The trials and hearings presented in the two volumes of On Trial capture much of American history in the intensity of courtroom confrontation and argument. Judicial proceedings have long fascinated both historians and the general public. Newspapers give extensive coverage both to trials that command national attention and to the many that appeal to local interest. Examining these trials and hearings makes possible not only an understanding of the larger issues surrounding them, but a deepened perception of the society in which each occurred. As Natalie Zemon Davis writes, "a remarkable dispute can sometimes uncover motivations and values that are lost in the welter of the everyday.” On Trial is the first anthology based on edited transcripts of trials and hearing that is intended for use in American history survey classrooms.