This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Professor Herbert Wechsler, one of the greatest criminal law scholars in American history. When I first met Professor Wechsler (in the spring of 1951, in my first year of law school), I was struck by how old he seemed at the time and how young he actually was (forty-two). One reason he appeared to be much older than his age was that he was such a stem, imposing figure. Another reason was that he had already accomplished so much. At the age of twenty-eight, he had co-authored (with his much older colleague, Jerome Michael) an overpowering two-part article on the law of homicide, probably the longest article, and certainly the most significant one, ever written on the subject.' At the age of thirty-one, he had co-authored (again with Jerome Michael) a monumental casebook on criminal law.2 (Evidently Professors Michael and Wechsler began their joint work on the book immediately after Wechsler completed his clerkship with Justice Harlan Fiske Stone and returned to Columbia Law School.3 ) In an essay review of the casebook, David Riesman, at the time a University of Buffalo Law School professor, but soon to become a renowned sociologist, lavished much praise on the authors. At last, he reported, two professors had "tackle[d] the job of social science integration" in methodical and tangible material to be used in teaching in a particular field.4 Michael and Wechsler, continued Riesman, "make law a social science by being steadily comparative, legislative, and jurisprudential-drawing upon the resources of the other social sciences to explain comparisons, assist legislation, and give content to jurisprudence. 5
Kamisar, Yale. "I Remember Professor Wechsler." Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 7, no. 1 (2009): 249-55.