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Victoria Saker Woeste

Victoria Saker Woeste was educated at the University of Virginia (B.A.) and the University of California at Berkeley (M.A., Ph.D.), where she trained as an interdisciplinary academic in law and social science.  Since joining the American Bar Foundation in 1994, she has established herself as a leading scholar in the field of U.S. legal history, specifically twentieth century business regulation and political economy.  Her first book, The Farmer’s Benevolent Trust, won the Law and Society Association’s J. Willard Hurst Prize in 2000; in dissertation form it was awarded the 1993 Herman Krooss Prize of the Business History Conference.

Her current work is Suing Henry Ford:  America’s First Hate Speech Case, an explosive re-telling of a familiar episode in American history:  the 1927 libel lawsuit against Henry Ford and his antisemitic newspaper.  This study opens previously unexplored vistas into the history of the legal profession, the history of hate speech, and the history of civil rights activism.  Other projects include a biographical study of the civil rights lawyer Louis Marshall (1856-1929) and a study of the relationship between farm size, farm ownership (including racial and gender factors), and agricultural monopoly after World War II.

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