‘Legal History Through a Rear View Mirror 1’

“‘It is cool to be a legal historian.’ That’s a sentence I never expected to write (or to hear) when I began my doctoral training in 1973, immediately after finishing law school. Implicitly, sometimes explicitly, most of my cohort of graduate students assumed that law was some kind of superstructure, to use the marxist or marxisante label of the time. It was derivative of and secondary to what was ‘real’ and what was really important to study and to write about. Fundamentally, law was both boring and trivial. Why would I want to waste my time on legal doctrine or on the study of legal institutions, on the derivative and the boring and the trivial? The skepticism of my classmates and teachers got into my head …” (more)

[Dirk Hartog, Legal History Blog, 6 November]

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