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Vermont Historical Society’s latest publication is legally uncommon

— In celebration of its newest publication, "Uncommon Law, Ancient Roads, and Other Ruminations on Vermont Legal History", the Vermont Historical Society will host a book signing on Aug. 20 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Vermont History Museum at 109 State St. in Montpelier.

During the early years Vermonters had to chart their own course in matters of law. The 25 essays collected in this book examine the foundations of legal thought in Vermont, historical issues ranging from log drives to the keeping of sheep to blue laws, the state’s legal luminaries, and contemporary issues including ancient roads and Act 250.

As author Paul Gillies said, “All important issues wind up in court. If only courtrooms could speak, they could tell stories about people and their concerns more lurid, more complicated, and more interesting than you would expect, meeting the people on the street. Public and private turmoils stir up controversies that show us the character of the parties and the integrity of the judicial system, and give us the ability to capture a moment in history otherwise lost to memory.”

Former Gov. James Douglas of Midlebury said, “Paul Gillies is Vermont’s best chronicler of all the twists and turns of our storied past. Here, again, he offers keen insights into the laws that have made our state unique. Everyone interested in how we evolved into such a special place needs to read this book.”

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