The Face That Launched a Thousand Lawsuits


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience:

The American Women Who Forged a Right to Privacy

Jessica Lake

View Inside Format: HC - Paper over Board
Price: $64.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

A compelling account of how women shaped the common law right to privacy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

Drawing on a wealth of original research, Jessica Lake documents how the advent of photography and cinema drove women—whose images were being taken and circulated without their consent—to court. There they championed the creation of new laws and laid the groundwork for America’s commitment to privacy. Vivid and engagingly written, this powerful work will draw scholars and students from a range of fields, including law, women’s history, the history of photography, and cinema and media studies.

Jessica Lake is a lecturer in law at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia and for 2016 to 2017 will be the Karl Lowenstein Fellow in Political Science and Jurisprudence at Amherst College, Massachusetts.

"Jessica Lake’s The Face That Launched a Thousand Lawsuits is one of those rare books that truly upends conventional wisdom and changes the way readers understand an important subject. In a fascinating and well written account, Lake retells the history of the right to privacy. She shows how the activism of individual women played a central role in driving the legal recognition of that right. This book persuasively argues that we owe much to women who resisted the unauthorized circulation of photographic images of them. It is bracing and compelling from the first page to the last."—Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science, Amherst College


“A significant contribution to the existing literature because it captures the role of women in forging specific aspects of the right to privacy. It speaks volumes to Lake’s creativity and skill set that her work is so well executed.”--Sonia Katyal, Chancellor's Professor of Law,  University of California, Berkeley

"What I found most compelling about Jessica Lake’s meticulously researched and eminently readable history is that she never loses sight of what patriarchal and even feminist constructions of privacy repeatedly miss: the experiences of individual women in a voyeuristic society. For all its deft analyses of legal cases, The Face That Launched a Thousand Lawsuits reads like the story of a resistance movement, one in which the rebels are women, the cause is self-determination, and the fight is by no means done."--Garret Keizer, author of Privacy and The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want

"Cybercrimes of visuality today have a prehistory uncovered in this book, which shows how far women aggrieved at having their images circulated without their consent brought the legal cases that built the right to privacy." --Nancy F. Cott, Trumbull Professor of American History, Harvard University

“A fascinating, fresh perspective on the long-debated issue of balancing the right of privacy with the public’s rights.”—Choice?
ISBN: 9780300214222
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
320 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Yale Law Library Series in Legal History and Reference

The Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions

James E. Clapp, Elizabeth G.

View details
The Origins of Reasonable Doubt

Theological Roots of the Criminal Trial

James Q. Whitman

View details
The Colorado Doctrine

Water Rights, Corporations, and Distributive Justice on the American Frontier

David Schorr

View details
Power and Justice in Medieval England

The Law of Patronage and the Royal Courts

Joshua C. Tate

View details