The law has traditionally been regarded as a set of rules and institutions. In this thoughtful series of essays, James Boyd White urges a fresh view of the law as an essentially literary, rhetorical, and ethical activity. Defining and elaborating his conception, he artfully bridges the fields of jurisprudence, literature, philosophy, history, and political science. The result, a new approach that may change the way we perceive the legal process, will engage not only lawyers and law students but anyone interested in the relationship between ethics, persuasion, and community.
White’s essays, though bound by a common perspective, are thematically varied. Each of these pieces makes eloquent and insightful reading. Taken as a whole, they establish, by triangulation, a position from which they all proceed: a view of poetry, law, and rhetoric as essentially synonymous. Only when we perceive the links between these processes, White stresses, can we begin to unite the concerns of truth, beauty, and justice in a single field of action and expression.