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The Story of Law Paperback – September 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0865971912 ISBN-10: 0865971919 Edition: Second edition

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The Story of Law + Himma's The Nature of Law: Philosophical Issues in Conceptual Jurisprudence and Legal Theory (University Casebook Series) (English and English Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The publisher claims that Zane's 1927 volume is the "only complete outline history of the law ever published." Intended for both lawyers and lay readers, the book covers such subjects as "The Physical Basis of Law," "Law Among Primordial Men," "Babylonian Law," and "Jewish Law" and includes chapters on European and English law. This expanded edition contains a new bibliography by Emory University professor Charles Reid. With other editions ranging from $100 to $250, this is a bargain for all libraries.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 599 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund; Second edition edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865971919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865971912
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,514,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Epops on March 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the series of high quality, low cost reprints of legal and historical classics published by The Liberty Press. It was originally published in 1927, and first reprinted by Liberty in 1992. Zane was a successful commercial attorney who also had a strong interest in the history of the law. This book was an ambitious undertaking, an outline of the development of the Western legal tradition from prehistoric to modern times. It is no doubt regarded as being hopelessly out of date by modern legal scholars, but I haven't seen anything better or more recent for the general reader.

Zane's style is for the most part simple and straightforward, understandable by the reader of average education and literacy. At the time he wrote this book, in the mid-1920's, prosperity had come for the first time to millions of Americans, and television had not yet been invented. Reading was a major middle-class activity, the Book of the Month Club and Readers Digest were becoming household names, and Zane's book was aimed at that newly educated audience.

Zane has a couple of hobby-horses, one being that commercial law is the foundation of civilization, and he tends to ride it a bit excessively. He may be correct in his opinion, given that commerce is the foundation of the prosperity and dominance of our modern "Western" civilization, but his own professional bias is also clearly at work. He was also fascinated by the development of the English court system and legal profession. His description of those institutions in the Late Middle Ages is a bit tedious, with more detail than the average general reader is likely to find interesting. He is very opinionated, which I find entertaining, but this may not be to everyone's taste.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diva on January 24, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Originally checked this book out from the public library. I enjoyed it so much I ordered my own copy.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Reading this book is an cheerful thing.it is fit for all kinds of people.
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