Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Information

Chad M. Oldfather, Oral History and the Study of the Judiciary, 78 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 846 (2010) (Book Review)

Source Publication

78 George Washington Law Review 846 (2010)


This essay, which is a review of William Domnarski’s “Federal Judges Revealed” (Oxford University Press, 2008), explores the usefulness of oral history as a vehicle for understanding the judiciary. “Federal Judges Revealed” presents the insights gleaned from a study of over 100 oral histories given by Article III judges, ranging across the span of the judges’ lives. The essay first explores the methodological strengths and weaknesses of oral history as a general matter, and then further develops the analysis through a review of three oral histories given by the late Seventh Circuit Judge Thomas Fairchild. The essay then turns specifically to Domnarski’s book, outlining the ways in which it contributes to our understanding of judges and the judiciary.

Included in

Law Commons