Friday, June 18, 2010

Hoffer on Wilf's Law's Imagined Republic

Over on H-Law, Peter Hoffer, University of Georgia, reviews Steven Robert Wilf's Law's Imagined Republic: Popular Politics and Criminal Justice in Revolutionary America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). “Can a history of the founders be brilliantly original and exasperatingly elusive at the same time; replete with insight and still riven with jargon?” Hoffer asks. “The answer plainly is yes, and exhibit A is Steven Wilf’s remarkable essay on the role of criminal trials in the framing of American legalism.” Hoffer writes, “I am not sure that I buy all of Wilf’s thesis, but no one will ever write about revolutionary legalism without having to deal with it.”