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A consideration of the role that the books reviewed in this edition will play in the future of American legal thought has led me to speculate about the transmission of ideas into acts and about the role of books in that transmission. In certain arenas, tracing an idea from its origins to its ultimate application is straightforward. For example, the evolution of Germany's Schlieffen plan for invading France can be traced with little difficulty from the circumstances responsible for its birth, through years of refinement, to its eventual application in World War I. The development and acceptance of a medical innovation such as a new drug or type of treatment provides another useful illustration. One can easily reach back to an innovation's origins in basic scientific research and development and trace its progress through applied research, clinical investigation and gradual acceptance by practitioners.