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I want to speak in this essay about one aspect of the origins of what is often called the law and literature movement in the United States, namely, how it got going. I shall do this by explaining the aims and assumptions of my own early contribution to it in the form of The Legal Imagination (first published in 1973). What I say will thus have some of the features of autobiography, but I hope it will be plain that this story is not really about me but about the state of the culture in which modern law and literature emerged.


Copyright: Modern Language Association, 2011. Reproduced with permission.

Originally published as White, James Boyd. "The Cultural Background of The Legal Imagination." In Teaching Law and Literature, edited by A. Sarat, C. Frank, and M. Anderson, 29-39. New York: Modern Language Association, 2011.