American Law in the Twentieth Century

American Law in the Twentieth Century

3.84 (63 ratings by Goodreads)

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In this long-awaited successor to his landmark work A History of American Law, Lawrence M. Friedman offers a monumental history of American law in the twentieth century.

The first general history of its kind, American Law in the Twentieth Century describes the explosion of law over the past century into almost every aspect of American life. Since 1900 the center of legal gravity in the United States has shifted from the state to the federal government, with the creation of agencies and programs ranging from Social Security to the Securities Exchange Commission to the Food and Drug Administration. Major demographic changes have spurred legal developments in such areas as family law and immigration law. Dramatic advances in technology have placed new demands on the legal system in fields ranging from automobile regulation to intellectual property.

Throughout the book, Friedman focuses on the social context of American law. He explores the extent to which transformations in the legal order have resulted from the social upheavals of the twentieth century--including two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution. Friedman also discusses the international context of American law: what has the American legal system drawn from other countries? And in an age of global dominance, what impact has the American legal system had abroad?

Written by one of our most eminent legal historians, this engrossing book chronicles a century of revolutionary change within a legal system that has come to affect us all.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 736 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 46.74mm | 1,021g
  • New Haven, CT, United States
  • English
  • 0300102992
  • 9780300102994
  • 2,367,985

Review quote

"A readable and sophisticated account of what happened at the interface between American law and American society over the past century... A useful guide to the social and political processes shaping American law." Charles Lane, Washington Post Book World; "This enlightening guide to America's modern legal history... is stunning and definitive. Each of Friedman's chapters is jampacked with information and perspective." Edward Lazarus, Los Angeles Times Book Review; "This brilliant account is at once accessible to the layperson and indispensable to the specialist. A masterpiece." Choice; "Captures brilliantly the broad social sweep of legal change during the twentieth century... Masterful." Cornell W. Clayton, American Historical Review"
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About Lawrence M. Friedman

Lawrence M. Friedman is Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford University. He is the former president of the Law and Society Association and of the American Society for Legal History. His previous books include A History of American Law and Crime and Punishment in American History, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history.
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Rating details

63 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 19% (12)
4 48% (30)
3 32% (20)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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