Gendered Law in American History is a remarkable compendium of over thirty years of research and teaching in the field. It explores an array of social, cultural, and legal arenas from the turn of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth centuries, including concepts of citizenship at the founding of the republic, the development of married women's property laws, divorce, child custody, temperance, suffrage, domestic and racial violence before and after the Civil War, protective labor legislation, and the use of legal history testimony in legal disputes. It is both an invaluable reference tool and an important new teaching text.
" . . . a new resource offers a comprehensive, elegantly curated collection of primary documents that shed light on a range of the most important themes: Gendered Law in American History by Richard Chused and Wendy Williams. This rich resource—more than 1200 pages—is ideal summer reading for family law enthusiasts! . . . One of the achievements of this monumental book is its constant probing of the relationship between the private law and the public law dimensions of gender rules and debates in 19th Century America. Sometimes these links seem pretty attenuated, but they are always worth asking about, in part because the law school curriculum divides the public law and private law dimensions of the family into separate topics, courses, and bodies of law. The unique collaboration of Chused and Williams, over twenty years of teaching a seminar on Gender and American Legal History at Georgetown together, doubtless made this inquiry possible. We are all the richer for the massive labor they and their students have put into this highly valuable contribution." — Janet Halley, Royall Professor of Law, Harvard Law School in Jotwell.