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The Essential Holmes: Selections from the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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The Essential Holmes: Selections from the Letters, Speeches, Judicial Opinions, and Other Writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., has been called the greatest jurist and legal scholar in the history of the English-speaking world. In this collection of his speeches, opinions, and letters, Richard Posner reveals the fullness of Holmes' achievements as judge, historian, philosopher, and master of English style. Thematically arranged, the volume covers a rich variety of subjec ...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by University Of Chicago Press (first published April 1st 1992)
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Orhun  Yalincak
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
QUOTATION: I always say, as you know, that if my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I will help them. It’s my job.

ATTRIBUTION: Justice OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, letter to Harold J. Laski, March 4, 1920.—Holmes-Laski Letters, ed. Mark DeWolfe Howe, vol. 1, p. 249 (1953).

Max Lerner, The Mind and Faith of Justice Holmes, p. 222 (1954), said, “Holmes was exacting in construing a statute and latitudinarian in construing powers under the Constitution. He often said that there was nothing in the Constitut
...more
Damon
May 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Posner is, as would be expected, a blowhard in the foreword, contradicting himself and what not. But man can Holmes write! Particularly enjoyed the chapters on aging and death--pithy and reassuring, insofar as one can be the latter on those subjects (without promising pies in the sky).
Barbara Heisey
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote shocking, deep, and tough-minded things.

His philosophical nihilism is an anecdote to the saccharine pieties of these times.

His cosmopolitan and high English prose style adds flair to his essentially dour outlook.
Mark
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've never felt familiar with an author, much less one who died almost a hundred years ago. Posner did a good job editing the letters by category.
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Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an American jurist who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932. Noted for his long service, his concise and pithy opinions, and his deference to the decisions of elected legislatures, he is one of the most widely cited United States Supreme Court justices in history, particularly for his "clear and present danger" majority opinion in the 19 ...more
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“The man of action has the present, but the thinker controls the future.” 16 likes
“I do not know the meaning of the universe. But in the midst of doubt, in the collapse of creed, there is one thing I do not doubt and that is that the faith is true and adorable which leads a soldier to throw away his life in obedience to a blindly accepted duty, in a cause which he little understands, in a plan or campaign of which he has no notion, under tactics of which he does not see the use.” 0 likes
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