The Great Decision
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The Great Decision : Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court

3.76 (273 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Following the bitterly contested election between Adams and Jefferson in 1800, the United States teetered on the brink of a second revolution. When Adams sought to prolong his policies in defiance of the electorate by packing the courts, it became evident that the new Constitution was limited in its powers. Change was in order and John Marshall stepped up to the challenge. The Great Decision tells the riveting story of Marshall and of the landmark court case, Marbury v. Madison , through which he empowered the Supreme Court and transformed the idea of the separation of powers into a working blueprint for our modern state. Rich in atmospheric detail, political intrigue, and fascinating characters, The Great Decision is an illuminating tale of America's formative years and the evolution of our democracy.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 149.86 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 317.51g
  • INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 16 pp. b/w photo insert on text
  • 1586488058
  • 9781586488055
  • 1,888,358

Review quote

"Kirkus," December 15, 2008 "Former Supreme Court clerk and Slate publisher Sloan and veteran political aide McKean bring to life one of the most important legal cases in American history.... Sloan and McKean supply Marbury's historical context and unravel the complex fabric of personalities, politics and law that animated the case.... The authors' enthusiasm and clear prose vivify the contention that, as Marshall said, 'It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.' A crisp, color examination of the case that established the formidable power of the federal judiciary." Walter Isaacson, author of "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" "The Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison is the most important key to understanding the separation of power in American government. "The Great Decision "makes the tale come alive. It's filled with intrigue, colorful personalities, and political maneuvers that seem astonishingly relevant to our world today." Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University "What a deeply intelligent and well written analysis of the Madison v. Marbury case. Anyone interested in constitutional law must read this fine book by Cliff Sloan and David McKean." Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard Law School "As our nation emerges from a dark decade of disrespect for the Constitution, nothing could be more fitting than a new picture of the great decision that made the rule of law a living part of the American legacy. Forests have been felled writing about that decision as a legal landmark, but its place in the turbulent politics and psychology ofthe time has never been painted in colors more vivid than those with which Sloan and McKean created this historic portrait." Ken Burns, Filmmaker "Cliff Sloan and David McKean have taken the story of Marbury v. Madison and revealed it to be what it always was: a drama of the first order--superbly and fluidly rendered here--and a decision that would cement the power of the third and most neglected leg of the tripod that still to this day supports us all." "Booklist," 3/1"In this highly accessible book, the authors skillfully build suspense and tension around an outcome readers may already know." "Kirkus," December 15, 2008"Former Supreme Court clerk and Slate publisher Sloan and veteran political aide McKean bring to life one of the most important legal cases in American history.... Sloan and McKean supply Marbury's historical context and unravel the complex fabric of personalities, politics and law that animated the case.... The authors' enthusiasm and clear prose vivify the contention that, as Marshall said, 'It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.' A crisp, color examination of the case that established the formidable power of the federal judiciary." Walter Isaacson, author of "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life""The Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison is the most important key to understanding the separation of power in American government. "The Great Decision "makes the tale come alive. It's filled with intrigue, colorful personalities, and political maneuvers that seem astonishingly relevant to our world today." Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University"What a deeply intelligent and well written analysis of the Madison v. Marbury case. Anyone interested in constitutional law must read this fine book by Cliff Sloan and David McKean." Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, Harvard Law School"As our nation emerges from a dark decade of disrespect for the Constitution, nothing could be more fitting than a new picture of the great decision that made the rule of law a living part of the American legacy. Forests have been felled writing about that decision as a legal landmark, but its place in the turbulent politics and psychology of thetime has never been painted in colors more vivid than those with which Sloan and McKean created this historic portrait." Ken Burns, Filmmaker"Cliff Sloan and David McKean have taken the story of Marbury v. Madison and revealed it to be what it always was: a drama of the first order--superbly and fluidly rendered here--and a decision that would cement the power of the third and most neglected leg of the tripod that still to this day supports us all."show more

About Cliff Sloan

Cliff Sloan is a former Supreme Court clerk. He has written about the Supreme Court for many publications, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Slate. David McKean is a Top-level Senate aide, a veteran political strategist, and the author of Friends in High Places and Tommy the Cork.show more

Rating details

273 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 19% (53)
4 45% (123)
3 29% (79)
2 5% (15)
1 1% (3)
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