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Reason in Law (8th Edition) Paperback – July 31, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0205745395 ISBN-10: 0205745393 Edition: 8th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 8 edition (July 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205745393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205745395
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #708,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Carter, Lief H. and Burke, Thomas F., Reason in Law, 6th Edition*\ This accessible and lively book examines the relationship between law and politics and emphasizes the political importance of sound legal reasoning. It teaches readers how to examine judicial decisions-how to become "thoughtful judges of judging." Using cases ripped from the headlines-such as Gore v. Bush, the Elian Gonzalez saga, and the ongoing Napster litigation-authors Carter and Burke teach through illustrative examples and have assembled a gallery of fascinating cases to engage the readers interest. For those interested in the American court system. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Lief Carter grew up in the Seattle area in the age of “innocent” rock ’n roll (the 1950s).  He earned his AB from Harvard College (1962) and his law degree from Harvard Law School (1965). The Vietnam War ended his career as a legal practitioner just as it started. He served in the Peace Corps (Bolivia) as an alternative form of service in 1966–1967 and then returned to graduate school at the University of California-Berkeley, where he earned his Ph.D. in political science (1972). His dissertation received the Corwin Award of the American Political Science Association. He taught at the University of Georgia from 1973 until 1995 and then served for a decade as the McHugh Family Distinguished Professor at The Colorado College. In addition to Reason in Law, he has published books on criminal prosecution, administrative law, and theories of constitutional interpretation.  He comprehensively explores the similarities between the requirements of good competitive games—and particularly the requirement that the umpires and referees be impartial—and the requirements of good law doing in his latest publication, “Law and Politics a Play,” appearing in the Chicago-Kent Law Review, volume 3 (2008). Lief lives in Manitou Springs, Colorado.


Tom Burke is proud to have been born and raised in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and to have received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota. Nonetheless, he is also glad to have left his native state for the warm California sun. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1996. At Berkeley Tom studied with many of the professors who two decades earlier had taught Lief Carter, and, like Lief, he received the Corwin Award of the American Political Science Association for his dissertation. In 1996 he began teaching at Wellesley College, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where he is the Jane Bishop ’51 Associate Professor of Political Science.  He has written articles on campaign finance, the European Union, the Americans with Disabilities Act, how organizations respond to legal mandates, empirical rights scholarship, the Bush Administration’s approach to legal politics, and the place of rights in American politics.  His most recent article is ”Political Regimes and the Future of the First Amendment,”Studies in Law, Politics and Society 44 (2008), 107-139.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Guerrilla Reader VINE VOICE on October 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Authors Carter and Burke create a brief but effective legal analysis tool in the form of their text, "Reason in Law."

By examining the relationship between the law and politics, the text asks that students attempt to become "thoughtful judges of judging" while becoming familiar with and trying to answer the ultimate issue, that being: "how can a pluralistic society be ruled legitimately if people of differing political allegiances can interpret the same legal text quite differently, . . . then how can the rule of law be properly applied?"

I have required this text for my Constitutional Law course students, and must caution the potential buyer that an understanding of civics must be possessed before the book can be read and understood in light of it's full spectrum.

Packed with current events, cases and controversies pulled right from the headlines of the newspapers, this text is compatible with any political science or legal curriculum. Illustrative cases and questions complete and summarize each chapter thus creating tools for the student to use so as to grasp the legal concepts, meanings, and interactions of law and the contemporary legal process.

Informative and thought provoking. Four stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara E. Clarke on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book, one I would never have read if not suggested for a class. It is primarily a textbook, but anyone could enjoy it and benefit from the explanations and logic presented. It is challenging, but that is the pleasure of the book.
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