Practice Extended

Beyond Law and Literature

Robert A. Ferguson

Columbia University Press

Practice Extended

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Pub Date: March 2016

ISBN: 9780231175364

352 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: March 2016

ISBN: 9780231540599

352 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Practice Extended

Beyond Law and Literature

Robert A. Ferguson

Columbia University Press

Written by a renowned literary critic and legal historian, Practice Extended illuminates the intricacies of legal language and thought and the law's relationship to society, literature, and culture. Robert A. Ferguson details how judicial opinions are written, how legal thought and philosophy inform ideas, and how best to appreciate a courtroom novel. With chapters touching on a wide range of subjects, including immigration, eloquence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Supreme Court case over James Joyce's Ulysses, Practice Extended provides an ambitious argument for the importance of language in law and a much-needed analysis of the often vexed relationship between law and literature.

Ferguson challenges the notion of law as a hermetic enterprise only accessible to experts. He reveals the discipline's relationships to history, religion, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and the visual arts, offering a rich account of how the law has shaped and has been shaped by communal thought. He also recognizes the critical role of literature and other outside views in showcasing the social problems that law takes up. Practice Extended reflects Ferguson's crucial role as a pioneer in developing the field of law and literature. His writing reminds us of the need for a critical approach to the law that draws on the insights of literature to better understand political and legal history and the documents, laws, and arguments that shape our present. At the same time, this volume also showcases the ways in which the law has been integrated into works of literature, from Billy Budd to contemporary courtroom thrillers.
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Letters in Law
Part I. Literary Components in the Legal Imagination
1. The U.S. Constitution as Literature
2. The Place of Mercy in Legal Discourse
3. Immigration Law: An Answer to Intractability
Part II. The Nature of Judgment
4. Holmes and the Judicial Figure
5. The Opinion as Literary Genre
6. Ulysses in Government Hands
Part III. The Public Uses of Eloquence
7. Lawyer Lincoln: The Making of Eloquence
8. Memorialization and the Spirit of Law
9. Precision in Persuasion
Part IV. When Law Fails
10. The Somers Mutiny and the American Ship of State
11. Invading Panama: Circumstance and the Rule of Law
Coda: How to Read a Courtroom Novel
Notes
Cases Cited
Index

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About the Author

Robert A. Ferguson is the George Edward Woodberry Professor in Law, Literature, and Criticism at Columbia University. He works in the nexus of law, literature, and history in American culture, and his most recent books are Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment; Alone in America: The Stories That Matter; and The Trial in American Life.