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The exiled Russian sociologist and legal scholar Nicholas S. Timasheff's place in the forefront of the sociology of law was established with the publication, in 1939, of An Introduction to the Sociology of Law.
His magnum opus articulates a systematic legal sociology. The book's title is misleading, giving the false impression that the volume is merely a textbook intended for classroom use. It is much more than this. An Introduction to the Sociology of Law is a sophisticated treatise that explains, precisely and methodically, the law as a social force. It makes two fundamental points: law can, indeed must, be studied by sociology, and law is a combination of socio-ethical and imperative coordination of human behavior.
A continuing thread in Introduction is Timasheff's interest in the dialectical interplay between the positive law and the living law. What is more, he discusses at length what he considers to be the essential systems of thought and action in the social sciences.