Morton J. Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy (Oxford Univ. Press 1992).
Abstract: The Bancroft Prize-winning first volume of Morton Horwitz's monumental history of American law has become the standard source on the subject for the period between 1780 and 1860. Now, Horwitz presents The Transformation of American Law, 1870 to 1960, the long-awaited sequel that brings his sweeping history to completion. In his pathbreaking first volume, Horwitz showed how economic conflicts helped transform law in antebellum America. Here, Horwitz picks up where he left off, tracing the struggle in American law between the entrenched legal orthodoxy and the Progressive movement, which arose in response to ever-increasing social and economic inequality. Horwitz introduces us to the people and events that fueled this contest between the old order and the new as we sit in on such cases as Lochner v. New York in 1905--where the new thinkers sought to undermine orthodox claims for the autonomy of law--and watch as Progressive thought first crystalized. The Transformation of American Law is a book certain to revise past thinking on the origins and evolution of law in our country. For anyone hoping to understand the structure of American law--or of America itself--this volume is indispensable.