The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law


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Edited by Roger K. Newman

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Price: $90.00
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More than 700 concise biographies of leading figures in the history of American law, from the colonial era to the present day

This book is the first to gather in a single volume concise biographies of the most eminent men and women in the history of American law. Encompassing a wide range of individuals who have devised, replenished, expounded, and explained law, The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law presents succinct and lively entries devoted to more than 700 subjects selected for their significant and lasting influence on American law.

Casting a wide net, editor Roger K. Newman includes individuals from around the country, from colonial times to the present, encompassing the spectrum of ideologies from left-wing to right, and including a diversity of racial, ethnic, and religious groups. Entries are devoted to the living and dead, the famous and infamous, many who upheld the law and some who broke it. Supreme Court justices, private practice lawyers, presidents, professors, journalists, philosophers, novelists, prosecutors, and others—the individuals in the volume are as diverse as the nation itself.

Entries written by close to 600 expert contributors outline basic biographical facts on their subjects, offer well-chosen anecdotes and incidents to reveal accomplishments, and include brief bibliographies. Readers will turn to this dictionary as an authoritative and useful resource, but they will also discover a volume that delights and entertains.

Listed in The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law:

John Ashcroft

Robert H. Bork

Bill Clinton

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Patrick Henry

J. Edgar Hoover

James Madison

Thurgood Marshall

Sandra Day O’Connor

Janet Reno

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

John T. Scopes

O. J. Simpson

Alexis de Tocqueville

Scott Turow

And more than 700 others

Roger K. Newman teaches at the Columbia University School of Journalism and has devoted nearly 40 years to studying and writing about the Supreme Court and American law. He is author of Hugo Black: A Biography, which won the Scribes book award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize, and editor-in-chief of The Constitution and Its Amendments (4 volumes). He lives in the Bronx, New York.

"[A] marvelous, multifaceted pointilliste portrait of the good, the bad and the ugly faces of American jurisprudence through the centuries. . . . The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law is a delightfully engaging read. At times entertaining, at others chilling, it is consistently informative and instructive. Once you dip into it, you will find it hard to stop."—Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

"The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law offers a solid, concise roundup of influential figures in American legal history."—Art A. Lichtenstein, Booklist 

"Every lawyer should spend 30 minutes a day reading through it, from beginning to end, for as long as it takes. It will be the best investment that can be made of a lawyer's time. All of law comes alive in this volume. What more can we ask for?"—The Federal Lawyer

“. . . this little gem manages to be scholarly yet surprisingly entertaining at the same


--Law Library Journal

"In publishing the Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law, Yale University Press has made a unique contribution to the canon of legal literature."—Mark McGinness, Australian Law Journal 

"This book would be a good resource for a variety of libraries. . . . It provides enough information to be a useful resource, but not so much that it would only suit specialized libraries and programs." —Sonnet Erin Brown,

"An ideal jumping-off point for embarking on research or for reminding oneself of important dates and titles associated with a particular legal personality."--Steven J. Macias, Law and History Review

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine

Named one of the best reference works of 2009 by Library Journal
ISBN: 9780300113006
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
640 pages, 7 x 10
121 b/w photos
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