Book Review Old Fields, New Corn. Erwin N. Griswold, 1992, West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minn., Pp. 444, $27.95

Pages352
CitationVol. 67 Pg. 352
Publication year2021
Connecticut Bar Journal
Volume 67.

67 CBJ 352. BOOK REVIEW OLD FIELDS, NEW CORN. Erwin N. Griswold, 1992, West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minn., pp. 444, $27.95




352


BOOK REVIEW
OLD FIELDS, NEW CORN. Erwin N. Griswold, 1992, West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minn., pp. 444, $27.95

When Sir Edward Coke wrote the first volume of his Commentaries back in the year 1600, little did he know or expect that his pungent remark, "Out of ould fields must spring and grow the new Come," would become the title for the autobiography of one of our generation's most famous lawyers. Dean Griswold subtitles this volume "the personal memoirs of a twentieth century lawyer" but it is much more. Those who studied under him at Harvard Law School as well as younger lawyers, and Americans - whether or not lawyers - who enjoy reading about history told by someone "who was there" will find delight in this book.

Erwin Griswold is a man of tremendous vitality. This July he observes his 88th birthday, and the organizations to which he lends his assistance and advice are numerous, not to mention the fact that he remains an active lawyer with Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D. C.

Reading of his rather modest upbringing in East Cleveland, Ohio, his early fascination with stamp collecting (it "gave me a world view"(fn1)) which prompted him to subscribe to McKeel's Weekly Stamp News for over 70 years, his hobby in visiting interesting state boundary junctions, and his very simplistic exposition of his attitudes on many subjects, you would not imagine that this is the man who will later in life fraternize with supreme court justices and leaders in legal communities here and abroad.

He states his viewpoints on various issues quite directly and succinctly. Placed in juxtaposition, some might appear rather startling. For example, Dean Griswold responded to a request for assistance from the then legal director of the NAACP (and, later, Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall; the Dean testified that a segregated law school could not be equal. He pointed out that an effective legal education depended in large measure on self-education with interchanges among students from a cross-section of the community.(fn2) On the other hand, Dean Griswold defends his membership in Burning Tree Club, an all-male golf club in Washington, saying "despite my great and real interest in nondiscrimination, this has not bothered me .... I do not find...

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