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The Life of the Law
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The Life of the Law

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In witty, engaging essays for a wide-reading audience, distinguished attorney Alfred Knight reveals the nature of the law as a constantly evolving tradition, and recounts the particulars of some 20 cases, from King Alfred to Rodney King, that have made the law what it is today.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 7th 1999 by Crown Publishing Group (first published April 30th 1996)
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This is an excellent overview of the historical origins and development of several aspects of Anglo-American law generally, such as the right to counsel and adherence to precedent, and also of civil rights law (little things like the 5th amendment (against self-incrimination) and the 4th amendment (against unreasonable searches and seizures)). It was published in the late 1990s, so it's a bit out of date with respect to the 4th amendment especially, but it's an excellent start.

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