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This Very Short Introduction demonstrates the pivotal role of law in American life. Chapters focus on the legal history of Indian tribes, slavery, property rights, the relationship of law to entrepreneurial activity, crimes and punishments, domestic relations, civil injuries and tort law, as well as legal education and the legal profession.
G. Edward White is David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law and University Professor at the University of Virginia. His 15 books include The American Judicial Tradition, Alger Hiss's Looking-Glass Wars, and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: Law and the Inner Self. White is the editor of the John Harvard Library edition of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.'s The Common Law (2009) and is currently writing a three-volume history of American law, the first volume of which, Law in American History, From the Colonial Years Through the Civil War, appeared in 2012.