Cover of the first edition of The Common Law.
|Author||Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.|
The book is about common law in the United States, including torts, property, contracts, and crime. It is written as a series of lectures. It has gone out of copyright and is available in full on the web at Project Gutenberg.
One of the most famous aphorisms to be drawn from this book occurs on the first page: "The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience." Holmes's pronouncement is a subtle qualification of a dictum by the famous seventeenth-century English jurist Sir Edward Coke: "Reason is the life of the law."