major writing project - it was to take Peter Maddaugh and me another fifteen years to complete the work - Macneil offered the view that the writers of such works must decide whether they aspire to be soothsayers or manipulators, the implication being that the former was the only honourable career choice. I have tried to follow that advice both in my work on restitution and in the present volume. I trust that the reader will find that this volume provides an account of the law that is faithful to the raw material and that I have not commingled the objectives of exposition and constructive criticism.
In all of this, of course, I have drawn heavily on the work and insights of others and it is a pleasure to record some of my intellectual debts. My early interest in contract law was thrust upon me by the teaching assignments of my then Osgoode Dean, the Honourable Gerald
E. LEDAIN, who assured me that I would enjoy teaching both contract and commercial law in place of my hoped-for assignments in corporate and constitutional law. Subsequent events have proven the wisdom of his choice as I have found the study and teaching of private law an immensely enjoyable preoccupation. Like so many other Canadian legal scholars, I have profited greatly from Jacob Ziegel’s early mentorship and continuing encouragement of my work over the years. Shortly after beginning at Osgoode, Jacob invited me to join the research team of the Ontario Law Reform Commission project on the law of sale of goods and, in turn, a second project team, which he co-directed with Stephen Waddams, that prepared a report on the amendment of the general law of contracts. It is difficult to imagine a more fortuitous training ground for a neophyte teacher of contract law. It was in the context of those commission projects that I first attempted to unravel the mysteries of the doctrines of mistake and frustration, the latest attempts at which are to be found as chapters in this volume.
Osgoode Hall Law School has provided a very congenial home for work of this kind. My current contracts colleagues, Stephanie Ben-Ishai, Tom Johnson, Iain Ramsay, Robert Wai and Toni Williams, are the latest members of a long list of colleagues with whom I have had many fruitful conversations about matters of contract law over the years. I have also learned much from fellow contributors to the two casebooks on the law of contracts with which I have been associated, the first edited by...