Jessica Shoemaker, ‘The Truth About Property’

This essay reviews Gregory Ablavsky’s Federal Ground: Governing Property and Violence in the First US Territories (Oxford University Press, 2021), which explores the origins of the modern American property system and federal jurisdiction and sovereignty more generally. This essay emphasizes how Ablavsky’s more nuanced retelling of America’s property creation story can suggest important insights about the nature of property relations today – including important lessons about how property systems emerge and evolve, how property choices entrench inequities across geography and generations, and what might be lost in the continuing homogenization of how we even imagine and conceive of what property, land, and community relations can be.

Shoemaker, Jessica A, The Truth About Property (November 17, 2021). Michigan Law Review, forthcoming.

First posted 2021-11-30 13:00:53

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