In this long-awaited successor to his landmark work A History of
American Law, Lawrence M. Friedman offers a monumental history of
American law in the twentieth century.
The first general history of its kind, American Law in the
Twentieth Century describes the explosion of law over the past
century into almost every aspect of American life. Since 1900 the
center of legal gravity in the United States has shifted from the
state to the federal government, with the creation of agencies and
programs ranging from Social Security to the Securities Exchange
Commission to the Food and Drug Administration. Major demographic
changes have spurred legal developments in such areas as family law
and immigration law. Dramatic advances in technology have placed
new demands on the legal system in fields ranging from automobile
regulation to intellectual property.
Throughout the book, Friedman focuses on the social context of
American law. He explores the extent to which transformations in
the legal order have resulted from the social upheavals of the
twentieth century -- including two world wars, the Great
Depression, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution.
Friedman also discusses the international context of American law:
what has the American legal system drawn from other countries? And
in an age of global dominance, what impact has the American legal
system had abroad?
Written by one of our most eminent legal historians, this
engrossing book chronicles a century of revolutionary change within
a legal system that has come to affect us all.
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