The Magic Mirror

The Magic Mirror : Law in American History

3.25 (32 ratings by Goodreads)
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Weaving together themes from the history of public, private, and constitutional law, The Magic Mirror: Law in American History, Second Edition, recounts the roles that law-in all its many shapes and forms-has played in American history, from the days of the earliest English settlements in North America to the year 2007. It also provides comprehensive treatment of twentieth-century developments and sets American law and legal institutions in the broad context of social, cultural, economic, and political events. The Magic Mirror begins by discussing the ways that the settlers dealt with one another and with the indigenous populations; it examines municipal ordinances; colonial, state, and federal statutes; administrative agencies; and court decisions. It goes on to relate the ways that property, crime, sale and labor contracts, commercial transactions, accidents, domestic relations, wills, trusts, and corporations were handled by police, attorneys, legislatures, and jurists over the centuries.
The text also pays close attention to the evolution of substantive law categories-including contracts, torts, negotiable instruments, real property, trusts and estates, and civil procedure-and addresses the intellectual evolution of American law, including sociological jurisprudence, legal realism, critical legal studies, Law & Society, Law & Anthropology, and Law & Economics schools of analysis and thought. Featuring extensive updates by new author Peter Karsten, The Magic Mirror is ideal for courses in American Legal History.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 657.71g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 0195081803
  • 9780195081800
  • 2,167,348

Table of contents

Introduction ; Social and Institutional Foundations of Early American Law ; Law, Society, and Economy in Colonial America ; The Law in Revolution and Revolution in the Law ; Law, Politics, and the Rise of the American Legal System ; The Active State and the Mixed Economy: 1789-1880 ; Common Law, Jurists, and American Values: Continuity and Change, 1780-1880 ; Race and the Nineteenth-Century Law of Domestic Relations ; The Nineteenth-Century Law of Personal Status ; The Dangerous Classes and the Nineteenth-Century Criminal Justice System ; Law, Industrialization, and the Beginnings of the Regulatory State: 1860-1920 ; The Professionalization of the Legal Culture: Bench and Bar, 1860-1920 ; The Judicial Response to Industrialization: 1860-1920 ; Cultural Pluralism, Total War, and the Formation of Modern Legal Culture: 1917-1945 ; The Great Depression and the Emergence of Liberal Legal Culture ; Contemporary Law and Society ; The Imperial Judiciary and Contemporary Social and Cultural Change ; Epilogue: More like a River than a Rock ; Notes ; Glossary ; Bibliographical Essay ; Table of Cases ; Index
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Review quote

How to make an excellent book even better? Oxford University Press and Peter Karsten have found the prefect way. Karsten has improved upon Kermit Hall's fine American legal history textbook, The Magic Mirror (1989), by adding to the second edition mini-essays on customary and local law, new materials about alternative dispute resolution, and the latest scholarship on Native American law, immigration law, and popular resistance to law enforcement. Now fully up to day, but still as readable and teachable as ever, the second edition of The Magic Mirror will please both teachers and students. Peter Charles Hoffer, University of Georgia Peter Karsten has added depth of explanation, new scholarship, and expert editorial crafting to the superb work of Kermit Hall. This new edition gives students far more understandable insights into American legal history and grounds historical interpretation in primary sources and thoughtful scholarship. Gordon Morris Bakken, California State University, Fullerton Peter Karsten has judiciously revised the late Kermit Hall's Magic Mirror to incorporate the best scholarship of the past two decades and to bring the book's coverage up to date, without sacrificing the brevity or the lucidity of the original. This new edition will be welcomed by teachers of undergraduate and graduate courses, and indeed by anyone who wants to read a short survey of American legal history. Stuart Benner, UCLA
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About Kermit L. Hall

The late Kermit L Hall was President of SUNY Albany. Peter Karsten is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Rating details

32 ratings
3.25 out of 5 stars
5 6% (2)
4 41% (13)
3 28% (9)
2 22% (7)
1 3% (1)
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