Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Duncan Kennedy's unpublished classic, The Rise and Fall of Classical Legal Thought, finds its way into print

The "most widely circulated and cited unpublished manuscript in twentieth-century American legal scholarship since Hart & Sacks' Legal Process materials" has been published. The Rise and Fall of Classical Legal Thought by Duncan Kennedy, a classic written in 1975, has been released by Beard Books. Here's the book description:

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.

An earlier version of Kennedy's work can be found on-line here (scroll down). A bibliography of his writings can be found here.