Print

Professor Kendall Thomas

Looking Back at Law's Century


(Austin Sarat, Bryant Garth, and Robert A. Kagan, eds.) (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y., 2002)

The essays in this book describe a century of tremendous legal change, inspiring legal developments and profound failures. The 20th century took the United States from the Progressive Era’s optimism about law and social engineering to current concerns about a hyper-legalistic society, from philosophical idealism to the implementation of democracy, the rule of law, and the idea of human rights around the world. At the same time, law maintained its status as the key language of governance in this country, the most legal minded of all countries, which has succeeded in making its version of the state a point of reference around the world. Included in this book is an essay by Professor Kendall Thomas, titled “Racial Justice: Moral or Political?”