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. (The opening quotation is from legal historian G. Edward White.)
Duncan Kennedy is the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence at Harvard Law School. He was one of the founders of the critical legal studies movement.