Vanderbilt Law Review


Dale A. Whitman

First Page



Most book reviews attempt to analyze the subject matter of the book under review. Casebooks, however, serve different purposes than other books; they are teaching tools that are useful only in the hands of an effective teacher. The editors of Modern Property Law are law teachers, and so am I. The purpose of this book review is to offer, as a professor of law, a personal view of this property casebook and to consider how it would function in the classroom. I have not yet used the book in my own property course because at the time of this writing the book has been available for only a few weeks. Therefore, the present comments are necessarily speculative, although I like the casebook and expect to use it in the future. Professors Bruce, Ely, and Bostick have produced a first-year property casebook that contains several innovative features, the most apparent of which is the length of the book. Many current property casebooks have expanded as they have progressed through successive editions and now contain far more material than a professor reasonably could expect to cover in the usual first-year course. With this book's length of approximately one thou-sand pages, full coverage in a six-credit course' is at least conceivable. The book is long enough, however, to give the individual instructor some flexibility in deciding what portions should be eliminated. This review will analyze the content of the casebook,its pedagogical technique, and the teacher's manual.