Monday, October 19, 2009

Jacobson, Catalonia's Advocates: Lawyers, Society, and Politics in Barcelona, 1759-1900

Catalonia's Advocates: Lawyers, Society, and Politics in Barcelona, 1759-1900 by Stephen Jacobson has just been published in the University of North Carolina Press Studies in Legal History Series. The author thanks series editor Tom Green, University of Michigan for shepherding the manuscript to print.
Here's the book description from the press:

Offering a window into the history of the modern legal profession in Western Europe, Stephen Jacobson presents a history of lawyers in the most industrialized city on the Mediterranean. Far from being mere curators of static law, Barcelona's lawyers were at the center of social conflict and political and economic change, mediating between state, family, and society.

Beginning with the resurrection of a decadent bar during the Enlightenment, Jacobson traces the historical evolution of lawyers throughout the long nineteenth century. Among the issues he explores are the attributes of the modern legal profession, how lawyers engaged with the Enlightenment, how they molded events in the Age of Revolution and helped consolidate a liberal constitutional order, why a liberal profession became conservative and corporatist, and how lawyers promoted fin-de-si├Ęcle nationalism.

From the vantage point of a city with a distinguished legal tradition, Catalonia's Advocates provides fresh insight into European social and legal history; the origins of liberal professionalism; education, training, and the practice of law in the nineteenth century; the expansion of continental bureaucracies; and the corporatist aspects of modern nationalism.
And the blurbs:

"Jacobson provides an important contribution to the literature on the history of European legal professions and to the theory of professions in the emergence of bourgeois society. He challenges historians to reexamine some of the fundamental conclusions drawn from research that has focused largely on France, Germany, and
England. A sound and persuasive book."--Kenneth F. Ledford,
Case Western Reserve University

"Jacobson's analysis raises important issues for urban social history and engages central questions of nationalism and governance in Catalonia and beyond. The author's extraordinary care in detailed archival work and the links he makes between archival materials and other social narratives make this volume a methodological model for future research."--Gary W. McDonogh, Bryn Mawr College

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