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Law and English Railway Capitalism 1825-1875
R. W. Kostal
Oxford University Press
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2011-10-20 16:55:37
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Untitled Document

Law and English Railway Capi


By R. W. Kostal.

Paperback, 432 pages, 7x10, 11 illustrations, 3 maps. 1998.

Winner of the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association

"This lively and entertaining historical study examines the impact of English common law and lawyers on the early steam railway industry. Grounded in a wide variety of legal and industrial source materials, the study's analytical narrative chapters examine a range of interactions between early railway capitalism and the evolving culture, doctrine, and procedures of Victorian lawyers. Rande Kostal's study includes an in-depth analysis of the legal ramifications of the great railway manias, law and the infiltration of the English countryside, railway accidents, corporate monopolism, and the organization of England's first corporate legal departments. This superbly crafted interpretation of the profound but ambiguous engagement of common law and lawyering with a dynamic sector of the world's first industrial economy contains much that will be of interest to legal historians as well as railway enthusiasts.


"This is a classic monograph in every respect but one: it is highly entertaining. Carefully researched, well-written, and closely argued,...this lively, engaging book is highly recommended as a vital contribution to a frequently overlooked aspect of railway history."--Railroad History

"Probably the most illuminating study ever done of the legal profession's role in mediating between business enterprise and the state....Impeccable in its research, highly sophisticated in its method, Kostal's book sets a new standard for the study of law in society, showing how the world of law and lawyers, a realm with its own peculiar logic and habits, often interacts with bizarre and perverse effects upon its social and economic environment."--Robert W. Gordon, Yale Law School