Lawyers played many different roles in the design, development, and maintenance of democratic government in the United States, and American Lawyers contains vignettes of the participation of hundreds of lawyers in diverse events of significance that occurred between 1775 and 2000. This book is an exploration of where our current laws come from, who played a role in creating them, and whether or not these law serve our country's culture in the best way possible.
It was not accidental that every person elected President of the United States before 1920 was a lawyer except for a few military heroes. This book explores possible causes of some decline in the public roles of lawyers. Are the lawyers of today concerned only with their own personal status and wealth? Throughout history, the worth of private wealth and status has depended on the willingness of many citizens to contribute to the public good shared by all.
Paul D. Carrington is a professor of law at Duke University and is a native of Dallas, Texas.