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Lochner v. New York: Economic Regulation on Trial Paperback – October 30, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0700609192 ISBN-10: 0155068679

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Product Details

  • Series: Landmark Law Cases and American Society
  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (October 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0155068679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700609192
  • ASIN: 0700609199
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Kens has hit the mark. He treats complicated matters in ways that make them accessible to general readers and students and tells a terrific story. Teachers of constitutional and legal history will embrace this book."--Kermit Hall, author of The Magic Mirror: Law in American History

"An outstanding volume that deserves a wide audience. Virtually all observers agree that Lochner is one of the most important decisions ever rendered by the Supreme Court. It continues to cast a long shadow over constitutional thought despite the political triumph of the New Deal and the rejection of the liberty of contract doctrine in the late 1930s. Kens's balanced and judicious treatment should contribute greatly to the current dialogue over economic due process and judicial protection of property rights."--James W. Ely, Jr., author of The Guardian of Every Right: A Constitutional History of Property Rights

About the Author

Paul Kens is associate professor of political science and history at Southwest Texas State University and the author of Justice Stephen Field: Shaping Liberty from the Gold Rush to the Gilded Age and Judicial Power and Reform Politics: The Anatomy of Lochner v. New York. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Clip326 on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a junior political science major at UNC, I have had to read a lot of books similar to Kens's. These books focus on a particular case, be it the Skokie trial, the Tinker armband case, the Chadha legislative veto case or the Bakke affirmative action case. Anthony Lewis's Gideon's Trumpet book seems to be the first of this kind.
Kens' book is by far the best of its type that I have read. The other books of this genre I've read in this genre deal too much with the proceedings of a case. For instance, Mr. Chadha had this legal problem, he got this lawyer, they went through this legal proceeding, they had to refine their arguments, they went to the next appellate court, blah blah blah. Frankly these kinds of details are boring, and give little if any insight into the importance of a given case.
Kens's has a different approach. Instead of going into great detail about why Mr. Lochner picked a given lawyer, Kens goes into great detail of the impetuses for the passage of the law that Mr. Lochner was challenging. He talks about the social and political climate of the times, tying in influential theories of the day like Social Darwinism and laissez-faire economics. Kens clearly places the case of Lochner v. New York in its historical framework. This, it seems, is a superior method for studying an important case like this one.
I would strongly urge this book to any professor teaching a constitional law/history class. I would also strongly recommend it to a student looking for a good introduction to the study of substantive due process.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jack Lechelt on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't actually compiled a list of all the nonfiction books under 300 pages that I have read, but I do not doubt that Kens's "Lochner v. New York: Economic Regulation on Trial" was by far the greatest short nonfiction book I have ever read. In fewer than 200 pages Kens discusses New York machine politics, the Supreme Court, the court appeals process, the important political, legal, and economic personalities of the Industrial Revolution, judicial and legal theories, the Fourteenth Amendment, the due process clause, economic regulation in American history, and the specifics of the case at hand with a level of detail necessary to do justice to each topic in a lucid manner. I'm not a lawyer or legal scholar, so I'm not savvy enough to comment on the accuracy of Kens's book, but I think he does a fantastic job. The Industrial Revolution and the many good and bad effects of that powerful force can never be overstated, and the Lochner case, so it seems, brought many of the powerful arguments revolving around the Industrial Revolution to a pinpoint. Thankfully, over a century after that decision was announced to the nation (and not with much excitement at the time), we have Kens to thank for understanding it all. The only complaint I have with this book is the lack of citations. There should be in-text parenthetical sourcing or footnotes. Kens notes that in an earlier, and I'm guessing more scholarly, treatment he has all the citations necessary, but that's still not acceptable for this version. Thankfully there is a fairly thorough bibliographic essay at the end.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A_2007_reader on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. I like long books, but this one is short and sweet. Moves the story along, and explores the fascinating background to Lochner (including the history of the baking industry and the conflicts of interest -- to give but one example, the attorney for anti-union Lochner was in fact not an attorney and in fact was a union organizer in the past.
Also discusses the Negative Rights (Substantive Due Process in law) doctrine and has a great bibliography.
The author is clearly a world expert in this field and I wish the book could have been longer. The author does not appear to be heavily biased either for or against Positive Rights (read Big) government.
Bibliography and timeline at the end of the book is great too.
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Lochner v. New York: Economic Regulation on Trial
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