Harold J. Berman on Rosenstock-Huessy
The Social Science Research Network articles by Mr. Berman may be found here.
Harold J. Berman (February 13, 1918 – November 13, 2007) was one of Rosenstock-Huessy’s first undergraduate students at Dartmouth College. Berman graduated in 1938 and went on to receive a master’s degree and Juris Doctor from Yale University in 1942 and 1947, respectively. (Fom 1942 to 1945, he served as a cryptographer in the U.S. Army and received the Bronze Star for his service.) Berman became a recognized expert in Soviet law; he was the Story Professor of Law and the James Barr Ames Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he taught from 1948 to 1985 and again in 1986 and 1989; in retirement, Berman became a fellow at the Carter Center and the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University. He wrote twenty-five books and more than 400 articles.
His prize-winning book Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (1983) has been published in German, French, Chinese, Russian, Polish, Spanish, Italian, and Lithuanian translations. The law journal Constitutional Commentary described Law And Revolution as “the standard point of departure for work in the field” of Western legal history. Berman published the first of a planned series of sequels, Law and Revolution, II: The Impact of the Protestant Reformations on the Western Legal Tradition in 2003. In both books Berman acknowledged his debt to Rosenstock-Huessy’s philosophy of history and the divisions of historical epochs laid out in Out of Revolution; he also dedicated his 1974 book “The Interaction of Law and Religion” to his former teacher.
On his death, The New York Times characterized Berman as “a scholar … whose forceful scholarship altered thinking about Western law’s origins.”