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history
American history
The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court
 
 
Author
Cliff Sloan & David McKean.
Publisher PublicAffairs/BOMC  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.25 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781586484262
Pages/Publication Date 258/2009
Daedalus Item Code 23449
This item is not available.
Description
"Whoever thought that Marbury v. Madison could be a page turner? Landmark constitutional law, yes, but a nail-biting drama crafted in dimly lit hotel rooms in Washington? Filled with memorable players such as 'Old Bacon Face' Justice Samuel Chase and a slovenly Thomas Jefferson? [Former Supreme Court clerk] Cliff Sloan and [veteran political aide] David McKean's new book ... tells a wonderful tale of how the decision—which established that the Supreme Court had the power to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional—came to be."—Jan Crawford Greenburg

"In 1800, when Thomas Jefferson took office as third president of the U.S., it represented the first peaceful transfer of power from one party to another in the new nation, but it also aggravated growing tensions between the outgoing Federalists and the incoming Republicans. The nascent U.S. Supreme Court, led by John Marshall, Jefferson's distant cousin and sometime antagonist, was caught in the middle when a case pitting the two political parties against each other landed before the court. Marbury v. Madison challenged Jefferson's authority to rebuff the court-packing efforts of outgoing President Adams. Sloan and McKean begin by detailing the behind-the-scenes machinations attending the transfer of power to Jefferson. They go on to focus on the particulars of the Marbury case and Marshall's efforts to shape the court's tradition by wearing black robes, deliberating, and balancing politics against legal equity, to establish gravitas for an institution that had been a laughingstock. An astute politician, Marshall managed to avoid a confrontation with Jefferson but firmly established the Supreme Court as the last word in interpreting the Constitution. In this highly accessible book, the authors skillfully build suspense and tension around an outcome readers may already know."—Booklist (starred review)

 
 
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