthouses. They faced formidable opposition, most notoriously from the US Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott. Still, Martha S. Jones explains, no single case defined their status. Former slaves studied law, secured allies, and conducted themselves like citizens, establishing their status through local, everyday claims. All along they argued that birth guaranteed their rights. With fresh archival sources and an ambitious reframing of constitutional law-making before the Civil War, Jones shows how the Fourteenth Amendment constitutionalized the birthright principle, and black Americans’ aspirations were realized. Birthright Citizens tells how African American activists radically transformed the terms of citizenship for all Americans.

Endorsements:

“Beautifully written and deeply researched, Birthright Citizens transforms our understanding of the evolution of citizenship in nineteenth-century America.  Martha Jones demonstrates how the constitutional revolution of Reconstruction had roots not simply in legal treatises and court decisions but in the day to day struggles of  pre-Civil War African-Americans for equal rights as members of the national community.”
–Eric Foner, Columbia University

“Martha Jones’s ‘history of race and rights’ utterly upends our understanding of the genealogy of citizenship. By showcasing ordinary people acting on their understanding of law’s potentialities, Jones demonstrates the vibrancy of antebellum black ideas of birthright citizenship and their impact on black political and intellectual life. Written with verve, and pulling back the curtain on the scholar’s craft, Birthright Citizens makes an important contribution to both African American and socio-legal history.” 
–Dylan Penningroth, University of California, Berkeley

Birthright Citizens gives new life to a long trajectory of African Americans’ efforts to contest the meaning of citizenship through law and legal action.  They claimed citizenship rights in the courts of Baltimore, decades before the concept was codified in the federal constitution – ordinary people, even the formally disfranchised, actively engaged in shaping what citizenship meant for everyone. Martha Jones takes a novel approach that scholars and legal practitioners will need to reckon with to understand history and our own times.”
–Tera Hunter, Princeton University

Birthright Citizens is a brilliant and richly researched work that could not be more timely. Who is inside and who is outside the American circle of citizenship has been a fraught question from the Republic’s very beginnings. With great clarity and insight, Jones mines available records to show how one group–black Americans in pre-Civil War Baltimore– sought to claim rights of citizenship in a place where they had lived and labored. This is a must-read for all who are interested in what it means to be an American.”
–Annette Gordon-Reed, Harvard University

“In this exacting study, legal historian Martha Jones reinterprets the Dred Scott decision through a fresh and utterly revealing lens, reframing this key case as just one moment in a long and difficult contest over race and rights. Jones mines Baltimore court records to uncover a textured legal landscape in which free black men and women knew and used the law to push for and act on rights not clearly guaranteed to them. Her sensitive and brilliant analysis transforms how we view the status of free blacks under the law, even as her vivid writing brings Baltimore vibrantly alive, revealing the import of local domains and institutions – states, cities, courthouses, churches, and even ships – to the larger national drama of African American history. Part meditation on a great nineteenth-century city, part implicit reflection on contemporary immigration politics, and part historical-legal thriller, Birthright Citizens is an astonishing revelation of the intricacies and vagaries of black struggles for the rights of citizenship.”
–Tiya Miles, author of The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits

In the News:

  • Jones discussed birthright citizenship and the fourteenth amendment in Time, the Atlantic, and NPR in October 2018.
  • Jones sat down with the Johns Hopkins Hub to discuss her book (August 2018)
  • KPFA radio aired an interview with Jones, “The American Circle of Citizenship: Who is Inside and Who is Outside?” (August 2018).
  • Jones’ Birthright Citizens declared a “must read” race and culture book of the summer by Colorlines.
  • Lapham Quarterly excerpted Birthright Citizens in July 2018.
  • Newbooksnetwork.com published an interview with Jones about Birthright Citizens.
  • Professor Jones discussed Birthright Citizens in an interview with WYPR in July 2018.

About the Author:

Professor Martha S. Jones is a legal and cultural historian whose interests include the study of race, law, citizenship, slavery, and the rights of women. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and a J.D. from the CUNY School of Law. Professor Jones joined the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Department of History in June 2017 as the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History. She came from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts the University of Michigan where she was a Presidential Bicentennial Professor, Professor of history and Afroamerican and African Studies. She was a founding director of the Michigan Law School Program in Race, Law & History and a senior fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows. Prior to joining the Michigan faculty, she was a public interest litigator in New York City and a Charles H. Revson Fellow on the Future of the City of New York at Columbia University.

In addition to Birthright Citizens (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Professor Jones is the author of All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900 (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), together with many important articles and essays. Her work includes the curatorship of museum exhibitions, including “Reframing the Color Line” and “Proclaiming Emancipation” in conjunction with the William L. Clements Library. Professor Jones’s essays and commentary have appeared in the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, CNN, and the Detroit Free Press, among other news outlets.

Her work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the National Constitution Center, and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History. Today, Professor Jones serves as Co-President of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and was recently elected to the Organization of American Historians Executive Board. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland and Paris, France with her husband, historian Jean Hébrard.

Professor Jones also maintains a personal website where you can read more about her scholarship and upcoming talks/appearances at marthasjones.com

Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis

Cynthia Nicoletti. Cambridge University Press (October 2017). Available to order via Cambridge University Press or Amazon.

This book focuses on the post-Civil War treason prosecution of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which was seen as a test case on the major question that animated the Civil War: the constitutionality of secession. The case never went to trial because it threatened to undercut the meaning and significance of Union victory. Cynthia Nicoletti describes the interactions of the lawyers who worked on both sides of the Davis case – who saw its potential to disrupt the verdict of the battlefield against secession. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Americans engaged in a wide-ranging debate over the legitimacy and effectiveness of war as a method of legal adjudication. Instead of risking the ‘wrong’ outcome in the highly volatile Davis case, the Supreme Court took the opportunity to pronounce secession unconstitutional in Texas v. White (1869).

Endorsements:

“The genius of Nicoletti’s work is that the Davis case provides a window into the persistent belief in American minds (even in the North) that secession was possible. That belief made the trial and execution of Davis that much more problematic than scholars have seen. Nicoletti backs up these claims with unsurpassed knowledge of legal proceedings and impressive research.”
–William Blair, Director of Richard Civil War Era Center and Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor, Penn State University, and author of With Malice Toward Some: Treason and Loyalty in the Civil War Era

“Cynthia Nicoletti tackles a hugely important topic: the post-Civil War resolution of the legal status of the Confederacy. The prosecution of Jefferson Davis squarely posed the question whether the Confederacy had become a separate country by seceding. If it had, southerners insisted there could be no treason. If it had not, many of the war powers asserted by the North would be called into question. Nicoletti brilliantly tracks the efforts of jurists and politicians to work through momentous questions about the American constitutional order.”
–John Fabian Witt, Yale Law School, Connecticut, and author of Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History

“Nicoletti’s beautifully written book studies a crucially important trial that never happened. She situates Davis’s treason case in the wider context of public discussions about how to treat officials of the former Confederacy and what to do about secession. Law, as Nicoletti argues, was not separate from other aspects of life in this period; it was deeply implicated within them and, thus, inseparable from them.”
–Laura Edwards, Peabody Family Professor of History, Duke University, North Carolina and author of A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights

Reviews:

George Rutherglen reviewed Secession on Trial in December 2017 for the Virginia Law Review (v. 103, pp 72-93). You can read the review online here.

D. Schultz reviewed Secession on Trial for Choice Reviews v. 55 no. 7 (March 2018).

Henry Cohen reviewed the book in the May 2018 The Federal Lawyer. 

Peter Charles Hoffer reviewed the book in the Spring 2018 Civil War Book Review. 

Al Trophy reviewed the book for The Journal of the Civil War Era in September 2018.

 

About the Author:

Cynthia Nicoletti is a legal historian and professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law. She has been the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships, including the William Nelson Cromwell Prize for the best dissertation in legal history, awarded by the American Society for Legal History in 2011. Her book, Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis, was published in October 2017. You can read Professor Nicoletti’s faculty profile on the Virginia Law website, accessible here.

Sovereignty, International Law, and the French Revolution

Edward James Kolla. Cambridge University Press, October 2017. Available via Cambridge University Press and Amazon.

The advent of the principle of popular sovereignty during the French Revolution inspired an unintended but momentous change in international law. Edward James Kolla explains that between 1789 and 1799, the idea that peoples ought to determine their fates in international affairs, just as they were taking power domestically in France, inspired a series of new and interconnected claims to territory. Drawing on case studies from Avignon, Belgium, the Rhineland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy, Kolla traces how French revolutionary diplomats and leaders gradually applied principles derived from new domestic political philosophy and law to the international stage. Instead of obtaining land via dynastic inheritance or conquest in war, the will of the people would now determine the title and status of territory. However, the principle of popular sovereignty also opened up new justifications for aggressive conquest, and this history foreshadowed some of the most controversial questions in international relations today.

Endorsements:

“When the right of peoples to self-determination creates an international law immediately to the advantage of the French Revolution and ultimately for our present world, a brilliant paradoxical book explaining how French Revolution was a key experiment for our modernity.”

-Jean-Clément Martin, Université Paris 1 Sorbonne

“Kolla’s bold and thought-provoking study transforms our view of the French Revolution’s importance for international law. Kolla persuasively argues for positive advances, rooted in the doctrine of popularity sovereignty, and for an indirect “ripple” effect which provided an important foundation for the decisive nineteenth-century advance in international law.”
-Professor Hamish Scott, Oxford University

“Kolla makes a major contribution towards the development of modern international law. By combining political narratives with legal analysis he sheds new light on the impact of revolutionary ideas, in particular with relation to popular sovereignty, on international relations and their legal organization.”
-Randall C. H. Lessafer, Tilburg Law School

“In this brilliant and thoughtful study of international law during the French Revolution, Kolla presents a fascinating history of the principle of national self-determination, as it developed over a century before Woodrow Wilson brought this idea to Versailles. Kolla’s book will be of great interest to historians of modern Europe, political theorists, and legal scholars.”
-Dan Edelstein, Stanford University

Reviews:

Joshua Meeks reviewed Kolla’s book for H-Net in February 2018.
Richard Harding reviewed Sovereignty, International Law, and the French Revolution in H-France Review v. 18 (May 2018) no. 116.

About the Author:

Edward J. Kolla is an Associate Professor at Georgetown University Qatar. His areas of expertise are European international relations, political cultural, and intellectual history–and especially the history of international law. Professor Kolla has previously held major fellowships from the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, the Camargo Foundation, and the French government. His first book, Sovereignty, International Law, and the French Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2017) examines the impact and effect of the French Revolution on international law, specifically tracing the emergence of popular sovereignty as a justification for claims to territory. He is currently working on a project that looks at the history of the passport.

You can watch Professor Kolla discuss his book and upcoming project as part of the SLH video series here.

Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel

Assaf Likhovski (Cambridge University Press, July 2017).  Available to order from Cambridge University Press and Amazon.

This book describes how a social-norms model of taxation rose and fell in British-ruled Palestine and the State of Israel in the mid-twentieth century. Such a model, in which non-legal means were used to foster compliance, appeared in the tax system created by the Jewish community in 1940s Palestine and was later adopted by the new Israeli state in the 1950s. It gradually disappeared in subsequent decades as law and its agents, lawyers and accountants, came to play a larger role in the process of taxation. By describing the historical interplay between formal and informal tools for creating compliance, Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel sheds new light on our understanding of the relationship between law and other methods of social control, and reveals the complex links between taxation and citizenship.

Endorsements:

“Likhovski has written a fascinating account of the development of taxation in a region that has long struggled with shifting rulers and divided populations. This book is more than just the definitive history of taxation in Israel. It is a case study on the cultural and sociological underpinnings of tax law itself.”

–Steve Bank, University of California, Los Angeles

 “This brilliant book tells the story of how tax law in Mandatory Palestine was transformed from an intimate institution relying on the voluntary cooperation of taxpayers to a formal system enforced by lawyers. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the nature of law and in how to make a legal system that necessarily depends on voluntary cooperation achieve its goals.”
— Reuven Avi-Yonah, Irwin I. Cohn Professor of Law, University of Michigan

“Once more, Assaf Likhovski has demonstrated his keen understanding of law and its social function in Ottoman and mandatory Palestine as well as the state of Israel. This volume solidifies Assaf Likhovski’s position as one of the most formidable and important scholars of the legal history of Israel.”
— Michael Stanislawski, Columbia University, New York

“Assaf Likhovksi has written an absolutely fascinating book. His exploration of the rise and fall of what he aptly calls the ‘intimate fiscal state’ uses taxation to provide a prism on the history of late Ottoman and British-ruled Palestine, as well Israel. Everyone interested in the relationship between law and society, the history of taxation, the subject of tax avoidance, and the history of Israel will want to read this brilliant work.”
–Laura Kalman, University of California, Santa Barbara

Reviews:

Binyamin Blum, On Fiscal Citizenship: A Cultural History of Tax Law, JOTWELL (January 11, 2018) (reviewing Assaf Likhovski, Tax Law and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel (2017)). 

Orit Rozin reviewed Likhovski’s book for the Journal of Interdisciplinary History v. 49 no. 1 (Summer 2018).

About the Author:

Assaf Likhovski is a professor of law and legal history at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law. He is the author of Law and Identity in Mandate Palestine (University of North Carolina Press, 2006), and Tax, Law, and Social Norms in Mandatory Palestine and Israel (Cambridge University Press, 2017), as well as articles on Israeli, American and English legal history. He is co-editor of a number of collections of articles on legal history including “Histories of Legal Transplantations” Theoretical Inquiries in Law (with Ron Harris). He was visiting professor at Yeshiva University, the University of Toronto, UCLA, and Georgetown University. He is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and Harvard Law School, where he was a Fulbright and Rothschild fellow. He was later a Golieb fellow at the NYU School of Law, and a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem. He was co-founder of the Israeli Legal History Association, and served as the director of the TAU Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research  of the Law, the director of the TAU David Berg Foundation Institute for Law and History, and the Associate Dean for Research at the TAU Faculty of Law.

Watch Professor Likhovski discuss his work as part of the SLH video series here.

Fractional Freedoms: Slavery, Intimacy, and Legal Mobilization in Colonial Lima, 1600–1700

Michelle McKinley. September 2016. Cambridge University Press. Available to purchase via Cambridge University Press and Amazon.

Fractional Freedoms explores how thousands of slaves in colonial Peru were able to secure their freedom, keep their families intact, negotiate lower self-purchase prices, and arrange transfers of ownership by filing legal claims. Through extensive archival research, Michelle A. McKinley excavates the experiences of enslaved women whose historical footprint is barely visible in the official record. She complicates the way we think about life under slavery and demonstrates the degree to which slaves were able to exercise their own agency, despite being ensnared by the Atlantic slave trade. Enslaved women are situated as legal actors who had overlapping identities as wives, mothers, mistresses, wet-nurses and day-wage domestics, and these experiences within the urban working environment are shown to condition their identities as slaves. Although the outcomes of their lawsuits varied, Fractional Freedoms demonstrates how enslaved women used channels of affection and intimacy to press for liberty and prevent the generational transmission of enslavement to their children.

Endorsements:

“This is, without a doubt, one of the richest, most complex and well-researched studies of urban slavery in colonial Latin America. McKinley brings acute legal knowledge, both of the content of law and of its performative practice, to a study of enslaved men and women. The archival wealth here, plus the author’s ability to tell a compelling yarn, produce an engaging and scholarly tome.”
–Karen B. Graubart, Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame

“Michelle McKinley has written a book that embodies the richness of recent Latin American legal history and also transcends that literature. Fractional Freedoms is rooted in heroic work in recondite and intractable archives in Europe and in the Americas. It is shaped by an incredibly sophisticated historical imagination, and is also filled with really interesting and well told stories about the negotiations and the local lives of enslaved Africans in early modern Lima. There are surprises on every page. For anyone interested in the global history of slavery, which by rights should be every serious student of history, this is the state of the art.”
–Hendrik Hartog, Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty, Princeton University

“This is a first-rate piece of original, archive-based scholarship. It is a meticulous and extremely thoughtful examination of women’s lives under slavery in and around Lima, Peru, a part of the Americas few connect with this institution. What really sets this book manuscript apart is the author’s razor-sharp understanding and clear
explanation of the colonial legal system. This book is a fully accessible social history that … contributes substantially to the growing history of the African diaspora.”
–Kris Lane, Scholes Professor, Tulane University

Reviews:

Susan Hogue Negrete reviewed Fractional Freedoms in October 2017 in H-LatAm. You can read her review here.

Lea VanderVelde reviewed Fractional Freedoms in November 2017 in Law and History Review Volume 35, Issue 4. You can read the review here.

H-Law published Lyman Johnson’s review of Fractional Freedoms in December 2017. You can read that review on H-Net here.

About the Author:

Michelle McKinley is the Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law. She teaches Immigration Law and Policy, Public International Law, International Criminal Law, and Refugee & Asylum Law. Professor McKinley attended Harvard Law School, where she was Executive Editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal and graduated cum laude in 1995. Professor McKinley also holds a Masters Degree in Social Anthropology from Oxford University.

McKinley has extensively published work on public international law, Latin American legal history, and the law of slavery. Her articles appear in the Law and History Review; Slavery & Abolition; Journal of Family History, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice; Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power; Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, and Unbound: Harvard Law Journal of the Legal Left, among others. She has been granted fellowships for her research from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Newberry Library. She was awarded the Surrency Prize in 2011 for her article, “Fractional Freedoms: Legal Activism & Ecclesiastical Courts in Colonial Lima, 1593-1700.” In 2014, she was a fellow in residence at Princeton University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs, where she completed a book on enslaved women in colonial Latin America using courts to litigate their claims to liberty.

Prior to joining the academy, Professor McKinley was the former Managing Director of Cultural Survival, an advocacy and research organization dedicated to indigenous peoples. She is also the founder, and former director, of the Amazonian Peoples’ Resources Initiative, a community based reproductive rights organization in Peru, where she worked for nine years as an advocate for global health and human rights.

See Professor McKinley’s page on the University of Oregon’s School of Law website for more information.

States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance, 1935-1972

Karen M. Tani

April 2016. Order online through Amazon or Cambridge University Press (ISBN: 9781107613218).

Who bears responsibility for the poor, and who may exercise the power that comes with that responsibility? Amid the Great Depression, American reformers answered this question in new ways, with profound effects on long-standing practices of governance and entrenched understandings of citizenship. States of Dependency traces New Deal welfare programs over the span of four decades, asking what happened as money, expertise, and ideas traveled from the federal administrative epicenter in Washington, DC, through state and local bureaucracies, and into diverse and divided communities.
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Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863–1945

Felice Batlan.

April 2015. Order online through Cambridge University Press or Amazon.

Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863-1945 re-examines our fundamental assumptions about the American legal profession, and the boundaries between “professional” lawyers, “lay lawyers,” and social workers. Putting legal history and women’s history in dialogue, it demonstrates that nineteenth-century women’s organizations first offered legal aid to the poor and that middle-class women functioning as lay lawyers, provided such assistance. By the early twentieth century, male lawyers founded their own legal aid societies. These new legal aid lawyers created an imagined history of legal aid and a blueprint for its future in which women played no role and their accomplishments were intentionally omitted. In response, women social workers offered harsh criticisms of legal aid leaders and developed a more robust social work model of legal aid. These different models produced conflicting understandings of expertise, professionalism, the rule of law, and ultimately the meaning of justice for the poor.Read more

The Old English Penitentials and Anglo-Saxon Law

Stefan Jurasinski.

April 2015. Order online via Cambridge University Press or Amazon.

In this book, Stefan Jurasinski offers a rich new insight into the nature of law and society in Anglo-Saxon England through a close study of penitential texts, written in the vernacular for priestly use. As these texts bear witness, Anglo-Saxon England’s code of norms was more complex than has often been assumed by historians who have only made use of the legislative codes of Anglo-Saxon kings. The vernacular penitentials gave expression to norms that were not voiced by royal legislation but which must have enjoyed the status of customary law. Jurasinski’s close examination of the content of these texts across a number of chapters offers us new insight into the nature of Anglo-Saxon norms in such diverse areas as slavery, marriage and welfare. It also gives greater insight in to Anglo-Saxon notions of intention and guilt than is to be found in the secular texts.

Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture 1772-1947

Mitra Sharafi.

March 2014. Order online through The Cambridge University Press or Amazon. ISBN: 9781107047976.

This book explores the legal culture of the Parsis, or Zoroastrians, an ethnoreligious community unusually invested in the colonial legal system of British India and Burma. Rather than trying to maintain collective autonomy and integrity by avoiding interaction with the state, the Parsis sank deep into the colonial legal system itself. From the late eighteenth century until India’s independence in 1947, they became heavy users of colonial law, acting as lawyers, judges, litigants, lobbyists, and legislators. They de-Anglicized the law that governed them and enshrined in law their own distinctive models of the family and community
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