Common Law
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Book cover image

Narrated By: Robert Morris

Duration: 12 hours and 53 minutes

What to expect

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., is considered one of the greatest justices of the United States Supreme Court and profoundly influenced American jurisprudence, especially in the areas of civil liberties and judicial restraint. At the same time, his abilities as a prose stylist earned him a position among the literary elite.

In The Common Law, derived from a series of lectures given at the Lowell Institute in Boston, he systematized his early legal doctrines, creating an enduring classic of legal philosophy that continues to be read and consulted today. Beginning with historical forms of liability, it goes on to discuss criminal law, torts, bail, possession and ownership, contracts, successions, and many other aspects of civil and criminal law. This is a lucid, accessible, and continually relevant sourcebook for students and laymen alike.


Systems of law: common law, Constitution, Legal ethics and professional conduct, Jurisprudence and general issues, Legal history, Jurisprudence and general issues, Reference works, Politics and government

Listen to a sample

“This book is a classic in the sense that its stock of ideas has been absorbed and become a part of common juristic thought…They placed law in a perspective which legal scholarship ever since has merely confirmed.”

Felix Frankfurter, New York Times bestselling author of Of Law and Men

“This famous book…resembles a necklace of splendid diamonds…[Holmes’] learning is always gracefully deployed and never degenerates into pedantry…It is amazing that so much could have been amassed by a man of thirty.”

New York Review of Books

“A landmark in intellectual history.”