- Series: Studies in Legal History
- Hardcover: 488 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; New edition edition (October 31, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807829668
- ISBN-13: 978-0807829660
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,514,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Yale Law School and the Sixties: Revolt and Reverberations (Studies in Legal History) New edition Edition
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[Yale Law School and the Sixties] stands as a fine study of campus politics in the sixties.--Law and Politics Book Review
[Yale Law School and the Sixties] is best in its thorough consideration of the ideological struggles that pitted legal realism, legal liberalism, and the legal process school against a host of challenges.--Journal of American History
[A] remarkable study about legal education, about how 1960s issues permeated campus life, and about individuals caught up in the archetypical generational struggle between liberals and radicals.--American Historical Review
An outstanding read for anyone interested in American institutions during the late 1960s and early 1970s.--Law and History Review
By being the first person ever to try to understand and so seriously to portray any group of law students at a time and place, Laura [Kalman] has provided a baseline from which to attempt to consider what separates those students from law students today.--Law and Social Inquiry
Laura Kalman's new book on the Yale Law School is a stunning work of microhistory--no academic institution has ever been studied in greater depth. At the same time, the book also illuminates general developments in American culture during an especially important period in our history.--Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School
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The typical (and welcome) Kalman thoroughness is well in evidence here. As is usual, much of the value of her analysis is found in the footnotes, here covering some 80 pages. As the "Legal Liberalism" volume demonstrated, there is nobody who can trace the evolution of professorial legal analysis with greater skill and cogency than Kalman. Kalman sets the stage by first discussing legal education in the 1960's at YLS, and develops quite a nice and concise history going back to the New Deal period as background. Particular attention is paid to individuals such as Dean Rostow, Kingman Brewster, and Charles Reich. Particularly welcome, and quite an additional bonus, is the fact that the author devotes substantial attention to Alexander Bickel, a figure too often forgotten today due to his premature death at 49.
Having set the background, Kalman then goes into a very detailed reconstruction of how highly activist students clashed with the YLS institutional structure. When one considers that this was the era of the Vietnam war, affirmative action, Kent State, Hippies, Black Panthers, and the Women's movement, it is no wonder that disruption became extreme, including at least one fire. YLS obviously survived and prospered in the post-disruption period, and Kalman addresses that as well. These later chapters I found to be the more interesting. For example, her discussion of the failure of critical legal studies, "law and society", and "law and economics" to take root in the legal realism foundation of YLS is extremenly interesting. By contrast, YLS becomes the home to a new version of the "legal process" approach to limiting judicial discretion as disappointment grew in the 1970's and 1980's with the exercise of judicial power, including even the record of the Warren Court. More prominent actors appear in this later section, to the reader's benefit: Dworking, Ely, Calabresi, Ackerman, Cover and Fiss. Interdisciplinary approaches to law flower and clinical education becomes well established and supported. In the end, the protestors brought about substantial change at YLS.
The one area that Kalman does not discuss fully enough is why should anyone with no ties to YLS take the time to digest this mighty tome. It does recapture the spirit of the period and the protests that dominated higher education in America. It does illuminated how substantial changes in the legal academy came about as a result of this period. It does afford some insight into the backgrounds of some prominent recent actors such as Justice Thomas, Anita Hill, Judge Alito, and most of all, both Clintons who were YLS students. Most importantly, it explains the impact that YLS professors had on legal scholarship in this country with a stream of articles and books arguing for new and incisive ways to confront the phenomenon of American law and the exercise of judicial power. By any measure, a timely volume to be sure.