The full text of this Essay may be found by clicking the PDF link below.
During periods of apparent social dissolution the traditionalists, the true believers, the defenders of the status quo, turn to the past with an interest quite as obsessive as that of the radicals, the reformers, and the revolutionaries. What the true believers look for, and find, is proof that, once upon a time, things were as we should like them to be: the laws of economics worked; the streams of legal doctrine ran sweet and pure; order, tranquility, and harmony governed our society. Their message is: turn back and all will be well.
Grant Gilmore, The Ages of American Law 92 (2d ed. 2014) (citation omitted).
* Dwight Professor of Law, Columbia Law School. I would like to thank Jessica Bulman-Pozen, Jeremy Kessler, David Pozen, Reva Siegel, and the staff of the Harvard Law Review for thoughtful comments on earlier drafts.