Referred to as the "bible of American lawyers," Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England" shaped the principles of law in both England and America when its first volume appeared in 1765. For the next century that law remained what Blackstone made of it. Daniel J. Boorstin examines why "Commentaries" became the most essential knowledge that any lawyer needed to acquire. Set against the intellectual values of the eighteenth century-and the notions of Reason, Nature, and the Sublime--"Commentaries" is at last fitted into its social setting. Boorstin has provided a concise intellectual history of the time, illustrating all the elegance, social values, and internal contradictions of the Age of Reason.