Contract Law: Text, Cases and Materials

February 26, 2009

Author: E. McKendrick

Edition: Third

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Pages: 1,136

Price: £34.99

ISBN 9780199208012

Cases and materials textbooks normally act in concert with a standard textbook, providing a deeper understanding of the standard text's content but lacking the breadth of knowledge that a standard text offers. However, McKendrick's Contract Law has always been the exception and, like the editions before it, the third edition combines text, cases and other materials to create one of the most comprehensive accounts of contract law available. On occasion, resort might be required to a broader, more detailed text (such as the excellent Trietel on the Law of Contract), but generally McKendrick's book will provide all that a contract law student will require in a text.

The text follows what is now an accepted structure for contract law texts, beginning with a discussion of the law relating to the formation of contracts, before moving on to examine the terms of the contract. The various methods by which a contract can be set aside are analysed in depth, followed by several chapters discussing breach of contract and remedies. The text concludes with an examination of third-party rights.

Many similar texts provide excellent case extracts and materials, but little in the way of text and commentary. What makes McKendrick's so impressive is that his choice of cases and extracts (which, as always, is superb) is interwoven into the general text, with virtually every extract receiving some form of commentary. It is this commentary that is in many ways the highlight of the book. As in previous editions, McKendrick's commentary on the law provides a much deeper and more practical appreciation of the law's significance, drawing upon not only his own considerable expertise, but also the views of other commentators. It is therefore a perfect spring-board for further study. This is reinforced by the inclusion of further reading boxes at the end of each chapter, which provide a list of seminal articles on the topic in question. The text can be dense and slightly heavy-going in parts, but these areas are the exception, and generally it is a lucid and extremely well-structured account of the law.

In addition, the book is accompanied by an Online Resource Centre, containing, among other things, detailed online chapters on capacity and illegality, and a test bank of 150 multiple-choice questions for use by lecturers. Regular updates are also promised.

Any student who is serious about attaining a deep and practical understanding of the law of contract should consider this text. It will provide an invaluable aid to any student wishing to do well in the topic, and provides considerably more in the way of analysis and practical application than a standard textbook.

Who is it for? Undergraduates studying contract law who wish to attain a more practical, deeper knowledge of the topic.

Presentation: Clear and efficient layout makes the text extremely easy to use. Generally lucid.

Would you recommend it? Highly. An outstanding text that deserves a place on every contract law reading list.

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