This is the reprint of a privately printed edition of a book about the history of American legal thought, written in 1975.
Legal historian G. Edward White recently described it as the "most widely circulated and cited unpublished manuscript in twentieth-century American legal scholarship since Hart & Sacks' Legal Process materials." It began the re-evaluation of law in the Gilded Age, and gave it its current name of Classical Legal Thought. It was also one of the first and most influential of the works that introduced European critical theory and structuralism into the study of American law. This reprint comes with a substantial new Introduction that puts the work in context and relates it to current scholarship in the field. It should interest historians generally as well as readers curious about how our legal system got its special modern character.
Duncan Kennedy is the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School. He has written on a wide variety of legal topics and was one of the founders of the critical legal studies movement.