While George Fletcher's book, Rethinking Criminal Law, is justly celebrated as the most widely cited and influential book on criminal law, his articles and essays have been comparatively overlooked. But it is in these essays where Fletcher hones and polishes the themes of Rethinking as well as advances new ground. They are critical in understanding the evolution of his views on criminal law. This volume collects, for the first time, a selection of his most famous previously published shorter works as well as some that are less known but equally important. Each of the twelve essays by Fletcher is paired with one or more new critical commentaries on that essay. These critical commentaries trace the significance of the respective essay in the development of the criminal law and assess its future significance. The commentators include leading criminal law scholars, philosophers, and a judge. Reflecting Fletcher's comparative law focus, the commentators hail from America, England, and Israel.
Preceding these paired sets of essays/critical commentaries is an Introduction that broadly assesses Fletcher's body of work and career in criminal scholarship as well as provides an overview of each essay and critical commentary. Concluding the volume is a new, original essay by Fletcher in which he responds to his critics. Fletcher also reflects back on his six-decade spanning career and takes stock. Fletcher's essay concludes with some speculations as to the trend of future developments in the field. In the enterprise of theoretical criminal law, the essays in this book represent the pinnacle of the thinking of one of the fields' most celebrated scholars.