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Professor Bilder Wins Book Prize

1/18/06—Boston College Law School is pleased to announce that Professor Mary Bilder has won the Littleton-Griswold Prize from the American Historical Association (AHA) for her book The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire (Harvard University Press, 2004). The award was officially announced on January 6, 2006, by Linda K. Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in Liberal Arts & Sciences and President-elect of the American Historical Association.

In presenting the award, the AHA wrote that the Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture and the Empire “brilliantly challenges the orthodoxy that until 1763 English authorities ignored American colonial law. Focusing on the actual practice of imperial law through seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Rhode Island, Bilder argues that legal and political dialogues created a dynamic imperial constitution out of tensions between adherence to English law and acceptance of local deviations not repudiating English law. London then precipitated the Revolution by resolving tension between the two principles in favor of more uniform English law.”

Established in 1985, the Littleton-Griswold Prize is offered annually for the best book in any subject on the history of American law and society. Committee members are John Wunder, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, chair; Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University; Anthony Freyer, University of Alabama; Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania Law School; and Harry N. Scheiber, University of California at Berkeley.

More information on the book
Mary Bilder’s website