Wildy logo
(020) 7242 5778

Wildy’s Book News

Book News cover photo

Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

Pupillage & Student Offers

Special Discounts for Pupils, Newly Called & Students

Read More ...

Secondhand & Out of Print

Browse Secondhand Online


The Lost World of Classical Legal Thought New ed

William M. WiecekCongdon Professor of Public Law and Professor of History, Syracuse University, New York, USA

ISBN13: 9780195147131
ISBN: 0195147138
Published: September 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback
Price: £27.49

Despatched in 5 to 7 days.

This book examines the ideology of elite lawyers and judges from the Gilded Age through the New Deal. Between 1866 and 1937, a coherent outlook shaped the way the American bar understood the sources of law, the role of the courts, and the relationship between law and the larger society. William M. Wiecek explores this outlook--often called ""legal orthodoxy"" or ""classical legal thought""--which assumed that law was apolitical, determinate, objective, and neutral. American classical legal thought was forged in the heat of the social crises that punctuated the late nineteenth century. Fearing labor unions, immigrants, and working people generally, American elites, including those on the bench and bar, sought ways to repress disorder and prevent political majorities from using democratic processes to redistribute wealth and power. Classical legal thought provided a rationale that assured the legitimacy of the extant distribution of society's resources. It enabled the legal suppression of unions and the subordination of workers to management's authority. As the twentieth-century U.S. economy grew in complexity, the antiregulatory, individualistic bias of classical legal thought became mo;Brittle and dogmatic, legal ideology lost legitimacy in the eyes of both laypeople and ever-larger segments of the bar. It was at last abandoned in the ""constitutional revolution of 1937"", but--as Wiecek argues in this detailed analysis--nothing has arisen since to replace it as an explanation of what law is and why courts have such broad power in a democratic society.