Review of Industrial Organization 14: 101–113, 1999.
© 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Senator John Sherman Meets Professor John Rawls:
A Fortuitous Encounter for Justice
WILLIAM J. CURRAN III
9904 E. Moccasin Trail, Wexford, PA 15090, U.S.A
Abstract. If John Sherman, the United States Senator from Ohio, could meet John Rawls, the
Harvard philosophy professor, neither could resist comparing views and notes over the Sherman
Act, its economic and political foundations, and its later judicial interpretations. Sherman has much
to learn, while Rawls has far too much to contribute. Their meeting, fortuitously, transpires within
this journal’s covers, joined by observers Daniel J. Gifford and David W. Barnes. The Sherman Act,
controversial in 1890, and no less provocative today, moves toward the next century with amazing
millennium momentum. What might Sherman think?
The Sherman Act, controversial when adopted in 1890, while no less provocative
today, moves toward the next century with amazing millennium momentum. What
would Senator John Sherman think today almost one hundred years since his death?
Would he be equally amazed?
Fortuitously, Sherman met recently within the covers of this journal with Profes-
sor John Rawls, the Harvard political theorist, to discuss Sherman’s ideas, the mood
of the nation in late nineteenth century America, as well as subsequent Sherman
Act events. Sherman’s reaction to Rawls, and this century’s news and events, may
Rawls: Near the last century’s end, with fear “gripping” the nation and its capital
“paralyzed” you, Senator Sherman, “boldly” seized history to warn of “socialists”,
“communists”, even “nihilists”, the rights they threatened, and the “wealth” and
“opportunities” they destroyed, and through the Sherman Act “saved” the Republic
. . . or so the story goes.
How fortuitous that we should meet and dispel this silly little story. How for-
tunate I am to discuss with you the Sherman Act, its past, and its future, as it
approaches its third century.
B.S. 1962, The Creighton University; J.D. 1965, The Creighton University School of Law.
Admitted to practice in Nebraska, New York and Pennsylvania.