In a little over two hundred years, American legal thought moved from premodernism through modernism and into postmodernism. This book charts that intellectual voyage, stressing both the historical contexts in which ideas unfolded and the inherent force of the ideas themselves.Author Stephen M. Feldman first defines "premodernism," "modernism," and "postmodernism," then explains the development of American legal thought through these three intellectual periods. His narrative revolves around two broad, interrelated themes: jurisprudential foundations and the notion ofprogress. He points out that much of American legal thought has grappled with the problem of identifying the foundations of the American judicial system and judicial decision making. The various ideas of jurisprudential foundations, moreover, are closely tied to shifting notions of progress-thedefinition of the term, assumptions about the possibility of progress, and hopes about how law might contribute to it.This book's broad historical sweep and its clear explanations of the competing theoretical positions of current legal scholarship make it indispensable to students and scholars of jurisprudence and American legal history.