University of Mississippi

With great clarity, Gross's book shows how intimately the practice of law in the antebellum U.S. South was interwoven with the practice of slavery. The author conveys this tragic story in terms that provide a vivid picture of that society and also of many of the individuals involved. She has successfully melded diverse approaches toward history-legal, local, social, political, economic, and cultural-while still maintaining a powerful central focus.