Minding the Law

Author: Jerome Bruner, Anthony G. Amsterdam
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2001
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 463
Isbn10 Code: 067400289X
Isbn13 Code: 9780674002890

From Perhaps the most unusual is the pairing of law professor Amsterdam and cultural psychologist Bruner, both of New York University, in a study that grows out of the "lawyering theory" seminar they have team-taught for 10 years. Their goal is to "make the familiar strange again," specifically, to examine the routine legal processes of categorization, storytelling, and persuasion, as well as the culture within which these processes take place. After discussing each subject (categories, narrative, rhetorics, and the dialectic of culture), they explore its operation in one or two significant Supreme Court decisions, "unearth[ing] concealed presuppositions, categorical pitfalls, narrative predilections, rhetorical constructions, cultural biases." Such interpretive dilemmas, they suggest, are inevitable, but may be less troublesome to the extent that the effects of categories, narrative, rhetorics, and culture are acknowledged, rather than ignored. Mary CarrollCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved Review Most law professors teach by the 'case method,' or say they do. In this fascinating book, Anthony Amsterdam--a lawyer--and Jerome Bruner--a psychologist--expose how limited most case 'analysis' really is, as they show how much can be learned through the close reading of the phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that constitute an opinion (or other pieces of legal writing). Reading this book will undoubtedly make one a better lawyer, and teacher of lawyers. But the book's value and interest goes far beyond the legal profession, as it analyzes the way that rhetoric--in law, politics, and beyond--creates pictures and convictions in the minds of readers and listeners. (Sanford Levinson, author of Constitutional Faith 20001205)

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