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1. The Dred Scott Case: Historical
2. Notorious Woman: The Celebrated
3. The Times And Trials Of Anne Hutchinson:
4. A Judgment for Solomon: The d'Hauteville
5. The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A
6. Historical and Legal Examination
7. Execution: One Man's Life And

1. The Dred Scott Case: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law (Law Society & Politics in the Midwest)
Paperback: 272 Pages (2010-06-08)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$26.92
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Asin: 0821419129
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In 1846 two slaves, Dred and Harriet Scott, filed petitions for their freedom in the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. As the first true civil rights case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Dred Scott v. Sandford raised issues that have not been fully resolved despite three amendments to the Constitution and more than a century and a half of litigation. The Dred Scott Case: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law presents original research and the reflections of the nation’s leading scholars who gathered in St. Louis to mark the 150th anniversary of what was arguably the most infamous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision that held that African Americans “had no rights” under the Constitution and that Congress had no authority to alter that galvanized Americans and thrust the issue of race and law to the center of American politics. This collection of essays revisits the history of the case and its aftermath in American life and law. In a final section, the present-day justices of the Missouri Supreme Court offer their reflections on the process of judging and provide perspective on the misdeeds of their nineteenth-century predecessors who denied the Scotts their freedom.
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2. Notorious Woman: The Celebrated Case Of Myra Clark Gaines (Southern Biography)
by Elizabeth Urban Alexander
Paperback: 301 Pages (2004-08-30)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
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Asin: 0807130249
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The legal crusade of Myra Clark Gaines (1804?-1885) has all the trappings of classic melodrama—a lost heir, a missing will, an illicit relationship, a questionable marriage, a bigamous husband, and a murder.For a half-century the daughter of New Orleans millionaire Daniel Clark struggled to justify her claim to his enormous fortune in a case that captivated the nineteenth-century public.Elizabeth Urban Alexander taps voluminous court records and letters in her gripping account of the longest continuous litigation in U.S. history, a case considered seventeen times by the Supreme Court. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Historical Novel!
Elizabeth Urban Alexander offers a brilliantly crafted historiography.The research involved here is extensive and intricate, and the citations impeccable.Besides telling the story chronologically, Alexander takes an unusual tact that offers insight not often available in this type of work.She has endeavored to take the reader into the minds and motives of the judiciary involved in the many stages of the litigation, into the political atmosphere of the time, and the social mores of the era.Gaines is portrayed as a strong, determined woman who pursues vindication throughout her adult life.Although the story is true, it is a riveting novel written with true inspiration!

5-0 out of 5 stars As a descendant of Myra
It's fascinating to re-read my ancestoral history from a historian's perspective.Having heard the "filtered" versions passed down through my family, it was wonderful to get a different account of the events.It's a great read, well put together and was definitely enjoyed!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Real-life Soap Opera!
Sometimes is the truth is stranger than fiction!This is certainly the case with Notorious Woman:The Celebrated Case of Myra Clark Gaines.This book had everything I wanted -- scandalous family secrets, an heir fighting for legitimacy, a struggle through the courts, even a murder -- AND, it's all true!The author re-tells the drama as it unfolded in the courtroom and lets you come to your own conclusion:Was Myra Clark Gaines the true heir to a New Orleans real estate fortune worth millions?You decide. ... Read more

3. The Times And Trials Of Anne Hutchinson: Puritans Divided (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)
by Michael P. Winship
Paperback: 168 Pages (2005-03-07)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.97
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Asin: 0700613803
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Anne Hutchinson was perhaps the most famous Englishwoman in colonial American history, viewed in later centuries as a crusader for religious liberty and a prototypical feminist. Michael Winship, author of the highly acclaimed Making Heretics, provides a startlingly new and fresh account of her oft-told tale, disentangling what really happened from the legends that have misrepresented her for so long.

During the 1630s, religious controversies drove a wedge into the puritan communities of Massachusetts. Anne Hutchinson and other members began to speak out against mainstream doctrine, while ministers like John Cotton argued for personal discovery of salvation. The puritan fathers viewed these activities as a direct and dangerous threat to the status quo and engaged in a fierce and finally successful fight against them. Refusing to disavow her beliefs, Hutchinson was put on trial twice-first for slandering the colony's ministers, then for heresy-and banished from the colony.

Combing archives for neglected manuscripts and ancient books for obscure references, Winship gives new voice to other characters in the drama whose significance has not previously been understood. Here are Thomas Shepard, a militant heresy hunter who vigorously pursued both Cotton and Hutchinson; Thomas Dudley, the most important leader in Massachusetts after Governor John Winthrop; Henry Vane, a well-connected supporter of radical theology; and John Wheelwright, a bellicose minister who was a lightning rod for the frustrations of other dissidents. Winship also analyzes the political struggle that almost destroyed the colony and places Hutchinson's trials within the context of this turmoil.

As Winship shows, although the trials of Anne Hutchinson and her allies were used ostensibly to protect Massachusetts' Christian society, they instead nearly tore it apart. His concise, fast-moving, and up-to-date account brings puritan doctrine back into focus, giving us a much closer and more informed look at a society marked by religious intolerance and immoderation, one that still echoes in our own times. As long as governments take it upon themselves to define orthodoxies of conscience, The Times and Trials of Anne Hutchinson will be required reading for students and concerned citizens alike.

This book is part of the Landmark Law Cases and American Society series. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Revisiting Anne Hutchinson
As an American Studies major in the late sixties, I understood the tale of Anne Hutchinson as the fleeting hint of a nascent feminism in the New World, a feminism that, almost 400 years later, took root and transformed American culture during my young adulthood.Michael Winship's The Times and Trials of Anne Hutchinson removes imposed meanings to reveal Anne Hutchinson as a quintessential puritan losing a passionate and destructive struggle to define piety and salvation.Because the dogmatic intolerance at the soul of of puritanism still colors the political discourse of our own day, Winship's scholarship, translated into readable and engaging prose, is a valuable contribution to our understanding of where we come from and where, without consciousness of our roots, we may be headed.

2-0 out of 5 stars Careless with facts
This book says Anne Hutchinson, the colonial leader, died "in August or September 1643." In fact Governor John Winthrop recorded in his journal on July 22, 1643, news of the Indian massacre in which Hutchinson had died. It's ironic that an author who describes Hutchinson as little more than a fiction of Winthrop's imagination didn't check this primary source. More important, this book claims Hutchinson's "personal influence proved ephemeral", and "most of her followers" and family "died with her" in the massacre. In fact, according to Winthrop and other contemporaries, she was survived by scores of followers in Rhode Island and Boston, five children, and many grandchildren. Her descendants include Presidents FDR, Bush, and Bush. Her lasting influence in Rhode Island contributed to the freedom of religion clause in the 1660s colonial constitution, which helped inspire the constitutional amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion throughout America.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anne Hutchinson
This was a gift for a friend of mine, and she was very happy with the book. ... Read more

4. A Judgment for Solomon: The d'Hauteville Case and Legal Experience in Antebellum America (Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society)
by Michael Grossberg
Paperback: 296 Pages (1996-02-23)
list price: US$32.99 -- used & new: US$31.17
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Asin: 0521557453
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A Judgment for Solomon tells the story of the d'Hauteville case, a controversial child custody battle fought in 1840. It uses the story of one couple's bitter fight over their son to explore some timebound and timeless features of American legal culture.This eagerly followed trial sparked a national debate over the legal rights and duties of mothers and fathers, husbands and wives.The d'Hauteville case explains why popular trials become "precedents of legal experience"-- mediums for debates about highly contested social issues. It also demonstrates the ability of individual women and men to contribute to legal change by turning to the law to fight for what they want. ... Read more

5. The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President
by Julie M. Fenster
Paperback: 256 Pages (2008-12-23)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$1.95
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Asin: 0230608094
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In 1856, Abraham Lincoln was at a personal crossroads. Often despondent, he had grown bored with his work as a lawyer. He was beginning to see himself as just a former Congressman, without much of a future in politics. Later that year,  the gruesome murder of a Springfield blacksmith provided the case that defined Lincoln's legal career. The string of lurid revelations that followed the crime became front page news across the country, putting Lincoln back in the national spotlight. The Anderson case reflected the spirit of the times: an inescapable, dark world, hidden within the optimism and innocence of the young city of Springfield. With the Anderson murder, Lincoln's legal skills as a defender were challenged as never before and he was finally able to prove himself as a man with a great destiny.
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Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars 1856...a very busy year for Mr. Lincoln!
While the title is a bit deceptive (the legal case doesn't figure as much as it would suggest), this is still a well-written book on a pivotal year in Lincoln's life. Ms. Fenster brings out quite a bit of information I'd never known and paints an engaging picture of life in Lincoln's Springfield. This is an enjoyable book that history buffs and Lincoln fans will enjoy equally.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Forgotten Drama of 1856
Julie M. Fenster is the author of five previous books, including an award-winning history of anesthesia called "Ether: The Strange Tale of America's Greatest Medical Discovery and the Haunted Men Who Made It." She's a regular contributor to American Heritage, as well as other well-respected popular magazines and academic journals.

In "The Case of Abraham Lincoln," Fenster delivers a revealing portrait of Abraham Lincoln both before -- and during -- his rise to political power in the mid-1850s. She uses a famous antebellum murder trial as a fascinating subplot to propel the narrative forward. It's a delightful mixture of biography and scandal that piqued my interest from start to finish.

When we meet Lincoln, he is a successful but frustrated provincial lawyer who makes friends easily but avoids taking strong political stands. The personal details about his every day life are utterly fascinating, given the normal "mythology" that surrounds Lincoln today. For example, we see Lincoln laying on the floor of his parlor, playing with his cats or shutting down the law office in mid-afternoon to play "town ball" (an early form of baseball) with the young store clerks from downstairs.

Throughout the book, Fenster strikes just the right balance between the intimate details of daily life and the earth-shaking events reshaping the national political scene during the run-up to the 1856 election. On one hand, we have a salacious local murder case. On the other hand, we witness the creation of an entirely new political party committed to halting the spread of slavery in the West. Lincoln was thrust into both crucibles at once -- almost by accident. The ultimate result was the greatest president our nation has ever known. (Those who enjoy debating cause and effect in history will find plenty to talk about here.)

"The Case of Abraham Lincoln" belongs to the same new genre of books that I call "Prismatic History." A prism takes a single beam of white light and splits it into its component colors so we can gain a deeper understanding of what lies beneath the seemingly simple facade.

In the same way, Prismatic History starts with a small slice of time (e.g., the year 1856) or a small incident (e.g., a Midwestern family murder). It then reveals the much greater complexity and historical importance that lie just beneath the surface. Other books in this genre include "The Devil in the White City," (about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair) "Isaac's Storm," (about the Galveston hurricane) and "Will in the World" (about the formative years of Shakespeare).

CAUTION: If you're looking for an exhaustive academic history of Lincoln's early law career, or a comprehensive study of antebellum politics, you won't find it here. But if you like a good historical yarn with a fresh perspective and revealing details, you'll love "The Case for Abraham Lincoln." Bravo, Ms. Fenster!

Full Disclosure: I wrote my honor's thesis in history at Brown University about the rise of anti-slavery activism in a small Michigan city during the 1840s and 1850s. (The Republican Party held its first meeting in Jackson, Michigan, in 1854. Oh, what a long, strange trip it's been since then, Mr. McCain.)

3-0 out of 5 stars Frustrating
When I bought this book, I wanted so much to like it.The author is from Upstate New York (where I am from originally) and the book purports to be about Lincoln and his representation of a client charged with murder.However, come to find out that Lincoln's involvement in this homicide case was merely peripheral.In fact, as another reviewer pointed out, Mr. Lincoln first gets involved in the case around page 200.Unfortunately, the publisher's marketing department knew that a sub-title of "The Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President" would sell more then "Lincoln, The Know-Nothings and the Anti-Nebraska Party."When Ms. Fenster describes the details involving the murder and the subsequent legal proceedings, the narrative flow is very smooth, but without any break in the narrative, she then goes on to discuss a minor will settlement that Lincoln handled.This made for a very difficult read, especially when the reader thinks Ms. Fenster is going to write about the murder trial, but instead interminably goes on about the birth of the Republican Party in Illinois.However, overall a good micro-study of not only Mr. Lincoln, but also the burgeoning state of Illinois in mid-19th century America.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gift
I bought this book as a gift for my husband who is interested in Lincoln, the law, and political science.He found the book to be informative, entertaining, and well-written.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Case of Abraham Lincoln
The "Case of Abraham Lincoln" is a well written book, interesting, informative and fun to read. Anyone intersted in Abraham Lincoln, the history of the 1850's, politics or human nature will benefit fromthis reading. ... Read more

6. Historical and Legal Examination of That Part of the Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott Case
by Thomas Hart Benton
 Hardcover: 193 Pages (2003-01)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$60.00
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Asin: 1575887312
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The book has no illustrations or index. It may have numerous typos or missing text. However, purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original rare book from the publisher's website (GeneralBooksClub.com). You can also preview excerpts of the book there. Purchasers are also entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Original Publisher: D. Appleton and company; Publication date: 1857; Subjects: Missourit compromise; Slavery; Missouri compromise; History / United States / General; History / United States / 19th Century; History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877); Law / Legal History; Social Science / Slavery; ... Read more

7. Execution: One Man's Life And Death
by John Pugh, Michael Davies
Paperback: 200 Pages (2005-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$25.92
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Asin: 1904380166
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With a Foreword by Sir Michael Davies, former High Court Judge, and one of Watkins' defence counsel at his trial. This book covers William Watkins' life through to his execution for murder. John Pugh, then an articled clerk, was in court as the death sentence was passed and has never forgotten that experience. He has undertaken prodigious research to create a unique historical and social record from the era of 'appalling policing and justice' that followed on from the Second World War - a time when such events could, it seems, be a matter of some indifference to the public and authorities alike. ... Read more

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