Review Essay - The Consumption of History in the Legal Academy: Science and Synthesis, Perils and Prospects
Christopher L. Tomlins
University of California, Irvine School of Law
April 4, 2012
Journal of Legal Education, v.61, No.1, 2011, pp.139-165
UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-23
History these days has become a major presence in the U.S. law school world. Marked growth of interest began in the late 1960s. It has continued ever since. But what is the relationship between history as taught and practiced in U.S. law schools and the scholarly history produced by professional historians? This essay addresses that relationship by asking whether or not legal “consumers” of history should be paying attention to four grand narratives of nineteenth century American history recently written by U.S. historians. Collectively these books allow one to evaluate the capacity of academic history to fashion a product of use to non-specialist consumers in disciplines such as law while remaining true to their own specialist knowledge base. Should the legal consumer be reading these new grand syntheses?
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 4, 2012 ; Last revised: May 17, 2012
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