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Lee Epstein
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Lee Epsteing Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor
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BEVERLY BLAIR COOK
Published in 1996. In Women In Law, ed. Rebecca Mae Salokar & Mary Volcansek. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Lee Epstein

Introduction

At a roundtable held in her honor, Beverly Blair Cook remarked that a "scientist who receives a prize has a conventional modest disclaimer—'I am standing on the shoulders of giants.' My response to being honored by this panel is to point to two lines of predecessors on whose scholarship I have tried to build. One is a line of male giants; the other a line of female ghosts." She went on to describe the contributions of those "ghosts," Sophonisba Breckrinridge, Alice Paul, and Charlotte Williams.

To be sure, Cook is right: Several women have contributed mightily to the study of law and courts, and their contributions have largely gone ignored or underappreciated at best. Yet, at the same time, Cook's comments are characteristically modest. For, in the general scheme of things, it was Beverly Blair Cook—not Breckrinridge, Paul, or Williams—who paved the way for women in the scientific study of courts and law. No account of the emergence of judicial process within the discipline of political science would be complete without a reckoning of her contributions.

Click here for the chapter (.pdf).