Readers coming to another volume by Lawrence Friedman might well expect a tightly crafted legal history. But this book is quite different. It offers a sweeping account of the transformation of modern law, a synoptic overview of what is finally distinctive about our legal culture, even a broadbrushed portrait of Western individualism. It does so breathlessly, in prose style and velocity. It's sometimes an engaging read, sometimes a distressing one, but-and here's what really matters-never a persuasive one. Or, worse yet, when it is persuasive it's because of its poetic and ideological features, not any kind of rigorous analysis.
Herzog, Donald J. "I Hear a Rhapsody: A Reading of The Republic of Choice." Review of The Republic of Choice: Law, Authority, and Culture, by L. M. Friedman. Law & Soc. Inquiry 17 (1992): 147-58.