Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tushnet on the Rights Revolution

We've previously noted the publication of two pamphlets in the series New Essays on American Constitutional History, published by the American Historical Association and the Institute for Constitutional History: Louis Fisher's The War Powers: Original and Contemporary, and Jean Baker's Women and the Constitution, 1776-1920. Now comes Mark V. Tushnet's The Rights Revolution in the Twentieth Century, an expansion of his chapter on the same topic in the Cambridge History of Law in America (2008). Says the AHA:
Tushnet traces the concept of legal "rights" through the 20th century--from their origins in classical liberalism, fashioned in legislatures and emphasizing choice and contract, to notions of personal autonomy and equality protected by the judicial system.
I read a draft and can recommend the work highly.