Mark Pulliam has a thoughtful review of Stephen presser's interesting new book that uses a series of biographical sketches of law professors (some of whom want on to bigger and better things, such as Barack Obama) to muse about the evolution of American legal thought:
Law Professors is an exceptionally fine book—written in a sprightly style, well-illustrated, logically organized, and containing (as befits a scholarly tome) a detailed index. Displaying an easy but encyclopedic mastery of legal history, Presser covers American law from its English common law roots to the present, using as his pedagogical tool chapter-length sketches of influential legal figures (all of whom served at some point as law professors). He chronologically profiles in this manner 20 individuals, from Sir William Blackstone to former President Barack Obama. ...
He does point out in the present volume that the legal academy has been, and remains, very influential in our society and that the “law professoriate,” as he calls it, has become “highly politicized.” The law professors who have entered politics and have gone to the top—one thinks of a certain ex-president, and a certain Massachusetts Senator who’s expected to someday run for that office—are decidedly on the Left. This is no surprise given that legal faculties are overwhelmingly comprised of liberal Democrats, and the legal scholarship they produce tends, in Presser’s words, “to undermine or radically alter our most basic constitutional and political beliefs.”
I'm part way through it and am loving it. Highly recommended.