Radin, Max

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated


RADIN, MAX (1880–1950), U.S. jurist, teacher, and legal historian. Son of Adolph *Radin, he was born in Kempen, Russian Poland. He taught in public schools and then at Columbia University (1918–19). He was professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley from 1919 to 1948. Among his many offices and positions, he was Commissioner on Uniform State Laws for California 1941–48. Upon his death his library went to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Radin's work as a scholar and teacher ranged through law, philosophy, history, linguistics, anthropology, and literature. He was known as one of the chief proponents of "legal realism."

The principal works in which he propagated his views are The Law and You (1947); Stability in Law (1944); Law as Logic and Experience (1940); and The Law and Mr. Smith (1938). His first interest was in the relationship of morals and ethics to commercial occupations. One of his first publications was The Legislation of the Greeks and Romans on Corporations (1909). Related works are Lawful Pursuit of Gain (1931) and Manners and Morals of Business (1939). Radin was deeply concerned with the political events of his time. In The Day of Reckoning (1943), he expounded his thoughts on the war crimes trials, then in the planning stage, and he also wrote on the treatment of the Nisei (American-born citizens of Japanese descent) of California during World War ii. His pervasive interest in legal history found expression in his Handbook of Anglo-American Legal History (1936) and Handbook of Roman Law (1927), and numerous works on Jewish law and history, including: The Life of the People in Biblical Times (1929), The Trial of Jesus of Nazareth (1931), and his unpublished Bibliography of Jewish Law.


American Historical Review, 56 (1950), 58.

[Albert A. Ehrenzweig]