Synopses & Reviews
with a new introduction by the author
foreword by THOMAS EMERSON
"A thought-provoking interpretation of the role of the legal ideology in the bourgeoisie's ascendance to state power."
--Harvard Law Review
Originally published in 1977 and translated into Spanish, Portugese, Greek, and Chinese, Law and the Rise of Capitalism examines the role of law and lawyers in the European bourgeoisie's conquest of power. From the scattered urban uprisings of the eleventh century to the English and French revolutions, Michael Tigar traces this history using charters, letters, statutes, and other primary sources.
Against a backdrop of seven hundred years of bourgeois struggle, Tigar weaves a Marxist theory of law and jurisprudence based upon the Western experience. Contradicting R.H. Tawney and Max Weber, he shows that the legal theory of the insurgent bourgeoisie predated the Protestant Reformation and was a major ideological ingredient of the bourgeois revolution and also helps explain today's revolutionary movements.
In a compelling new introduction, Tigar discusses the struggle for human rights in the historical context of the past two decades, drawing on his own experiences as a fighter for democratic rights in the United States, Europe and South Africa.
About the Author
MICHAEL E. TIGAR is Edwin A. Mooers Scholar and Professor of Law at Washington College of Law, American University. His individual clients have included Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, the Seattle 7, the Chicago 8, Fernando Chavez, Rosalio Munoz, Major Debra Meeks, Allen Ginsberg, Terry Lynn Nichols and Francisco Martinez.