Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

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Oxford University Press, Mar 1, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 176 pages
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Known as the "Great Dissenter," Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. wrote some of the most eloquent opinions in the history of the United States Supreme Court. A brilliant legal mind who served on the high court into his nineties, Holmes was responsible for some of the most important judicial opinions of the twentieth century. Now, in this superb short biography, G. Edward White offers readers a lively, informative portrait of this singular individual. The book first sketches Holmes's early years--his childhood in Boston, his undergraduate years at Harvard (which his father and both grandfathers also attended), and his valiant service in the Civil War, during which he was severely wounded three times. After the war, Holmes went into private law practice, wrote his landmark treatise The Common Law in 1881, had a short tenure on the Harvard Law School faculty, and spent 20 years as a judge on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts before being named to the U.S. Supreme Court. The author focuses on his remarkable 30-year service as a Supreme Court Justice, beginning in 1902, and details Holmes's most significant cases--Abrams v. United States, Northern Securities Co. v. United States, Lochner v. New York, Schenck v. United States, and others--which limited working hours, set a mandatory minimum wage, protected women's rights, legalized labor unions, and defined freedom of speech. These decisions--as well as The Common Law--are highly regarded to this day. A new volume in the Lives and Legacy series, this marvelous short biography offers an ideal introduction to a towering figure in American law.
 

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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES: Sage of the Supreme Court

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This entry in the Oxford Portraits series is both very good and very useful. White presents a clear biography of the Supreme Court justice who served in the Civil War, studied law, and lived long in ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUE
1
THE FAMILY LEGACY
5
OUR HEARTS WERE TOUCHED WITH FIRE THE CIVIL WAR YEARS
17
THE PRACTICAL STRUGGLE OF LIFE BECOMING A LAWYER AND A JUDGE
27
THE QUIET YEARS
49
A MORE IMPORTANT AND MORE VISIBLE COURT
61
A NEW AND SOLEMN VOLUME OPENS
71
AN UNLIKELY REFORMER
88
TOWARD MELANCHOLY THE RETIREMENT YEARS
121
EPILOGUE
133
NOTES
139
CHRONOLOGY
151
FURTHER READING
153
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
155
INDEX
157
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
162

THE YANKEE FROM OLYMPUS
101

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About the author (2006)

G. Edward White is David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. His books include Oliver Wendell Holmes: Law and the Inner Self, Alger Hiss's Looking Glass Wars, and several other works of biography and law.

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