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The Legal 100: A Ranking of the Individuals Who Have Most Influenced the Law Hardcover – June 1, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A Book of Legal Lists makes no pretense of being "the" book on the subject. It is not the work of a committee but the personal selections of University of Tulsa law professor and constitutional law scholar Schwartz. Schwartz presents a point/counterpoint of the ten best and ten worst?the best and worst Supreme Court justices, non-Supreme Court judges, opinions, dissents, opinions, etc.?in all categories but lawyers, legal movies, and trials, where only the best are cited. The lists themselves are interesting and thought-provoking, but the real strength of the book lies in short annotations that present readable, concise, and authoritative background for each item. The book is capped off with a challenging list of 150 legal trivia questions. McWhirter's The Legal 100 is at once more limited and broader in scope. It focuses exclusively on people, listing "individuals who have most influenced the law" whom the author has chosen on the basis of questionnaires submitted by law professors. As one would expect, many of the same names appear in both compilations. The Legal 100 gives itself the latitude to include more people, and the reader will find more extensive listings of lawyers, law teachers, and legal philosophers. Each entry comes with a short biography and an assessment of the listee's contribution to the law. Both books are highly recommended as ready reference for all libraries.?Patrick Petit, Catholic Univ. Law Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; First Edition edition (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080651860X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806518602
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,929,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Setliff on September 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It offers a top 100 legal list of attorneys, jurists, judges, statesmen, philosophers and political theorists through the ages that have a profound influence on Western Jurisprudence. The Legal 100 places a particular emphasis on Anglo-American law. I guess this book is fairly balanced ideologically. Though, it has quite a few figures who organized the law for the purpose of 'legal plunder.' Granted, they've had a profound influence on contemporary law too. It is probably one of those books like Black's Law Dictionary, that every student of law should have. My only gripe is that the classical liberal statesmen and economist, Frederic Bastiat, was not included.
Sampling of the top 50: 1. James Madison; 2. Alexander Hamilton; 3. John Marshall; 4. Cicero; 5. Daniel Webster; 6. Clarence Darrow; 7. William Mansfield; 8. Thomas Eskine; 9. Edward M. Hall; 10. Earl Warren; 11. Edward Coke; 12. Francis Bacon; 13. William Blackstone; 14. James Kent; 15. George Wythe; 16. John Locke; 17. Montesquieu; 18. Olier Wendell Holmes; 19. Louis D. Brandeis; 20. John Marshall Harlan; 21. Aristotle; 22. Jeremy Bentham; 23. John Stuart Mill; 24. John Austin; 25. Karl Marx; 26. Earl Rogers; 27. Charles Evans Hughes; 28. Hugo Black; 29. William O. Douglas; 31. Hammurabi; 32. Solon; 33. Justinian I; 34. Henry II; 35. Edward I; 36. Napoleon Bonaparte; 37. Benjamin Disraeli; 38. William Gladstone; 39. Theodore Roosevelt; 40. Woodrow Wilson; 41. Franklin D. Roosevelt; 42. Lyndon Baines Johnson; 43. Christopher Langdell; 44. Roscoe Pound; 45. Benjamin Cardozo; 46. Lemuel Shaw; 47. Mary Wollstonecraft; 48. William Godwin; 49. Mohandas Gandhi; and 50. Susan B. Anthony. Other luminaries included are: Thurgood Marshall Edmund Burke, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Story, John C. Calhoun, Otto von Bismark and V.I. Lenin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on January 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The author is a law professor, attorney, and social scientist (Ph.D. in political science). The 100 people in this book were selected as those who had "the most impact on" the evolution of Anglo-American law. Not all of the people listed here are lawyers. Lawyers have played an important role in bringing democracy, individual freedom, and economic prosperity; sometimes at great personal sacrifice. This list was derived from law professors at American law schools. The ranking is by the author alone. The 'Preface' explains his choices. Most of the people listed here led lives that could make interesting films. This book is written for a general audience. Placing these people in historical order would be more educational.

The 'Introduction' provides "A Brief History of Western and Anglo-American Law" in 25 pages, the most important part of this book. The beginnings of Western civilization are generally attributed to the Sumerians, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates. Hammurabi's code is the oldest complete law code (p.2). The Hittite law code is another complete corpus juris. Modern law codes differ in degree rather than kind. They are concerned with interpersonal relationships and property regulations. The Jewish Bible reflects Babylonian law, and these concepts were carried over to Christianity. The problems of Athens resulted in rewritten laws by Solon. The new Roman republic resulted in new laws, the Code of the Twelve Tables, which are lost to us (p.4). The Romans invented the idea of a judge and a lawyer for each side. The idea of natural law from classical times informed the English common law which is in use today (p.5). Justinian reorganized the laws for the modern times of the sixth century AD; this formed the basis for the laws on the continent.
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