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Thomas M. Cooley's editions of Blackstone's Commentaries were the 19th century's "standard editions" of American analyses of the title. "The Commentaries of Mr. Justice Blackstone have now for more than a century been the wonder and delight of persons whose curiosity or interest have led hem to investigate the constitution and laws of Great Britain, the condition of things from which they grew, and the reasons upon which they rest. Lapse of time does not seem to diminish their attractions, or to lesson materially their practical value." Cooley's Preface explains that he came to edit the Commentaries with the awareness that students are likely to make more use of the work than practicing lawyers.


This edition subtitled: "Together with such notes of enduring value as have been published in the several English editions. And also a copious analysis of the contents; and additional notes with references to English and American Decisions and Statutes, to date, which illustrate or change the law of the text; also, a full table of abbreviation and some considerations regarding the study of the law. By Thomas M. Cooley."