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Little Book of Big Ideas: Law Hardcover – May 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Series: Little Book of Big Ideas
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556528272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556528279
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.4 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,198,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"These books are good starting places for research."  —School Library Journal

"These books are fun, educational, concise and pretty entertaining."  —Post and Courier, on the Little Book of Big Ideas series

About the Author

Robert Hockett is an associate professor at Cornell Law School.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blog Reader on July 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is going to live on my coffee table, in arm's reach, for a very long time to come. It is as difficult to overstate the continuing value of this slim volume as a reference source and, at times, an engaging essay, as it is to exaggerate Robert Hockett's achievement in verbal economy, saying so much in so few words.

On first inspection, Little Book of Big Ideas: Law, appears to partake of a rather familiar idiom, similar in format, for example, to the "very brief introduction" series. Measuring just 7.5 x 5 inches, its 129 pages, after introductory material, consist of exactly 60 two-page entries: 50 biographies of significant lawgivers, legal innovators, and jurists, and ten glosses on various important legal concepts. Predictably, in a book of such limited size and scope, its pages are replete with the obligatory splashy graphics, illustrations and drop quotes.

The problem with too-brief introductions, in this reviewer's opinion, is that they seldom work; they achieve brevity only at the cost of informativeness, and the illustrations detract more than they contribute. Professor Hockett's book is not merely an exception to that trend: it rethinks the very genre. In some ways it is a deep meditation on the nature and origin of law, masquerading as the kind of fun, hip and highly accessible fare you expect to encounter at the bookstore cash register. It isn't entirely a masquerade: The book certainly is accessible. But it is so much more than an introduction.

The first thing you notice is the book's breadth.
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