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Victoria Saker Woeste
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Victoria Saker Woeste is research professor at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, where she has been in residence since 1994. She received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was a student in Berkeley's pioneering Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program. Her first book, The Farmer's Benevolent Trust (North Carolina, 1998), examined farmers' marketing movements in the early 20th century and how they changed corporation law, antitrust, and equal protection to give farmers the same economic rights as industrial workers and capitalists. That book won the J. Willard Hurst Prize for the best book in socio-legal history from the Law and Society Association in 2000. Her work on the legal history of agriculture led her to become interested in Aaron Sapiro's libel lawsuit against Henry Ford in 1927, which was rooted in Ford's jealous belief that he, and no one else, should speak for America's farmers. She spent thirteen years conducting research and writing about the Sapiro/Ford trial and in the process uncovered startling new sources that tied Ford and his employees to every facet of the legal process throughout the case. Henry Ford’s War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech was published by Stanford University Press in June, 2012. Woeste was awarded several national grants in support of her work, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, a Rabbi Prinz Memorial Fellowship from the American Jewish Archives, and a Franklin Research Prize from the American Philosophical Foundation. In addition to her research appointment at the ABF, she has taught at Amherst College, Northwestern University Law School, Indiana University (Indianapolis) Law School, Cairo University, Egypt. She lives in West Lafayette, Indiana, with her husband, Keith, and their four children.

Entries by Victoria Saker Woeste

'I'm Shocked, SHOCKED, to Find That Gambling Is Going on Here'

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 12:17 AM

Amid the uproar over Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), its supporters declare that they never anticipated the critical outcry that has greeted the law's passage. In statements that echo the incredulity of the French prefect of police in the movie Casablanca, they have professed...

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Apologies and Atonement

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 3:16 PM

Almost daily, public figures, politicians, actors, and even celebrity chefs parade before us asking forgiveness for misdeeds and ill-chosen words. The ritual is an exercise in public shaming; the goal is to attain public rehabilitation.

How the intended audience understands and judges these apologies results from an interplay between...

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Henry Ford: Behind the Myth

(153) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 3:58 PM

With new revelations about unprecedented levels of domestic spying by the Obama administration, many Americans are reimagining the president in whom they once invested great hopes. While it is too soon to know how history will judge the Obama administration, we do know that if you repeat a lie often...

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