Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Johnson (history, Univ. of Northern Iowa), who has written several books on the history of U.S. law, including The Struggle for Student Rights, here uses a scholarly analysis of both state and national cases to show how the legal system affects our lives. Approximately a fifth of the 201 essays are new to this revised second edition, which follows the first by a decade. The essays, which vary in length depending upon the significance of their subjects, focus on five main categories: crime and criminal law; governmental organization, power, and procedure; economics and economic regulation; civil liberties; and race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. These pieces usually examine 20th-century political and legal change as a byproduct of social and economic matters. Providing clear analysis and a good selection of issues related to U.S. law, especially in the last decade, this reference will be useful for students and nonspecialists looking for substantial background to help them understand the implications of important legal cases. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The second edition of this work (1st ed., 1992) contains 41 new essays on US law that emphasize major cases. It is divided into broad categories (e.g., "Civil Liberties," "Economics and Economic Regulation," "Crime and Criminal Law"), each beginning with an overview, followed by topical subsections (e.g., "Civil Liberties" includes "Freedom of Speech," "Freedom of the Press," "Freedom of Religion"). More than 200 cases are treated in concise, readable essays that discuss social and legal context: precedents, reasoning behind the decision, and arguments offered by counsel. Cases include the Senate impeachment trial of Clinton, Reno v. ACLU, Roth, Yoder, Brown, Palsgraf, and other American litigation classics. Each essay concludes with a selected bibliography. Volume 2 ends with an index of cases and a name-subject index. Contributors are legal scholars, historians, and social scientists. This set places more emphasis on the facts and context than Donald E. Lively's Landmark Supreme Court Cases (CH, Feb'00) or West's Encyclopedia of American Law (12v., 1998- ). The "Copyright" entry devotes scant attention to Wheaton (1834)--surprising given the importance of this issue over the last ten years. Very useful for all collections. S. Clerc Southern Connecticut State University
Author notes provided by Syndetics
John W. Johnson is professor and head of the history department at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He is the author of The Dimensions of Non-Legal Evidence in the American Judicial Process and Insuring Against Disaster: The Nuclear Industry on Trial and has served as series editor for Garland publications on American law and society.