The Country Lawyer
Essays in Democracy
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
168 pages, 140.00 x 203.00 x 0.00 mm
- ISBN: 9781512808827
- Published: January 1938
These finely tempered reflections of a small city lawyer restate, in a graceful and informal manner, the true meaning of law and government to ordinary men. F. Lyman Windolph, for twenty-five years a prominent attorney in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has handled almost every kind of legal case in his career, and through his close association with his clients he has gained an understanding of their lives and problems which, coupled with his wide legal knowledge, and alert sense of the social questions of the present, gives his essays a disarming and reassuring tone.
Lawyers especially will enjoy his discussion of his experience with various cases and the more general topics of the value of the jury system, the difference between city and country trials, the ethics of defending guilty clients. But all will find the chapters on the meaning of democracy and liberalism and the indirect picture which the book gives of the day-by-day life in a small American community richly rewarding. In the last instance, two final essays—one on the Pennsylvania Dutch religious sects and "A Letter to My Father"—are particularly delightful. Several of the chapters have previously been published in the Atlantic Monthly and other magazines.
"Without quarreling about minims, let the law lords of our zikkurats envy this man's memories. They are not only of consultations, hearings, trials, wills. He recalls long buggy rides to sales, cheerful talks of men and books, half the countryside at the auction, 'road views,' where a keg of beer was as necessary as the presence of the 'viewers'—a whole ended chapter of rural life. A land of traditions, of hereditary professions, easygoing . . . A kind man and a wise, learned, companionable, observant, philosophic, is unconsciously depicted by the writer."—The New York Times
"Should interest all social minds upward from high average . . . the reader pauses, rereads, affirms, and denies throughout the volume; and this is lively recommendation."—The Commonweal