Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Truth has regained a strong voice in American legal scholarship. Like a groggy patient slowly emerging from a traumatic operation, legal theory is being coaxed back to consciousness by Dan Farber and Suzanna Sherry. They are fighting the debilitating illness of radical multiculturalism and its attendant relativism; they proclaim that the cure can be found in the power of truth, the force or reason, and the integrity of the word. Unfortunately, the patient is unlikely to recover while in the care of Farber and Sherry, even though their operation must be judged a success on its own terms. By equating “reason” with “truth,” Farber and Sherry make a diagnostic error that one might expect from the country doctors who embrace right-wing legal ideologies but which is unforgivable for such talented and level-headed practitioners. Consequently, a tale foretold emerges from the Oxford University Press as predictably as the changing season: Rationality is deployed against emotional appeals, and truth is championed against relativism. It’s déjà vu, all over again.

Publication Citation

10 Yale J.L. & Human. 605 (1998)