The Common Law by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Book Summary
Holmes' classic 1881 study of laws and judicial rule-making from a powerful legal thinker before he became a legendary Supreme Court Justice. One of the most original and important books ever written about law, the process of making rules, and legal history -- now in a complete, proofread, and formatted presentation, not just a scan/OCR dumped into an ebook bucket. The Quid Pro Books edition features an explanatory new Foreword by Steven Alan Childress, J.D., Ph.D., a law professor at Tulane, as well as photographs of Holmes and rare historic images of interesting notes he handwrote on the first edition.
This edition from Quid Pro Books includes linked footnotes, active Contents, embedded page numbers from the original, hyperaccurate proofreading, and the original Index. No other version -- free or expensive -- has these features. In fact, other ebook editions of this book are full of OCR errors and frequently skip words from the inner margins of the print edition. This makes the text read as if every eighth word is missing. They attribute words to Holmes that he did not write, such as "docs," "modem," "tiling," and "laud." [Answer Key: The latter two are supposed to be "thing" and "land."] Slogging through them is frustrating, at best. Worse, other editions tend to repeat over 250 of "footnote 1," unlinked, making the notes Holmes wrote practically inaccessible. The Quid Pro edition, despite its low cost, links all notes and uses sequential footnote numbers so the reader is not lost, then adds the original note numbers for accurate citation purposes.
This book is also available from the publisher in extended formats with extensive annotations and explanations of Holmes' wording, legal terms, Latin and Greek passages, and historical context. It is decoded and explained to make the work accessible to those interested in history without extensive legal training. (The latter edition is named 'The Annotated Common Law' and is sold in print and ebook editions.) Yet for a basic edition with the complete text and notes in usable form, plus an explanatory Foreword, this edition meets the need and -- at long last -- uses care in reproducing Holmes' great book exactly as he wrote it, and in a proper ebook format.
Three generations of poor reproductions of this book are enough!
The Common Law (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.) Book Reviews
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