In the years before World War II, Franklin Roosevelt's fiercest, most unyielding opponent was neither a foreign power nor "fear itself"; it was the U.S. Supreme Court. In a series of devastating decisions, the Supreme Court's conservative majority left much of FDR's agenda in ruins, and the pillars of the New Deal fell in short succession. Roosevelt struck back with an audacious plan to expand the Court to 15 justices and to "pack" the new seats with liberals who shared his belief in a "living" Constitution. In a work of history that unfolds like a thriller, Jeff Shesol shows why understanding the Court fight is essential to understanding the presidency, personality, and legacy of FDR.
"Once in a generation a groundbreaking book comes along to provide a major reinterpretation of a familiar historical event. Shesol tells the story of FDR's court packing plan as it has never been told before. This is a stunning work of history."—Doris Kearns Goodwin