Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pg. 99: Amalia Kessler's "Inventing American Exceptionalism"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Inventing American Exceptionalism: The Origins of American Adversarial Legal Culture, 1800-1877 by Amalia D. Kessler.

About the book, from the publisher:
A highly engaging account of the developments—not only legal, but also socioeconomic, political, and cultural—that gave rise to Americans’ distinctively lawyer-driven legal culture

When Americans imagine their legal system, it is the adversarial trial—dominated by dueling larger-than-life lawyers undertaking grand public performances—that first comes to mind. But as award-winning author Amalia Kessler reveals in this engrossing history, it was only in the turbulent decades before the Civil War that adversarialism became a defining American practice and ideology, displacing alternative, more judge-driven approaches to procedure. By drawing on a broad range of methods and sources—and by recovering neglected influences (including from Europe)—the author shows how the emergence of the American adversarial legal culture was a product not only of developments internal to law, but also of wider socioeconomic, political, and cultural debates over whether and how to undertake market regulation and pursue racial equality. As a result, adversarialism came to play a key role in defining American legal institutions and practices, as well as national identity.
Learn more about Inventing American Exceptionalism at the Yale University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: A Revolution in Commerce.

The Page 99 Test: Inventing American Exceptionalism.

--Marshal Zeringue