- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: July 2017
- Print publication year: 2017
- Online ISBN: 9781108147668
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 darker pieces - such as feudalism and slavery, the tyranny of princes and priests, and the subordination of women. In doing so, lawyers tame the unruly, ugly, embarrassing elements of the past, smoothing them into reassuring tales of progress. In a series of essays and lectures written over forty years, Robert W. Gordon describes and analyses how lawyers approach the past and the strategies they use to recruit history for present use while erasing or keeping at bay its threatening or inconvenient aspects. Together, the corpus of work featured in Taming the Past offers an analysis of American law and society and its leading historians since 1900.
Morton Horwitz - Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Emeritus, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts
Laura Kalman - University of California, Santa Barbara
Hendrik Hartog - Princeton University
Reva Siegel - Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor, Yale Law School
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