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Of Power and Right: Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, and America's Constitutional Revolution Hardcover – January 30, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Ball and Cooper offer an excellent analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court and a comparison of two major justices: Black and Douglas. The authors view these justices through the changing issues before the Court from the New Deal to the mid-1970s. Black and Douglas had a close personal, symbiotic relationship; but they held different conceptions of society. Black's views were based on the democratic power of the people to govern while Douglas saw the primacy of liberty and individual rights as limiting the state's ability to impose restrictions upon personal freedoms. The justices' opinions merged and clashed on major issues such as due process and racial justice. Ball and Cooper give a thorough analysis of these justices' positions and behaviors. Highly recommended for academic and specialized law collections.
-Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"A fascinating and powerful account of two great justices and their impact on the development of constitutional law. Drawing on the private papers of Black, Douglas, other justices, and three presidents, as well as numerous other sources, the authors bring to life the Supreme Court at a time of historical decisionmaking. This is a book that will be of great value to students, specialists, and laypersons alike. I highly recommend it."--Sheldon Goldman, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

"A splendid, scholarly study of the competing New Deal visions of two great justices, their fascinating time on the Supreme Court during a turbulent period in the history of the country, and Justices Black's and Douglas's legacy for liberal legalism. Anyone interested in the Supreme Court will find this 'dual judicial biography' rewarding and well worth reading."--David M. O'Brien, University of Virginia

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (January 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195046129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195046120
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on August 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This 1992 book is a study of the Supreme Court careers of Black (on the Court from 1937 to 1971) and Douglas (on the Court from 1939 to 1975). The book only incidentally analyzes the cases themselves, but discusses the motivations for the positions of Black and Douglas. While a casual observer knows that Black and Douglas were often on the same side in a case, it is the position of the authors of this book that their motivations were quite different. And in the final years of Black's service they often disagreed, this being usually ascribed to Black becoming more conservative in his old age. The authors disagree with this and say that the disagreement is attrubutable to Black's fixation as to the actual words of the Constitution and its Amendments whereas Douglas was more willing to read into the Constitution liberty for people--which Black was not as willing to do. I found the account of the decisions of the Court of much interest and the book was fun to read.
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