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Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: Law and the Inner Self Paperback – November 16, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0195101287 ISBN-10: 0195101286 Edition: New Ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (November 16, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195101286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195101287
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this thorough and insightful scholarly biography, White ( Earl Warren ) explores the linked life and work of legendary scholar and jurist Holmes (1841-1935). Son of a famed literary father and product of a privileged Boston Brahmin upbringing, Holmes entered the legal profession having lost his youthful romanticism in the Civil War when he was wounded three times. Drawing on prodigious research, White closely analyzes Holmes's legal scholarship, finding a tension between his subject's reliance on both experience and logic in his classic, The Common Law . The author also dissects Holmes's Supreme Court opinions, describing how his reputation grew and suggesting that Holmes's famous rhetoric on free speech ("every idea is an incitement") was memorable but obscured philosophical contradictions, perhaps because his changing ideas on free speech had less to do with the consistent evolution of legal doctrine than with the influence of certain Washington intellectuals. Holmes's wife Fanny supplied domesticity, but the couple never had children; and Holmes's one great extra-marital romance with the Anglo-Irish aristocrat Clare Castletown was epistolary only. His self-control and his ambition, White suggests, allowed Holmes to concentrate on his work. That work, along with Holmes's stature as a "figure of public romance," will long stimulate students of history. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In recent years the Holmes bookshelf has become increasingly crowded. This latest offering, provided by well-known and well-received judicial biographer White (law & history, Univ. of Virginia), belongs in a prominent spot in the library of any student of law in the United States. In the future, any treatment of this Brahmin from Boston will be judged against White's insightful account. Through his exhaustive research and lucid writing, Holmes the Justice becomes Holmes the man. It is White's thesis, made convincingly, that Holmes cannot be understood and evaluated accurately merely as a lawyer or justice; rather, his inner life and thoughts must be closely analyzed in order to assess his legacy. In particular, White provides extensive scrutiny of Holmes's coming to maturity in the 19th century; his analysis of Holmes's intellectual life, especially his contribution to American jurisprudence, is of special interest. This scholarly yet accessible biography is sure to become the standard work. Highly recommended.
- Stephen Shaw, Northwest Nazarene Coll., Nampa, Id.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By GaryGech@hotmail.Com on January 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Two apsects strike me in reading about Holmes. First is his life. What a great subject. Holmes is almost as exciting to read about as Lincoln. The second is his jurisprudence. White does a fine job covering both. I like White's style. Somewhat loose but never inaccurate, his biography is very readable.
Two chapters: The Supreme Court of Massachusetts and the "Progressive Judge" are so wonderfully written that they deserve to be read twice.
I read the book over a period of four months which is something I rarely do. This is because the subject and content are so important that the philosophy of Holmes takes some time to perculate. White's description of Holmes influenced my perspective greatly.
I would recommend the book to any person interested in law or simply about America.
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