A lively, wide-ranging meditation on human development that offers surprising lessons for the future of modern individualism, The Rule of the Clan examines the constitutional principles and cultural institutions of kin-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern Pakistan.
In the absence of a healthy state, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril.
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2013.
“A highly revealing study with global implications.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Accessible, mesmerizing, and compelling.” — New York Journal of Books
Picador paperback to be published March 4, 2014.
A sweeping history of American ideas of civic belonging, told through the stories of fourteen legal cases that helped shape the nation. Combining riveting narrative with interdisciplinary analysis, Black Trials offers a new way of thinking about inclusion and citizenship—and about the meaning of America itself. Winner of the Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association. Published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2004.
“From the annals of our judiciary and the shards of human lives, Mark Weiner recreates more knowingly and vividly than anyone the evolving experience of blacks before the law, the experience that has compelled us to reexamine again and again what it is to be a citizen.”—William E. Nelson, Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law, New York University
“Black Trials performs the extraordinary feat of being both a compelling read for a general audience and a significant contribution to scholarship. By bringing alive fascinating legal cases involving black Americans, Weiner shows how real racial progress has been won—but also how African-Americans are still not a ‘people of law’ like all others.” —Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
Americans Without Law shows how the racial boundaries of civic life are based on widespread perceptions about the relative capacity of minority groups for legal behavior—what I call “juridical racialism.” The book follows the history of this civic discourse by examining the legal status of four minority groups in four successive historical periods: American Indians in the 1880s, Filipinos after the Spanish-American War, Japanese immigrants in the 1920s, and African Americans in the 1940s and 1950s. Winner of the President’s Book Award of the Social Science History Association. Published by New York University Press in 2006.