Through a series of historical analyses, Friedman explores the relationship between the legal system and the development of modern science and technology. The scientific revolution produced major changes in culture; and these in turn led to changes in government and law. The book covers, among other topics, the transportation revolution; the camera and the entertainment industry; the “germ theory” and its influence on modern society; and the role of culture and technology in the sexual revolution.
Lawrence M. Friedman is the Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford University. He is a leading historian of American law, and a leading scholar associated with the law and society movement. He is the author or editor of more than 30 books on these subjects.
Chapter 1. The Iron Horse: Railroads and Society
Chapter 2. The Automotive Society
Chapter 3. A World Made of Images
Chapter 4. The Entertainment World
Chapter 5. What the Eye Cannot See
Chapter 6. The People, Yes
Chapter 7. Out of the Closet
Chapter 8. Number Thy Days
Chapter 9. The Dark Side
Friedman is one of America's foremost legal historians. Once again with his trademark clear analysis and readily understandable examples, he has shown readers how law changes, this time in response to scientific and technological developments. Engaging, informative, and thought provoking.
Why does the law change? In a discussion that is somehow both erudite and fun to read, drawing on case studies ranging from cars to cameras to vaccines, Lawrence Friedman persuasively suggests that technological developments lead to cultural transformations, which in turn produce changes in the law. Anyone interested in the relationship between law and technology will want to read this book.
Friedman has written a wonderful book that investigates the intertwined nature of law, science and technology, and the role played by law in a modern complex society. As is true for all Friedman’s books, he presents a social history that is accessible to lay persons as well as legal history devotees. As a reader, you are drawn in by the stories that shed light on dramatic cultural and legal change.
Written in lively prose and fun to read, this book provides a fascinating tour of the close connections between science, technology, culture, and law. Lawrence Friedman draws on his encyclopedic knowledge to touch on virtually every significant aspect of society that plays out in law, from cars, to movies, to germs, to sexual intimacy, and much more. It is a masterpiece of law and society scholarship.