Studies in Legal History

  • 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 ... Read more
  • 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 ... Read more
  • 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 ... Read more
  • Taming the Past: Essays on Law in History and History in Law Robert W. Gordon (Cambridge University Press, June 2017). Available to order now via Cambridge University Press or Amazon. Listen here as Professor Gordon discusses his book. Lawyers and judges often make arguments based on history – on the authority of precedent and original constitutional understandings. They argue both to preserve the inspirational, heroic past and to discard its ... Read more
  • Criminal Law in Liberal and Fascist Italy Paul Garfinkel December 2016. Cambridge University Press. Available to purchase via Cambridge University Press and Amazon. By extending the chronological parameters of existing scholarship, and by focusing on legal experts’ overriding and enduring concern with ‘“-dangerous-”’ forms of common crime, this book offers a major reinterpretation of criminal-law reform and legal culture in Italy from the Liberal (1861–1922) ... Read more
  • 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 ... Read more
  • 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 ... Read more
  • 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 ... 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 ... Read more
  • 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 ... Read more
  • The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right Sophia Z. Lee. October 2014. Order online through the Cambridge University Press or Amazon. ISBN: 9781107613218. Read reviews for The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right:  Review by Professor Garden in JOTWELL. Review by Professor Estlund in Texas Law Review. Review by Kevin Boyle in Business History Review. Today, most Americans lack constitutional rights on the job. But as The Workplace Constitution shows, this ... Read more
  • The Fascists and the Jews of Italy: Mussolini’s Race Laws, 1938-1943 Michael A. Livingston. December 2013. Order online through Cambridge University Press or Amazon. ISBN: 9781107027565. From 1938 until 1943 – before the German occupation and accompanying Holocaust – Fascist Italy drafted and enforced a comprehensive set of anti-Semitic laws. Notwithstanding later rationalizations, the laws were enforced and administered with a high degree of severity and resulted in serious, and ... Read more
  • Before Eminent Domain: Toward a History of Expropriation of Land for the Common Good Susan Reynolds. Published 2010. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3353-7. In this concise history of expropriation of land for the common good in Europe and North America from medieval times to 1800, Susan Reynolds contextualizes the history of an important legal doctrine regarding the relationship between government and the institution of private ... Read more
  • Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries James M. Donovan. Published 2010. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3363-6. James Donovan takes a comprehensive approach to the history of the jury in modern France by investigating the legal, political, sociocultural, and intellectual aspects of jury trial from the Revolution through the twentieth century. He demonstrates that these juries, through their ... Read more
  • Domestic Secrets: Women and Property in Sweden, 1600-1857 Maria Ågren. Published 2009. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3320-9. Between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, women’s role in the Swedish economy was renegotiated and reconceptualized. Maria Agren chronicles changes in married women’s property rights, revealing the story of Swedish women’s property as not just a simple narrative of the erosion of ... Read more
  • Working Knowledge: Employee Innovation and the Rise of Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930 Catherine L. Fisk. Published 2009. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3302-5. Skilled workers of the early nineteenth century enjoyed a degree of professional independence because workplace knowledge and technical skill were their “property,” or at least their attribute. In most sectors of today’s economy, however, it is a foundational and ... Read more
  • Catalonia’s Advocates: Lawyers, Society, and Politics in Barcelona, 1759-1900 Stephen Jacobson. Published 2009. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3297-4. Offering a window into the history of the modern legal profession in Western Europe, Stephen Jacobson presents a history of lawyers in the most industrialized city on the Mediterranean. Far from being mere curators of static law, Barcelona’s lawyers were ... Read more
  • The Inception of Modern Professional Education: C. C. Langdell, 1826-1906 Bruce A. Kimball. Published 2009. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3257-8. Christopher C. Langdell (1826-1906) is one of the most influential figures in the history of American professional education. As dean of Harvard Law School from 1870 to 1895, he conceived, designed, and built the educational model that leading professional ... Read more
  • Beyond the Prison Gates: Punishment and Welfare in Germany, 1850-1933 Warren Rosenblum. Published 2009. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3204-2. Germany today has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the industrialized world, and social welfare principles play an essential role at all levels of the German criminal justice system. Warren Rosenblum examines the roots of this social approach to ... Read more
  • Constituting Empire: New York and the Transformation of Constitutionalism in the Atlantic World, 1664-1830 Daniel J. Hulsebosch. Published September 2008. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-5920-9. According to the traditional understanding of American constitutional law, the Revolution produced a new conception of the constitution as a set of restrictions on the power of the state rather than a mere description of governmental roles. Daniel ... Read more
  • Slavery on Trial: Law, Abolitionism, and Print Culture Jeannine Marie DeLombard. Published May 2007. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-5812-7. America’s legal consciousness was high during the era that saw the imprisonment of abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison, the execution of slave revolutionary Nat Turner, and the hangings of John Brown and his Harpers Ferry co-conspirators. Jeannine Marie DeLombard examines ... Read more
  • Law and Identity in Mandate Palestine Assaf Likhovski. Published June 2006. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-3017-8. One of the major questions facing the world today is the role of law in shaping identity and in balancing tradition with modernity. In an arid corner of the Mediterranean region in the first decades of the twentieth century, ... Read more
  • The Anti-Rent Era in New York Law and Politics, 1839-1865 Charles W. McCurdy. Published June 2006. Order online through The University of North Carolina Press or Amazon. ISBN: 978-0-8078-5765-6. A compelling blend of legal and political history, this book chronicles the largest tenant rebellion in U.S. history. From its beginning in the rural villages of eastern New York in 1839 until its collapse in 1865, the Anti-Rent ... Read more