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Andrew Jackson and the Constitution: The Rise and Fall of Generational Regimes Paperback – April 2, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (April 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700617868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700617869
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Recommended for anyone interested in the prospects of constitutional change. . . . Highly readable." --Political Science Quarterly

"An interesting story, concisely and readably told." --Journal of Southern History

"Magliocca's book might well inaugurate a new generation in our understanding of antebellum constitutionalism." --American Historical Review

From the Back Cover

"This is a truly distinguished contribution to our constitutional understanding, combining theory and history in an exemplary fashion. If you are going to read one book about our Constitution this year, read Magliocca's."--Bruce Ackerman, author of The Failure of the Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the Rise of Presidential Democracy

"A perceptive book that offers a valuable, fresh look at both Jacksonian Democracy and the interpretation of the Constitution."--Donald B. Cole, author of The Presidency of Andrew Jackson

"A provocative and much needed reassessment of constitutional change in the Age of Jackson."--R. Kent Newmyer, author of John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court

"Jackson's presidency raises questions about the nature of power in American life. Magliocca's book is especially good on these issues."--Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

More About the Author

I am the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. My latest book, which was profiled on C-Span's Book TV, is a biography of John Bingham, the framer of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and one of the prosecutors in the trial of John Wilkes Booth's accomplices. My next book will be about the Bill of Rights.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By greg taylor VINE VOICE on July 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Gerard Macgliocca's book is an important contribution to our understanding of constitutional history. It is a remarkable concise essay that tries to reestablish the importance of the Jacksonians and the Taney Court in our legal history while presenting a theory of the rise and fall of constitutional "generations".
Magliocca sees each constitutional generation as being "formed" by shared collective experiences that cause them to largely share political and legal beliefs. The experiences that Magliocca is talking about can be things like 9-11, the Great Depression, the Civil War, etc. (pp.2-3). Obviously he is talking about a tendency of a majority as opposed to the views of any one individual. These generations are also reflected in the political domination of one party, e.g., the Jacksonians, FDR Democrats, etc.. The great eras of our constitutional history can thus be seen as a period when one generation held sway. At that moment, another generation is always beginning to develope in response to real injustices that are ignored (or condoned) by the dominant generation.
Magliocca throughout his book lists patterns of change that every rising generation follows. This is where my comparison to the I Ching comes in. I am being somewhat tongue-in-cheek in making that comparison but Magliocca invites that sort of response with statements like the following: "Reform leads to resistance, and resistance leads to reform. That is a central theme of the constitutional cycle" (p.112). Fortunately, Magliocca has some very powerful ideas to offer us about some of these patterns of change. For example, he believes that as a rising generation rises to power through Congress and the Presidency, that the older generation still dominant on the Supreme Court begins to escalate their resistance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Magliocca is brilliant, quirky and funny. I did not have a particular interest in Andrew Jackson when picking up this book, but rather just wanted to support my Professor. I found myself in love with Professor Magliocca's writing. He strikes the perfect balance between scholarly writing and ease of reading.
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