Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture [Paperback]
Marc Galanter (Author)
Publication Date: 15 Oct 2006
What do you call 600 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? Marc Galanter calls it an opportunity to investigate the meanings of a rich and time-honored genre of American humor. “Lowering the Bar” analyzes hundreds of jokes from Mark Twain classics to contemporary anecdotes about Dan Quayle, Johnnie Cochran, and Kenneth Starr. Drawing on representations of law and lawyers in the mass media, political discourse, and public opinion surveys, Galanter finds that the increasing reliance on law coexists uneasily with anxiety about the “legalization” of society. Always entertaining, his book explores the tensions between American’s deep-seated belief in the law and their ambivalence about lawyers.
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; New edition edition (15 Oct 2006)
Product Dimensions: 25 x 18 x 2 cm
“Hilarious and philosophical at the same time, a nifty probe of the genre, regularly guilty of wise humor.” – Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer “I never realized how funny and serious lawyer jokes could be. Galanter does to lawyer jokes what Freud did to Jewish jokes in his classic Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious, but sometimes a good joke is just a good joke.” – Alan Dershowitz, author of Rights from Wrongs “This book should be on every folklorist’s and lawyer’s shelf, although the latter may want to put it in a plain brown wrapper.” – Jan Harold Brunvand, author of Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The Book of Scary Urban Legends “Anyone who finds lawyer jokes humorous (including most lawyers) or has always wondered about how and why they became so popular will very much enjoy this ‘lowering of the bar.'” – Alan J. Couture, ForeWord Magazine”
About the Author
Marc Galanter is the John and Rylla Bosshard Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and Centennial Professor in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science.