(image source: Legal History Blog)
The ASLH attributed its Reid Prize at its latest annual meeting.
Praise for the winner:
Americans have long supposed that the adversarial trial, dominated by lawyers, was always at the heart of our legal system. Amalia Kessler’s deeply thoughtful Inventing American Exceptionalism: The Origins of American Adversarial Legal Culture, 1800-1877 (Yale University Press, 2017) persuasively challenges this supposition. Kessler shows how mid-nineteenth century debates over market regulation, the role of the legal profession, religion, and Reconstruction helped elevate adversarialism over more judge-centered quasi-inquisitorial alternatives. Beautifully written and deeply original in conceptualization, this wonderful monograph reframes and expands the history of legal procedure by situating it in a wide array of contexts that previous accounts had not connected together.More information with the publisher.
(source: Legal History Blog)