April 2007 Vol. 105 No. 6 THE REVIEW

Waller: Thurman Arnold: A Biography

Mark Fenster

The Folklore of Legal Biography

Thurman Arnold: A Biography. By Spencer Weber Waller. New York and London: New York University Press. 2005. Pp. xi, 273. $40.

What types of lawyers are most worthy of a professional biography? The question requires one to pose a threshold for biographical worthiness, and here is mine: a legal professional whose practice or career path has resulted in a life that even non-family members would find interesting and important. Judging by a list of memorable legal biographies, the types of lawyers most eminently biographable are influential judges, political lawyers (including those who become politicians), great trial lawyers (especially criminal trial lawyers),  a few very significant government officials, and the grand legal academics who define a generation’s scholarship.

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