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American legal history is traditionally viewed as a series of schools of thought or landmark court decisions, not as the work of individuals. This book tells the pivotal story of American jurisprudence through two of its most influential shapers: Karl Llewellyn, father of legal realism, poet, and mercurial romantic, and Roscoe Pound, iron-willed leader of sociological jurisprudence. These theorists adapted the legal profession to the changing needs of 20th-century America.
Through painstaking archival research, Hull shows how the intellectual battles of the day took place against a network of private and public relationships, and demonstrates how Pound's and Llewellyn's ideas of jurisprudence sprang from a kind of intellectual bricolage, the pragmatic assemblage of parts rather than the development of a unified whole, that is considered peculiarly American.
The book attempts to uncover the roots of American jurisprudence in the lives of two of its most outstanding figures.