Read Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge by Gerald Gunther Online

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A masterful, moving account of the life and work of one of the great judges of the twentieth century, whose work has left a profound mark on our legal, intellectual, and social landscape. The greatest judge never to be appointed to the Supreme Court, Learned Hand is widely considered the peer of Justices Holmes, Brandeis, and Cardozo. In his more than fifty years on the beA masterful, moving account of the life and work of one of the great judges of the twentieth century, whose work has left a profound mark on our legal, intellectual, and social landscape. The greatest judge never to be appointed to the Supreme Court, Learned Hand is widely considered the peer of Justices Holmes, Brandeis, and Cardozo. In his more than fifty years on the bench, he left an unequaled legacy of lastingly influential writings. This distinctive biography goes well beyond Hand's official work, however, to depict both a complex human being and the times in which he lived. The first to draw on the enormous collection of the judge's private papers, the eminent constitutional scholar Gerald Gunther vividly portrays a public man consumed by private doubts. Gunther's lively account moves from Hand's childhood in a formidable (and anxiety producing) family of lawyers to his years at Harvard as a studious outsider, his frustrating experience in private law practice, his felt inadequacies in marriage, and his work as a federal judge. Throughout his life, Hand believed himself unworthy of the accolades bestowed upon him; self-doubt permeated all aspects of his life. Gunther subtly explores the ties between the modest, uncertain man - a liberal skeptic who was never "too sure [he was] right" - and his public record, and suggests that Hand's personal traits shaped his modest approach to judging: the questioning human being could not help acting that way as a judge. Hand's most enduring legacy is his advocacy of judicial restraint: repeatedly he sounded the dangers of excessive activism in unelected judges. Yet he mustered the courage to support such basic values as freedom of expression -from his personally costly defense of dissenters amid the hysteria of World War I to his strong affirmation of free speech in his rulings on obscenity and his outspoken attacks on McCarthyism in the 1950s. This biography also offers the perspective of one of this era's most sens...

Title : Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge
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ISBN : 9780674518803
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 864 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge Reviews

  • Graham Polando
    2018-12-06 18:06

    Stopped reading a little over a hundred pages in, and after coming across Posner's review of it (incidentally, the best book review I think I've ever read). I am convinced that the only reason so many reviews of the book are so positive is that this is a rare thing--a judicial biography, one that's well-written and agonizingly researched. But Posner is (mostly) correct: the book is huge, and focuses in exacting detail on Hand's least essential traits--his life and his constitutional thought. Posner thinks these are so compellingly told that the book is incomplete, rather than a failure. But I feel comfortable saying that a 680-page biography of Learned Hand that does not mention Carroll Towing is per se misguided. Very disappointing.

  • Shelley Alongi
    2018-11-11 01:06

    This is an excellent book. I read a great deal of academic work and I left confess that I found this one engaging. The description on this site is quite adequate and does not need money for the exclamation. My only comment is that I liked it and for me who has two college degrees and has done a great deal of academic reading that is quite a compliment. I had never read about this man and I was interested to learn about the cases he wrote opinions on and to make comparisons with how they have affected further later decisions and history. I found some of the political comments in the book consummate with some of the trends. Occurring in our country in these days. I really enjoyed this book and for me that and saying quite a bit. I would like to read more work I Mr. Gunter.

  • B
    2018-11-29 19:12

    I put this book down because something about it was bothering me, but I'm not sure what.Having picked it back up, I really don't know why I made that choice. It's darned good and govers a subject rarely chosen in biographies: appeals judge (non-Supreme Court version.) If Hand was truly the best judge of his time and possibly the twentieth century, who is the most average? Is there one? The book shies away from making the full case for Hand's greatness. Instead it relies on a lot of outside praise to show he was generally considered the greatest. It's clear, however, that the author think Hand was the greatest, and that his personality his possibly greater than his craftmanship. Gunther's attempt to rehabilitate Hand's late-career oblique criticism of Brown v. Board of Ed., for instance, speaks of an attempt to polish Hand's already sterling reputation, even if Gunther is totally correct.Indeed, I would be interested in (although probably not enough to buy) a book consisting entirely of Hand's pre-case memos from which Gunther occasionally quotes at length.)

  • Count Jared
    2018-12-07 18:16

    What a marvelous day, that I have lived to regret never having sat down over a Scotch with Judge Hand. A deeply admirable, constantly self-critical, passionately dispassionate man, and one who greatly shaped the progressive reformation in American law, and it could fairly be asserted, thereby shaped the development of the entire country for the second half of the Twentieth Century.I envy his grandchildren, to have known such a lion, though it may well be they didn't know him well, since he remained a working judge to his last days. Godspeed, true and faithful servant. Any man may rest easy, who has given his all to his fellow men.

  • Dan
    2018-12-07 20:11

    WINTER BREAK 2015-16friend / family member / lover / person on amtrak: what are you reading?me: a biography of Learned Handffmlpa: ...: he was the most significant judge of the twentieth century to never be on the supreme court: ... was that his real name?: yeah b *laughing at inside joke i just made about learned hand* and let me tell you a story about his life...

  • Mary Whisner
    2018-11-10 20:29

    Liked it, but it was long.

  • CLM
    2018-11-23 00:11

    Can you imagine a better name for a judge? I became fascinated by Judge Hand while I was in law school and have been meaning to read this book ever since.

  • Gavin.boyles
    2018-12-01 00:24

    An interesting (and comprehensive, to say the least) biography of a guy who really lived up to his first name.