Book Review of Legal Realism at Yale, 1927-1960
34 The American Journal of Jurisprudence 252 (1989)
6 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019
Date Written: 1989
Levinson's book, in the words of its author, "is intended to make clearer the ambiguities of constitutional faith,', i.e., wholehearted attachment to the Constitution as the center of one's (and ultimately the nation's) political life." Levinson writes "not in the belief that [he] can resolve these ambiguities." He notes that "there will be many more questions than answers" in his book. Rather he writes "out of a conviction that there is an important conversation to be initiated about what it means to be 'an American' in the late twentieth century." Levinson's "central aim ... is to identify and discuss the problems that emerge if one seriously grapples with the Constitution's role as what might be termed the 'constituent agent' of our identity as Americans." Even beginning what Levinson variously describes as an exploration, a conversation, or a meditation is a difficult task, because he is (perhaps overly) self-conscious about writing "after the triumph of a distinctly (post) modernist sense of the contingencies of our own culture and the fragility of any community memberships." Yet, Levinson, after an appropriate caveat, sets forth "in the belief that such a dialogue is worth attempting."
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