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Review Essay - The Consumption of History in the Legal Academy: Science and Synthesis, Perils and Prospects

Journal of Legal Education, v.61, No.1, 2011, pp.139-165

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-23

28 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2012 Last revised: 17 May 2012

Christopher Tomlins

University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program

Date Written: April 4, 2012

Abstract

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?

Suggested Citation

Tomlins, Christopher, Review Essay - The Consumption of History in the Legal Academy: Science and Synthesis, Perils and Prospects (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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2034452

Christopher Lawrence Tomlins (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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