Publications by David J. Langum

Books | Articles and Chapters in Books | Book Reviews


  • Antonio de Mattos and the Protestant Portuguese Community in Antebellum Illinois. Jacksonville Illinois: Morgan County Historical Society, 2006.
  • William M. Kunstler: The Most Hated Lawyer in America. New York: New York University Press, 1999.
  • From Maverick to Mainstream: Cumberland School of Law, 1847-1997. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1997. (with Howard Walthall).
  • Crossing Over the Line: Legislating Morality and the Mann Act. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
  • Thomas O. Larkin: A Life of Profit and Patriotism in Old California. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990. (with Harlan Hague). This biography won the Caroline Bancroft History Prize, administered by the Denver Public Library.
  • Law and Community on The Mexican California Frontier: Anglo-American Expatriates and The Clash of Legal Traditions 1821-1846. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987. This book has won two awards, the James Willard Hurst Prize, from the Law and Society Association, and the J.S. Holliday Award, from the California Historical Society.
  • Law in the West, (ed), Manhattan, Kansas: Sunflower University Press, 1985.

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Articles and Chapters in Books (Reprints not Listed)

Legal History

  • Entry on “William Kunstler,” Yale Biographical Dictionary of
    American Law (Yale University Press, 2008).
  • Article on “American Prostitution: History and Controversies,” Social Issues: An Encyclopedia of Controversies, History and Debates (M.E. Sharpe, 2006).
  • Article, “Drew Camminetti and Maury Diggs: the Men who made the Mann Act Apply to Lovers,” One Hundred Americans Making Constitutional History (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2004).
  • Article on “Mann Act,” in Major Acts of Congress (Macmillan 2003).
  • “James P. de Mattos: Feisty Frontier Lawyer and Politician Extraordinaire,” Western Legal History, 16 (Winter/Spring 2003): 1-24.
  • Article on “Prostitution and Antiprostitution,” in Oxford Companion to United States History (Oxford University Press, 2001).
  • Biographical sketch of William M. Kunstler, in Great Lawyers: A Biographical Dictionary (ABC-CLIO, 2001).
  • “A Short History of American Prostitution and Prostitution Policy,” Regulatory Morality: A Comparison of the Role of the State in Mastering the Mores in the Netherlands and the United States (Antwerpen, The Netherlands: E.M. Meijers Institute, 2000)
  • “A Personal Voyage of Exploration Through the Literature of Abortion History,” Law and Social Inquiry (Spring, 2000).
  • Article on “Mann Act” and biographical sketch of Horace H. Lurton, in The U.S. Supreme Court (Salem Press, 2000).
  • Biographical sketches of John Thomas Doyle, Simon Greenleaf, and James Bradley Thayer, in American National Biography. 24 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • “Introduction of Lawrence M. Friedman,” Ray Rushton Distinguished Lecturer Series, Cumberland Law Review 899-901 (1997)
  • “Memoir of a Book: Writing the History of Cumberland,” 27 Cumberland Law Review 1203-1216 (1997).
  • Article on “Community Property,” in Encyclopedia of the American West. 4 Vols. New York: Macmillan, 1996.
  • “The Legal System of Spanish California: A Preliminary Study,” Western Legal History, 7 (Winter/Spring 1994), 1-23.
  • “In 1850 California Rejects Mandatory Conciliation Formerly Required Under Mexican Law,” in John W. Johnson, ed., Historic U.S. Court Cases 1690-1990: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.
  • “Why Western Legal History?” Western Legal History 3 (Winter/Spring 1990), 115-143 (symposium).
  • “The Introduction of Conciliation into Modern Spanish Law and its Practice in the Spanish-American Borderlands,” in Manuel J. Pelaez, ed., Studies in Roman Law & Legal History. Malaga, Spain: Universidad de Malaga, 1989 (pp. 325-341).
  • “Sin, Sex & Separation in Mexican California: Her Law
    of Domestic Relations,” The Californians 5 (May 1987), 44-50.
  • Introduction, theme issue on law in American West, Journal of the West, XXIV (January 1985), 3-5.
  • “The Role of Intellect and Fortuity in Legal Change: An Incident from the Law of Slavery,” 28 American Journal of Legal History 1-16 (1984).
  • “Expatriate Domestic Relations Law in Mexican California,” 7 Pepperdine Law Review 41-66 (1979).
  • “Pioneer Justice on the Overland Trails,” Western Historical Quarterly, V (October 1974), 421-439.

General History

  • “Frederic Sandeman de Mattos: Gentle Rogue and Talented Priest, Part One: Ritualist Controversy,” Anglican and Episcopal History, 77 (June 2008): 1-19.
  • “Herbert Eugene Bolton,” in John R. Wunder, ed., Historians of the American Frontier: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988 (pp. 130-146).
  • “From Condemnation to Praise: Shifting Perspectives on Hispanic California,” California History (California Historical Society Quarterly), LXI (Winter 1983), 282-291.
  • “The Caring Colony: Alta California’s Participation in Spain’s Foreign Affairs,” Southern California Quarterly, LXII (Fall 1980), 217-228.
  • “Californios and the Image of Indolence,” Western Historical Quarterly, IX (April 1978), 181-196. This essay won the Herbert Eugene Bolton Award in Spanish Borderlands History from the Western History Association. A rebuttal article by David J. Weber, “Here Rests Juan Espinosa: Toward a Clearer Look at the Image of the ‘Indolent’ Californios,” together with a brief reply was published in the same journal for January 1979, vol. X, 61-69.
  • “Californio Women and the Image of Virtue,” Southern California Quarterly, LIX (Fall 1977), 245-250.


  • “A Comment on The Lost Lawyer’s Legal Education,” 26 Cumberland Law Review 843-849 (1996).
  • “Autonomy and The Cumberland Law Review,” 19 Cumberland Law Review 539-551 (1989).
  • “Uncodified Federal Evidence Rules Applicable to Civil Trials,” 19 Willamette Law Review 513-531 (1983).
  • “The Hidden Rules of Evidence: Michigan’s Uncodified Evidence Law,” 61 Michigan Bar Journal 320-329 (1982).
  • “Judicial Gloss and the California Evidence Code,” 9 Lincoln Law Review 13-36 (1974).
  • “Private Limitations of Petroleum Production – California’s Approach to Conservation,” 17 Stanford Law Review 942-964 (1965) (student work).
  • Comment, “Nebraska Vitiates Time-Sale Doctrine Retroactively,” 16 Stanford Law Review 1113-1121 (1964) (student work).

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Book Reviews

  • Donovan, White Slave Crusades: Race, Gender, and Anti-vice Activism, 1887-1917, American Historical Review, 111 (October 2006): 1192-1193.
  • Gonzalez, This Small City Will Be a Mexican Paradise: Exploring the Origins of Mexican Culture in Los Angeles, 1821-1846, Boletin, The Journal of the California Mission Studies Association, 23 (Spring 2006): 125-127.
  • Secrest, The Man From the Rio Grande: A Biography of Harry Love, Leader of the California Rangers Who Tracked Down Joaquin Murrieta, California History, The Magazine of the California History Society, 83 (2006): 74-75.
  • Long, Religious Freedom and Indian Rights: The Case of Oregon v. Smith, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 93 (Fall 2002): 204-205.
  • Gonzalez, Refusing the Favor: The Spanish-Mexican Women of Santa Fe, 1820-1880, American Historical Review, 106 (June 2001): 979.
  • Thomas, Lawyering for the Railroad: Business, Law and Power in the New South, American Journal of Legal History, 44 (October 2000): 438-39.
  • Reid, Policing the Elephant: Crime, Punishment, and Social Behavior on the Overland Trail, Pacific Historical Review 68 (November 1999), 664-65.
  • Boessenecker, Lawman: The Life and Times of Harry Morse, 1835-1912, California History LXXVIII (Spring 1999), 65.
  • Mocho, Murder & Justice in Frontier New Mexico, 1821-1846, Hispanic American Historical Review 79 (February 1999), 150.
  • Murchison, Federal Criminal Law Doctrines: The Forgotten Influence of Prohibition, American Historical Review 101 (December 1996): 1633-34.
  • Review essay on Goldstein, Saving “Old Glory:” the History of the American Flag Desecration Controversy, Social Science and Modern Society 33 (May/June 1996): 87-88.
  • Ebright, Land Grants and Lawsuits in Northern New Mexico, American Historical Review 100 (December 1995): 1694.
  • Frederick, Rugged Justice: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the American West, 1891-1941, American Historical Review 100 (April 1995): 596-97.
  • Mitchell, The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair’s Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics, The Historian 55 (Spring 1993): 592-93.
  • Dugan, Knight of the Road: The Life of Highwayman Ham White, Journal of the West 32 (April 1993):96-97.
  • Rumer, This Emigrating Company: the 1844 Oregon Trail Journal of Jacob Hammer, and Rumer, The Wagon Trains of ’44: A Comparative View of the Individual Caravans in the Emigration of 1844 to Oregon, The Californians 10 (Jan./Feb. 1993): 50.
  • Bakken, Practicing Law in Frontier California, Southern California Quarterly 74 (Fall 1992): 306-307.
  • Fritz, Federal Justice in California: The Court of Ogden Hoffman, 1851-1891, Southern California Quarterly 74 (Fall 1992): 382-384.
  • Weber, editor, The Californios versus Jedediah Smith, 1826-1827: A New Cache of Documents, Pacific Historical Review 60 (May 1991): 250-251.
  • Griswold del Castillo, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict, Western Legal History 4 (Winter/Spring 1991), 113-115.
  • Bakken, compiler, California Legal History Manuscripts in The Huntington Library: A Guide, Southern California Quarterly 73 (Spring 1991): 103-105.
  • Cruz, Let There Be Towns: Spanish Municipal Origins in The American Southwest, 1610-1810, The Californians 7 (January 1990), 62-63.
  • Firmage and Mangrum, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900, Pacific Historical Review 58 (August 1989), 381-82.
  • Mirande, Gringo Justice, Hispanic American Historical Review 68 (November 1988), 854.
  • Boneu, Gaspar de Portola, Explorer and Founder of California, The Californians 5 (September 1987), 52-53.
  • Bakken, The Development of Law in Frontier California: Civil Law and Society, 1850-1890, Southern California Quarterly LXVIII (Fall 1986), 293-295.
  • Fritz, et al., A Judicial Odyssey: Federal Court in Santa Clara, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties, Southern California Quarterly LXVIII (Spring 1986), 82-84.
  • DuMars, et al., Pueblo Indian Water Rights: Struggle for a Precious Resource, and Meyer, Water in the Hispanic Southwest: A Social and Legal History, 1550-1850, American Journal of Legal History. 30 (July 1986), 273-276.
  • Coleman, At Mother’s Request: A True Story of Money, Murder and Betrayal, Journal of the West XXV (July 1986), 91.
  • Dunbar, Forging New Rights in Western Waters, The Californians 4 (March 1986), 50.
  • Bakken, The Development of Law on the Rocky Mountain Frontier: Civil Law and Society, 1850-1912, Western Historical Quarterly XVI (January 1985), 85-86.
  • Levi, Committee of Vigilance: The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Law and Order Committee, 1916-1919, California History (California Historical Society Quarterly) LXIII (Fall 1984), 331-332.
  • Busch (ed.), Alta California, 1840-1842: The Journal and Observations of William Dane Phelps, Master of the Ship “Alert,” Western Historical Quarterly XV (July 1984), 330-331.
  • Lund, American Wildlife Law, Carnivore V (1982), 76-77.
  • Reid, Law for the Elephant: Property and Social Behavior on the Overland Trail, American Journal of Legal History 26 (July 1982), 252-255.
  • Hall, The Politics of Justice: Lower Federal Judicial Selection and the Second Party System, 1829-61, 1981 Detroit College of Law Review 1007-1011.
  • Faragher, Women and Men on the Overland Trail, and Jeffrey, Frontier Women: The Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1880, Nebraska History, 61 (Fall 1980), 374-377.
  • Jackson, A British Ranchero in Old California: The Life and Times of Henry Dalton and the Rancho Azusa, Western Historical Quarterly, X (April 1979), 231-232.
  • Hollon, Frontier Violence: Another Look, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 66 (January 1975), 39-40.

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