ContractsProf Blog

Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New in Print

Pile of BooksCarl J. Circo, Will Green Building Contracts Transform Construction and Design Law? 43 Urb. Law. 4837 (2011)

John M. Garon and Elaine D. Ziff, The Work Made for Hire Doctrine Revisited: Startup and Technology Employees and the Use of Contracts in a Hiring Relationship, 12 Minn. J. L. Sci. & Tech. 489 (2011)

In addition, we learn from Tulane University Law School's Alan Childress that Quid Pro Books ( just republished Lawrence M. Friedman's first book, Contract Law in America: A Social and Economic Case Study. It adds a new Foreword by Stewart Macaulay. Comparing contract cases and legislation over three discrete historical periods, Friedman shows that social context matters, that law is more flexible and adaptive than traditional doctrinal studies would suggest, and that the framing of contract law can use a fresh reexamination in light of the historical realities he exposes.

The original printing was unavailable or sold used on Amazon and the like for a hundred dollars. Now it is readily available again, in paperback, PDF, Kindle, Nook, Apple, and Sony formats. 
Link to Amazon paperback:
Link to Amazon Kindle:
Link to B&N Nook:
Link to product info at Quid Pro Books:
Link to PDF download and other digital formats:

List $25.99 ;   248 pp.
Its back cover blurbs are:

"Contract Law in America is one of the most important works in the entire scholarly literature on American legal history. Friedman took a subject that had been treated by researchers in exclusively doctrinal terms, bringing an entirely new perspective that revealed how contract law has been at the very center of how we need to understand 'law in action' in key periods of American development. In the methodology that Friedman applied, in the brilliance of the analysis, and in the new light his book cast on the full dimensions of governance and law in the United States, this book broke new ground. It remains today, still, required reading for any student of legal history."
— Harry N. Scheiber
Stefan A. Riesenfeld Professor of Law and History, University of California at Berkeley

"The republishing of Contract Law in America is a very welcome event. For years this has been one of the neglected classics of legal literature. Friedman did what the Legal Realists only dreamed of doing—he studied in depth what kinds of contracts cases state courts had decided over time, and found grand patterns in the decisions. As real-world contracts dropped out of common law litigation and into private ordering and specialized regulation, courts abandoned abstract formal rule-making for particularized equitable resolutions. In the present moment, more receptive to social and empirical studies of law than was 1965, Friedman's book should finally find the audience it deserves."
— Robert W. Gordon
Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and Legal History, Emeritus, Yale University; and
Professor of Law, Stanford University

"Contract Law in America remains a classic examination of the relationships among legal doctrine, legal culture, and the shifting frameworks of American business enterprise. Amid the current academic re-engagement with questions of political economy, we can only hope that more historians, social scientists, and legal scholars acquaint themselves with Friedman's probing analysis of how law did, and did not, influence American commerce, and how commerce did, and did not, influence American law."
— Edward J. Balleisen
Associate Professor of History, Duke University


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