The Measure of Injury, Race, Gender, and Tort Law by Martha Chamallas & Jennifer B. Wriggins ?. This book helps define some new ways of thinking about injustice embedded in tort law and how to remedy it. Who knew that tort law could be so riveting? The authors seem to be pulling us from what the psychologist Daniel Kahneman calls “fast thinking” to a more reasoned, more complex “slow thinking,” where we consider information from a wide field, rather than depend just on precedent, and where we learn to hold up stereotypical intuitions to the light of day. The authors put the struggle for progress for women and racial minorities in tort actions in a broad context. For instance, a black might get a different result from a white in a court ruling because judges and jurors see a troubling or painful event in the black person’s life as normal and to be expected whereas they see the same event in a white person’s life as catastrophic or at least extraordinary.
The authors place the evolution of race and gender in tort actions in a historic context. At the turn of the twentieth century, when women did not even have the vote, their standing in court was limited and any emotional or nonpecuniary harm was essentially not valued or only valued insofar as it affected the husband. Remnants of these attitudes have persisted. Blacks were viewed disparagingly by judges; there was a clear double standard. The book explains their points in English and not in the incomprehensible language I find in my will. The Measure of Injurycomplements Fast Forward, which advocates for more female judges, certainly a good idea.
The Measure of Injury is tightly reasoned. I enjoyed the scope and clear love of justice behind the measured thought.