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A Life of H L A Hart: the nightmare and the noble dream

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Nicola Lacey|
Oxford University Press (1 September 2004)

To generations of lawyers, H L A Hart is known as the twentieth century's greatest legal philosopher. Whilst his scholarship revolutionised the study of law, as a social commentator he gave the intellectual impetus to the liberalising of society in the 1960s. But behind the public success, Hart struggled with demons. His Jewish background, ambivalent sexuality, and unconventional marriage all fuelled his psychological complexity; allegations of espionage, though immediately quashed, nearly destroyed him. Nicola Lacey's biography explores the forces that shaped an extraordinary life.

Nicola Lacey is professor of criminal law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and adjunct professor of social and political theory at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. 


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Press cuttings

BA shortlists books, p4 (18 Nov 05)
The British Academy has announced the shortlist for its 2005 book prize. Professor Nicola Lacey, LSE Law Department is among the short listed candidates with her book A Life of HLA Hart: the nightmare and the noble dream.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
A Philosopher's Humanity (10 June 05)
Review of Nicola Lacey's A Life of H.L.A. Hart: the nightmare and the noble dream. In it, Lacey, a professor of legal theory at LSE, accurately describes Hart (1907-92), holder of the Oxford Chair of Jurisprudence from 1952 to 1968, as "the preeminent English-speaking philosopher of law of the 20th century," the man who "more or less reinvented the philosophy of law, reviving the English positivist and utilitarian tradition." 

Times Online
The troubles life of a tormented man and brilliant legal philosopher (22 March 05)
Book review. A Life of L.A.Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream is the vibrant biography of the father of modern legal philosophy by Nicola Lacey, professor of criminal law and legal theory at LSE.