Monday, March 8, 2010

BotD: The Magic Mirror

Today's Book of the Day is The Magic Mirror by Kermit L. Hall. The subtitle is 'Law in American History' - now, quickly, before you doze off, stick with me for a minute. This isn't nearly as dry and heavy as it sounds. As a matter of fact, it's a paperback, and you can have it for less the cost of your monthly internet cable bill.

The author's preface is the best case for why you don't have to be a law student to read this: 'This book is about the history of American legal culture and the law in action. It is not a technical history of substantive law, nor is it an intensive study of case law development in either private or public law.'

See? It's not boring. It's stories of how the legals system in our country developed - in the context of a developing American society. Every aspect of law and the legal system is touched on - from the personal: the laws of domestic relations and personal standing to the Industrial Revolution and the foundations of regulatory law; from the laws of state and federal economics to the formalization of the bar system - there's a little something here for everyone.

If you live and breathe in this country, if you purchase manufactured goods, vote for your county orphans judge or know anyone who's experienced adoption or divorce, there's an element of law in every day of your life.

It may not be your standard spring break reading, but if you tote this to the beach, you may find yourself offered cosmos instead of jello shooters and you definitely won't be approached by the 'Girls Gone Wild' production team - and that's good for everyone!

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