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Chrystelle Gazeau (Lyon III) reviewed Jean-Christophe Gaven, Le crime de lèse-nation: histoire d'une invention juridique et politique, 1789-1791, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, Domaine droit, 2016, pp. 559
The security principle which emerged in 1789 during the Enlightenment has two complementary implications: the protection of the individual in the exercise of his or her rights and the protection of the community. It acknowledges that the State must have the means to assume the protective role assigned to it under the social contract, but which it could not perform if it was itself in danger. As is well known, the debates concerning the equilibrium between protection of the individual and protection of the State continues to this day among the democracies. Under exceptional circumstances, could the State be at risk of losing its founding liberal aspirations?Kelly Kennington (Auburn University) reviewed Alfred L.Brophy, University, Court, & Slave: Pro-Slavery Thought in Southern Colleges & Courts & the Coming of Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). xxvi, 373pp. $41.95. 978-0-19-996423-9.
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In his most recent book, legal scholar Al Brophy investigates the world of antebellum intellectuals who debated the issue of slavery. Bringing together the writings of academics at southern universities and the opinions of appellate judges in cases related to slavery is his primary goal, but these two source bases are just the beginning of his sweeping survey of slavery ideology from the 1830s to secession. His impressive research and broad thinking on the subject allow Brophy to make larger claims about the role of law and constitutionalism in American culture, as well as the importance of the antebellum era to later jurisprudence.