Friedman, a law professor, examines the American legal system as an integral part of the larger society, both reflecting and causing changes therein. By adopting such a focus, the author makes his book accessible to readers who are not legal scholars. His focus is on the more conventional institutions and concepts of law within our society. He explores three stages of development of American law in the last century. In part one, he focuses on the old order, reflecting on how the legal profession related to the society through the business community, the criminal justice system, and racial and civil liberties issues of the times. Part two focuses on the New Deal era, reflecting a major shift in the law, which mirrored economic realities in the larger society. The same shift in the law influenced race relations and civil rights, as well as family law and family life. The final section focuses on the Reagan and post-Reagan years, exploring reactions and adjustments to the changes wrought in prior years. Vernon FordCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"A readable and sophisticated account of what happened at the interface between American law and American society over the past century... A useful guide to the social and political processes shaping American law." Charles Lane, Washington Post Book World; "This enlightening guide to America's modern legal history... is stunning and definitive. Each of Friedman's chapters is jampacked with information and perspective." Edward Lazarus, Los Angeles Times Book Review; "This brilliant account is at once accessible to the layperson and indispensable to the specialist. A masterpiece." Choice; "Captures brilliantly the broad social sweep of legal change during the twentieth century... Masterful." Cornell W. Clayton, American Historical Review"