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A People's History of the Supreme Court

Irons, Peter H.;Irons, Peter

ISBN 10: 0670870064 / ISBN 13: 9780670870066
Published by Viking Pr, NY, 1999
Condition: Almost Fine Hardcover
From On The Road Books (Waynesboro, PA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Book has remainder slash on bottom paper edges. 542pp with Index. Tan/brown cloth. 1st Ed. with complete number line.Tight, square, bright copy. Firm corners. No internal names, notes or markings. Crisp, unclipped pictorial DJ in Mylar cover. Foreward by Howard Zinn. The cases and the people behind them. First rate read. USPS Tracking included. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 15967

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A People's History of the Supreme Court

Publisher: Viking Pr, NY

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Almost Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

Book Type: American History

About this title


A comprehensive history of the people and cases that have changed history, this is the definitive account of the nation's highest court
Recent changes in the Supreme Court have placed the venerable institution at the forefront of current affairs, making this comprehensive and engaging work as timely as ever. In the tradition of Howard Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States, Peter Irons chronicles the decisions that have influenced virtually every aspect of our society, from the debates over judicial power to controversial rulings in the past regarding slavery, racial segregation, and abortion, as well as more current cases about school prayer, the Bush/Gore election results, and "enemy combatants." To understand key issues facing the supreme court and the current battle for the court's ideological makeup, there is no better guide than Peter Irons. This revised and updated edition includes a foreword by Howard Zinn.
"A sophisticated narrative history of the Supreme Court . . . [Irons] breathes abundant life into old documents and reminds readers that today's fiercest arguments about rights are the continuation of the endless American conversation." -Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

From the Author:

The real people behind the pages of Supreme Court opinions
I'll make this short, but I'm glad to have this chance to speak (so to speak) directly to people who might be interested in purchasing my book. The title, as you may have guessed, is borrowed from Howard Zinn's great book, A People's History of the United States. Howard was my mentor in graduate school and inspired me to approach my own writing through the stories of real people. I've done that in books like The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court, and Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases.

When I decided to write a full-scale history of the Supreme Court, I framed the book around a relatively small number of cases (about 85) so that I could give the reader enough context and detail about each one to fully understand and appreciate the human story behind the case. (Other Supreme Court histories briefly discuss anywhere from 400 to 900 cases, and reading them is like watching telephone poles go by on the highway). So I tell the reader about people like Dred Scott, Homer Plessy, Jacob Abrams, Lillian Gobitas, Fred Korematsu, Harry Briggs (whose case was first of the five in Brown v. Bd. of Education), "Jane Roe," and Michael Hardwick. I also introduce readers to Supreme Court justices like John Marshall, Roger Taney, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Harlan Stone, Felix Frankfurter, Earl Warren, William Douglas, Warren Burger, and William Rehnquist.

I don't make any attempt to conceal my positions on the cases and justices I write about: I believe, like Justice Brennan, that "the genius of the Constitution lies in the adaptability of its great principles to cope with current problems and curent needs." In my opinion, those who champion "original intent" as a method of interpreting the Constitution in the (soon to be) 21st century, remain locked into the narrow outlook of the 18th century, in a country that accepted slavery and the suppression of dissent. So this is a lively book, one that lets the general reader gain an understanding of how law and politics intersect, and that avoids legal jargon in favor of plain English. I'd be glad to have feedback from anyone who reads the book and has questions or comments--both pro and con.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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