Click here to read the Introduction to the book

Click here to watch Professor Bernstein discuss the book at the Cato Institute, with comments by Louis Michael Seidman and Gregory Maggs

Click here to listen to a podcast interview with David Bernstein about the book

Click here to read George Will's column about the book

Click here to watch Professor Bernstein discussing the book at a forum with University of Wisconsin Professor Victoria Nourse

Rehabilitating Lochner
ing Individual Rights against Progressive Reform

by David E. Bernstein  

University of Chicago Press

Cloth $45 2011, 216 pages 

Available at a substantial discount from or from the Cato Institute.  An ebook version may be rented for thirty days from the University of Chicago Press for $7.00.

David Bernstein is Foundation Professor at the George Mason University School of Law and author of Only One Place of Redress: African Americans, Labor Regulations, and the Courts from Reconstruction to the New Deal (Duke University Press 2001).

"An exhilarating book full of interesting new perspectives. Rehabilitating Lochner will change the way people think about the transition from the late nineteenth century to the modern New Deal and Civil Rights regime. It does what good revisionist history should do: see what is familiar in new ways."—Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School
"David Bernstein drives home powerfully and convincingly the fact that the supporters of Lochner were the biggest proponents of protecting the personal rights of African Americans, Roman Catholics, and other minorities. Rehabilitating Lochner will have a profound impact on constitutional law scholarship."—William E. Nelson, New York University
"A terrific work of historical revisionism, Rehabilitating Lochner brings out some attractive resonances in libertarian themes associated with the widely disparaged constitutional jurisprudence of the period from 1905 to 1937, and some discordant undertones to the Progressive themes sounded during that period.  It should induce some changes in the way many students and scholars read the cases from that period."—Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School

"The best general survey of the literature of Lochner revisionism."G. Edward White, University of Virginia School of Law

"Rehabilitating Lochner is about a U.S. Supreme Court decision that generations of lawyers and law students have been taught to scorn as the imposition of obsolete economic dogma disguised as constitutional principle. Comes now David E. Bernstein to set the record straight. . . . Not all will find unchallengeable every point the author makes. Yet all will broaden their understanding of our national charter and what the Supreme Court has done with it over the past century or so."—New York Law Journal

"David E. Bernstein takes issue with conventional wisdom and argues that if one understands the larger context and broader stream of historical development, Lochner was a ‘good law’ at the time and, despite the fact that it was overruled, its core principles remain good constitutional law today. This is a delightful and informative book that deserves a broad audience." Malcolm M. Feeley, Choice

Click here to read a review by law professor Glenn Reynolds ("The false narrative of Lochner has controlled the past for decades, but Bernstein’s clear and incisive work may wrest that control away and move us back to the truth.")

Click here to read a review by law professor Scott Gerber ("Rehabilitating Lochner is intellectual history in its highest form.... Bernstein has done nothing less than explode the myth of Lochner.... This is a book that will transform the way constitutional law is understood for years to come.")

Click here to read a review by Claremont Institute fellow Joseph Tartakovsky (Bernstein "attempts the grand task of correcting decades of erroneous accounts and succeeds with aplomb")

Click here to read a review by the Pacific Legal Foundation's Tim Sandefur ("Bernstein's book is an important contribution to understanding not only the Lochner decision itself, but the political and jurisprudential storms that have surrounded it for a century. I recommend it highly.")

Click here to read a review by Damon Root of Reason magazine ("Drawing on both previous legal scholarship and his own extensive historical research, Bernstein offers a definitive account of this misunderstood and unjustly maligned case.")

Click here to read a review by NYU Law School Professor Richard Epstein ("Bernstein takes on the task of demonstrating that the conventional denunciation of Lochner is both inaccurate and unfair. By dint of his hard work and meticulous research, we can say, Mission Accomplished!)

Click here to read a review by attorney Tom Bowden (“A serious and significant work of historical revisionism. ... Rehabilitating Lochner belongs on the short list of works that effectively debunk myths clinging to important Supreme Court cases.”)

Click here to read a review by attorney Jacob Huebert ("Rehabilitating Lochner does what it sets out to do very well. It places Lochner in its historical context, telling us where it came from, what it actually did, who attacked it, and what those people believed. . . . I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.")

Click here to read a review by political scientist George Thomas (“Bernstein is wonderfully successful in situating the logic of the Lochner opinion and the particulars of the case in historical perspective.”)

Click here to read a review by historian Ted McAllister ("amazingly rich given the brevity of the book... [Bernstein’s] analysis is not only impressive but suggestive of much deeper issues about historical understanding.")

Click here to read a review by Princeton constitutional scholar Keith Whittington (“a fine contribution to the ongoing revisionist literature on the Lochner era of constitutional jurisprudence”)

Click here to read a review in the Harvard Law Review ("Bernstein provides a convincing historical account of Lochner that challenges many of the negative narratives that have caused Lochner to become a quintessential anticanonical case.") 


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