The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 1, C.500-c.700

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Paul Fouracre, Rosamond McKitterick, David Abulafia, C. T. Allmand, Timothy Reuter, David Luscombe, Michael Jones, Jonathan Riley-Smith
Cambridge University Press, 1995 - History - 979 pages
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Annotation In 1865, Wild Bill Hickok killed Dave Tutt in a Missouri public square in the West's first notable "walkdown." One hundred and twenty-nine years later, Bernhard Goetz shot four threatening young men in a New York subway car. Apart from gunfire, what could the two events possibly have incommon? Goetz, writes Richard Maxwell Brown, was acquitted of wrongdoing in the spirit of a uniquely American view of self-defense, a view forged in frontier gunfights like Hickok's. When faced with a deadly threat, we have the right to stand our ground and fight. We have no duty to retreat. No Duty to Retreat offers an engrossing account of how this idea of self-defense emerged, focusing in particular on the gunfights of the frontier and their impact on our legal traditions. The right to stand one's ground, Brown tells us, appeared relatively recently. Under English common law, the threatened party had a legal duty to retreat "to the wall" before fighting back. But from the nineteenth century on, such authorities as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes rejected this doctrine as unsuited to both the American mind and the age of firearms. Brown sketches the influence of frontierviolence, demonstrating the tremendous impact of the famous gunmen and the prevalence of what he calls "grassroots gunfighters"--unsung men who resorted to their guns at a moment's notice.
 

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Contents

IX
13
X
35
XI
56
XII
93
XIV
118
XV
140
XVI
162
XVIII
193
XXIX
524
XXX
547
XXXI
571
XXXII
605
XXXIII
639
XXXIV
660
XXXV
675
XXXVI
710

XIX
232
XX
263
XXI
291
XXII
317
XXIII
346
XXIV
371
XXV
397
XXVI
426
XXXVIII
735
XXXIX
760
XL
776
XLI
785
XLII
805
XLIII
911
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Paul Fouracre is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Manchester. His previous publications include Property and Power in the Early Middle Ages (co-edited with Wendy Davies, Cambridge, 1995) and The Age of Charles Martel (2000). He is co-editor of Early Medieval Europe and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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