Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2008 Issue

Recent Publications (Reprints) from the Lawbook Exchange

Lawbook

Recent Publications by The Lawbook Exchange.


By Michael Stillman

The latest catalogue from the Lawbook Exchange is not the typical one we review, as it does not truly contain antiquarian or rare books. Its books are both old and new. In other words, it contains reprints of many classic legal works. This is in keeping with the purposes of the bookseller. The older texts they offer generally serve a dual purpose -- both for research and legal practice as well as collecting. However, the older and rare editions are naturally rather expensive for practical use. So, these reprints will be of such practical use for now, and may be collectible at some time in the future.

We will not go into great detail here as these are recent imprints, but here are a few examples of what is now available in Recent Publications by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.

Here is a book originally published in 1933 that, sadly enough, is still timely today, though the horror is used more to intimidate than actually practiced: Lynching and the Law, by James Harmon Chadbourn. This thorough work was put together under the auspices of the Southern Commission on the Study of Lynching, a group of southern jurists who were attempting to end the practice in their region. Chadbourn surveyed some 3,700 lynchings, primarily of blacks, between 1889 and 1932. He also asked 1,000 lawyers and legislators for their suggestions on ending the practice. From this, Chadbourn was able to present a model lynching law. The reprint is priced at $85.

In 1955, Bennett Patterson first published his work The Forgotten Ninth Amendment: A Call for Legislative and Judicial Recognition of Rights under Social Conditions of Today. The Ninth Amendment states "the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Courts have been loath to cite this amendment as the vagueness of what those rights might be, they fear, could open the door to all kinds of claims of natural rights. The amendment did get some play when the Supreme Court established the right to privacy, but it focused more on an alternate theory to avoid defining any of these Ninth Amendment rights. However, Patterson argues that the Ninth Amendment should be used to enforce so-called "natural law," which would further restrict the use of power of the state and federal governments over individuals. $70.

Here is the first book devoted exclusively to the law of dogs: The Law Relating to Dogs, by Frederick Lupton. You may not have thought there would be such a book, but the original edition goes all the way back to 1888. Lupton divides dogs into classifications of ferocious, dangerous, mischievous and harmless. Somehow he missed barking, slobbering and clueless. Obviously, Lupton never owned a dog. $85.

One rarely thinks of Abraham Lincoln as a crook, but Edward Oldham and Thomas Hemingway made such a charge in 1853. They claimed Lincoln, as their attorney, collected money they were due but refused to turn it over. It was not a wise claim to make. Lincoln filed four depositions refuting their charge, and by the end, the plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss the case at their own cost. The case was recounted by William H. Townsend in his 1923 book Abraham Lincoln, Defendant: Lincoln's Most Interesting Lawsuit. $65.

The Lawbook Exchange is found online at www.lawbookexchange.com, telephone 732-382-1800, email law@lawbookexchange.com.

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