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The American Judicial Tradition: Profiles of Leading American Judges Hardcover – January 11, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (January 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195139623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195139624
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.5 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,180,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Acclaim for previous editions
"[A]n outstanding book.[A] keenly intelligent and insightful explanation of how American appellate judges have justified the special power they have in this nation."--Journal of American History

Acclaim for previous editions
"White has written a thoughtful and often provocative work. The portraits are lucid, salient and well focused, and they readily suggest the variety of ways in which judges have exercised the personal discretion permitted by institutions of law."--The American Historical Review

Acclaim for previous editions
"...stimulating and highly readable.... The American Judicial Tradition...provides an excellent introduction to some of the most influential American judges and cases [and] like all good books, provokes as many questions as it resolves."--Administrative Law Review

Acclaim for previous editions
"[P]rovide[s] a trenchant insight into the professional background, commitments, and jurisprudence of those jurists as well as a genuine understanding of the historical periods in which they functioned. We are all in Professor White's debt for a major achievement."--Virginia Law Review

About the Author

G. Edward White is University Professor and David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. He is author of several works of biography and law that include the award-winning Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and most recently, Alger Hiss's Looking Glass Wars.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Price on June 3, 2004
Format: Unknown Binding
G. Edward White provides a fascinating and engrossing examination of how American judges have viewed their powers and responsibilities throughout history. He does so through a series of biographical essays examining each judge, or group of judges, and their jurisprudential views. While each chapter is capable of isolated reading, the whole really begins to come together only by the end of the whole book. We see the demise of the 19th century oracular theory of judging, seeing the judge as only discoverer and not creator of the law, and the various difficulties that 20th century judges have experienced in trying to replace this discredited theory.

My only caveat is that this book probably should not be read by beginners. While a thorough knowledge of the law is not strictly necessary to enjoyment of this volume, having a basic knowledge of torts, contracts, and property law truly helps to get the full impact of the judges, especially the state judges. Of course, some knowledge of constitutional history is necessary because roughly 2/3 of the judges studied were U.S. Supreme Court justices. Probably one of the best times to read this volume is after completing the first year of law school.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul H. Blackman on June 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edward White's first edition or two of "The American Judicial Tradition" may have been "profiles of leading American judges," but the third edition has removed too much from the 19th century in order to become mostly a commentary on Supreme Court trends from the New Deal onward -- a topic that now covers about two-thirds of the book. For a student of history, interested in history, commentary on the Court as a whole, without much concern as to which judges are "leading" and which are merely in power, was a big disappointment.
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