A Life of H.L.A. Hart

A Life of H.L.A. Hart : The Nightmare and the Noble Dream

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Shortlisted for the 2005 British Academy Book prize, Nicola Lacey's entrancing biography recounts the life of H.L.A. Hart, the pre-eminent legal philosopher of the twentieth century. Following Hart's life from modest origins as the son of Jewish tailor parents in Yorkshire to worldwide fame as the most influential English-speaking legal theorist of the post-War era, the book traces his successive metamorphoses; from Yorkshire schoolboy to Oxford scholar, from government intelligence officer to Professor of Jurisprudence, from awkward batchelor to family figurehead. In the tradition of Ray Monk's biography of Wittgenstein, Nicola Lacey paints an absorbing picture of intellectual and psychological development, of a mind struggling to cope with intellectual self-doubt, uncertain sexuality, a difficult marriage and an anti-semitic society. In depicting the evolution of Hart's life and mind, Lacey provides a vivid recreation of both the intellectual and social climate of Oxford in the post-War era.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 456 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 703.06g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 38 halftone plates
  • 019920277X
  • 9780199202775
  • 187,797

Review quote

Overall this is an outstanding biography of a fascinating personality which will appeal to readers interested in Hart, jurisprudence or Oxford academic life. The Journal of Intelligence History

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About Nicola Lacey

Nicola Lacey is Professor of Criminal Law, at the London School of Economics, and Adjunct Professor of Social and Political Theory, at the Research School of Social Sciences of the Australian National University.

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Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; List of Illustrations ; Biographer's Note on Approach and Sources ; Introduction: An Outsider on the Inside ; I NORTH AND SOUTH ; 1. Harrogate, Cheltenham, Bradford ; 2. An Oxford Scholar ; 3. Success Snatched from Defeat: London and the Bar ; II CHANGE AND CONTINUITY ; 4. Jenifer ; 5. From the Inns of Court to Military Intelligence: MI5, Marriage, and Fatherhood ; 6. Oxford from the Other Side of the Fence ; III THE GOLDEN AGE ; 7. Selling Philosophy to the Lawyers: The Chair of Jurisprudence ; 8. American Jurisprudence through English Eyes: Harvard 1956 - 7 ; 9. Law in the Perspective of Philosophy: Causation in the Law, The Concept of Law ; 10. West and East, California and Israel: Law, Liberty, and Morality; Kelsen Visited; The Morality of the Criminal Law ; 11. Discipline, Punishment, and Responsibility ; IV AFTER THE CHAIR ; 12. Old Turks and Young Fogeys: Bentham and Brasenose ; 13. The Nightmare and the Noble Dream ; Notes ; Bibliography ; Biographical Details of Figures Appearing in the Book ; Index

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