Holmes (18411935) wrote some of the Supreme Court decisions most venerated by liberals, particularly those defending free speech, but he was also very much a man of the 19th century. He subscribed to a worldview that accorded with Hobbes and Malthus, and in his embrace of eugenics he so far outstripped his contemporaries that editor Novick (Honorable Justice: The Life of Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1989) refers to some of Holmes's words as ``evil.'' But, Novick adds, ``in the end, I find Holmes better than his ideas.'' There is more than enough material here for readers to make up their own minds about that--so much, in fact, that the question of whether Holmes was a good man or bad becomes, perhaps, the least interesting approach to his life and work. The precise introduction--which offers a short biography, a summary of Holmes's philosophy and jurisprudence, and a critical appraisal of his performance as judge and justice--is a good place to initially get your brain wet. Holmes lived an extraordinarily public and written life, leaving behind a gargantuan paper trail riddled with the inky footprints of his character. Much of the trail in this collection leads to quotidian lawyer work, but there are also paths that reveal a man of great wisdom, and cul de sacs that betray a man of great folly.