Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Get Ready for the Winter Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Cyber Monday Video Game Deals Outdoor Deals on bgg
Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0691142807
ISBN-10: 0691142807
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$10.65 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$31.19 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
18 New from $14.81 17 Used from $10.65
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks
$31.19 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging
  • +
  • On the Rule of Law: History, Politics, Theory
Total price: $73.07
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"Tamanaha has written a provocative challenge to conventional wisdom about the rise of judicial realism. . . . Strongly recommended for scholars and students of law, political science, and history."--Choice

"Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide is a clearly written and groundbreaking book. Although its focus is historical, its objective--in which it succeeds--is to change the way we think about law today."--Henry Cohen, Federal Lawyer

"Tamanaha's book reflects some striking research into the views of (largely forgotten or neglected) 19th-century law professors and jurists, and the material he has brought to our attention will demand attention from legal historians. . . . [W]e should be grateful to Tamanaha for his provocative historical research, for laying down a vigorous challenge that should be met by historians of ideas and social scientists, and for imparting appropriate intellectual caution and modesty to future writers who might otherwise be prone to casual talk about a 'formalist' age in American legal thought."--Brian Leiter, Legal Theory

"Tamanaha's . . . book will change the way we think about both formalism and realism, about the history of legal scholarship and about the empirical study of judicial decision making."--Edward Rubin, Law and Politics Review

From the Back Cover

"Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide will forever change our understanding of American legal realism and its mythical opponent, legal formalism. Generations of judges, lawyers, and scholars have come to see a false picture that pits radically skeptical realists against naïve or deceptive formalists. Tamanaha's magnificent book will open your eyes and change the way you think about the law. Every lawyer and judge should read this book. Every legal scholar must!"--Lawrence Solum, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

"Tamanaha makes a very important argument with real verve, and I have no doubt that it will generate very wide interest, controversy, and, I am confident, changes in the way American legal history is presented. He is out to destroy what has become the standard narrative of our legal past. The ball is now in the court of those who wish to preserve that narrative."--Sanford V. Levinson, University of Texas School of Law

"This is an excellent book and a very significant contribution to the field. Tamanaha very effectively debunks the traditional, simplistic, yet widely accepted vision of a break between traditional formalism and modern realism. His book may well become a classic historical reference."--Frank B. Cross, author of Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals


Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691142807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691142807
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on April 4, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I happen to be quite fond of revisionist studies (e.g., "Harding was a great president") because they challenge long-held beliefs, cause you to rethink your fundamental ideas, and get the brain cells jumping. This is just such a book. While I disagree with nearly all of the author's central arguments, it nonetheless merits 5 stars due to its superior scholarship, although it does evidence some methodological problems along the way. After a fine initial chapter which summarizes the book's entire arguments, the first section undertakes to refute decades of academic writing that asserted that for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, judges argued they did not "make" law but instead simply mechanically derived the answers to legal questions by logical analysis from established principles. In this analysis of "legal formalism," the author's principal targets are folks like Jerome Frank, Grant Gilmore, and Roscoe Pound. Therefore, the author contends, the assertion that the legal realists of the 1920's and 1930's uncovered the truth about judicial decisions, and stripped away layers of obfuscation, to reveal the truth, is a distortion. Rather, the author asserts, everybody recognized that judges were influenced by external factors and not controlled by logic. As we all recall, Holmes asserted as early as 1881 that "the life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience."

Part Two focuses upon the legal realists themselves and argues largely that the so called discoveries of the legal realists as to how judges made decisions had been widely recognized for decades before their appearance. Particularly is this true in connection with the historical school of jurisprudence.
Read more ›
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging
This item: Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging
Price: $31.19
Ships from and sold by
Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: brian tamanaha