Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone
Wilfrid Prest, ed.
If the Supreme Court mythologizes Blackstone, it is equally true that Blackstone himself was engaged in something of a mythmaking project. Far from a neutral reporter, Blackstone has some stories to tell, in particular the story of the hero law. The problems associated with using the Commentaries as a transparent window on eighteenth-century American legal norms, however, do not make Blackstone’s text irrelevant today. The chapter concludes with my brief reading of the Commentaries as a critical mirror of some twenty-first-century legal and social structures. That analysis draws on a long-term project, in which I am making my way through all four volumes of the Commentaries and posting short responsive essays online on the Blackstone Weekly.
Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone,
Re-Interpreting Blackstone's Commentaries: A Seminal Text in National and International Contexts
Available at: https://scholarship.law.pitt.edu/fac_book-chapters/26
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