Legal Publishing in Antebellum America presents a history of the law book publishing and distribution industry in the United States. Part business history, part legal history, part history of information diffusion, M. H. Hoeflich shows how various developments in printing and bookbinding, the introduction of railroads, and the expansion of mail service contributed to the growth of the industry from an essentially local industry to a national industry. Furthermore, the book ties the spread of a particular approach to law, that is, the 'scientific approach', championed by Northeastern American jurists to the growth of law publishing and law book selling and shows that the two were critically intertwined.
M. H. Hoeflich is Kane Professor of Law at University of Kansas. He is the author of Roman and Civil Law and the Development of Anglo-American Jurisprudence as well as articles in various journals, including the Journal of Legal History, American Journal of Legal History, Law and History Review, and Law Library Journal. Professor Hoeflich is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and member of the American Law Institute.
Introduction; 1. A bookish profession; 2. Birth of the law book trade; 3. Spreading the word: catalogues and cultivation; 4. Bidding for law books; 5. Risk, subscriptions, and status; 6. John Livingston, esq.: law bookseller as cultural entrepreneur; 7. Conclusion: selling the law in antebellum America.