Legal Intellectuals in Conversation

Reflections on the Construction of Contemporary American Legal Theory

255 pages

10 figures

August, 2012

ISBN: 9780814737071



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James R. Hackney, Jr. is Professor of Law at Northeastern University.  He is the author of Under Cover of Science: American Legal-Economic Theory and the Quest for Objectivity.

All books by James R. Hackney

In this unique volume, James Hackney invites readers to enter the minds of 10 legal experts that in the late 20th century changed the way we understand and use theory in law today. True to the title of the book, Hackney spent hours in conversation with legal intellectuals, interviewing them about their early lives as thinkers and scholars, their contributions to American legal theory, and their thoughts regarding some fundamental theoretical questions in legal academe, particularly the law/politics debate. Legal Intellectuals in Conversation is a veritable Whos Who of legal thought, presented in a sophisticated yet intimate manner.



  • “James Hackney’s Legal Intellectuals in Conversation makes intellectual history come alive. His incisive and well-informed questions produce responses that illuminate his subjects’ core intellectual and political commitments. Hackney humanizes key ideas in legal theory by placing them in the context of individual biography, historical events, and the sometimes fraught social relationships in the legal academy.”

    —David M. Driesen, Syracuse University School of Law

  • "With a collection of interviews featuring some of the nation's most important and incisive legal scholars, Professor Hackney's book offers new insight into some of the most important debates in legal theory."

    —Richard T. Ford, George E. Osborne Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

  • "Part intellectual biography, part homage, part postmortem, Professor Hackney's collection of highbrow chats makes for thought-provoking reading."


  • "Legal Intellectuals is an informative book that should appeal to anyone interested in late twentieth century legal theory." 

    Law and History Review