The Winner of the 2022 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History is The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequences in Revolutionary America by John Wood Sweet
In this riveting and exhaustively researched account of one of the first rape trials, The Sewing Girl’s Tale brilliantly surveys the intersection of gender and class biases in its vivid portrayal of the social, cultural, and economic life of 1790s Manhattan and exposes the tensions between the democratic ideals of the new republic and the persistence of oppression of women and the working classes. In recreating the long-ago world of Lanah Sawyer, the aggrieved seamstress, John Wood Sweet provides an inspiring example of how disadvantaged persons can challenge injustices and shape their destinies in the face of great obstacles. – W.G.R.
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The Finalist of the 2022 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History is Democratic Justice: Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court, and the Making of the Liberal Establishment by Brad Snyder
In his exhaustively researched, deftly written, and timely biography of Felix Frankfurter, Brad Snyder helps us make sense of an often misunderstood and mischaracterized member of the modern Supreme Court. At a moment when the Court holds far less promise as an engine of social reform, Democratic Justice: Felix Frankfurter, the Supreme Court, and the Making of the Liberal Establishment paints a picture of a jurist whose ideology we are only now more fully equipped to appreciate. – D.S.