Through a critical study of Shaw's opinions, Levy sheds light on how his peers perceived rights, duties, and liabilities, the roles of government, and the nature of law itself. Overall, the opinions of Justice Shaw illuminate how liberty and order were comparatively valued, which interests were deemed important enough to secure in legal moorings, and where the points of social tension, growth, and power were rooted.
"Portrays brilliantly the way in which the Shaw court worked creatively and with sweeping impact on American law and the economy."--Harry N. Scheiber, University of California, Berkeley, Law School
"One of the best written and most provocative works in American legal history....Should be read by everyone seriously interested in the field."--S.B. Presser and J.S. Zainaldin, Law and American History
"The best judicial biography of Shaw."--Paul Sinkelman, State University of New York, Binghamton
"The author proceeds to unfold a remarkably deep knowledge of those parts of the law with which he is dealing. The book is in many ways a model of legal biography....Warmly recommended to to all students of American constitutional and legal history."--The Modern Law Review
"Levy's beautifully-written portrait of Shaw evokes the man as well as the issues his court confronted. Shaw is an exceptional judge whose record opens a window onto 19th-century social and economic relations."--Victoria Saker, Amherst College