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Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court Paperback – March 14, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
First of all, Shesol resists the temptation of many historians to make the past prologue. He doesn't recite the whole history of the U.S. Supreme Court, nor does he stretch historical analogies to draw "lessons" or "comparisons" for today. Rather, Supreme Power stays focused like a laser on the subject of the book, beginning in 1932 with FDR's election. This allows Shesol to really delve into detail, spending almost all of the book's 530 pages on FDR and the court. (Incidentally, if you know absolutely nothing about the Supreme Court or its history, you might want to scan wikipedia quickly before reading this book).
And the detail in the book is extraordinary.Read more ›
I found the book particularly helpful in its depiction of the key players in the White House, Congress, among interest groups such as the Liberty League, and within the Court itself.Read more ›
Shesol traces the origins of the conflict to the very beginning of Roosevelt's presidency. From the first he and his administration were concerned about the fate of the New Deal when it was subjected to judicial review, both because of the dubious nature of much of the emergency legislation and because of the traditional role the Supreme Court had played in striking down economic regulation. Here the author does a good job of presenting the Court, showing how in spite of assumptions about its conservatism it nonetheless handed down a number of "liberal" decisions that gave many New Dealers cause for hope. The famous decision in the Schecter case ended causes for such hopes, and as the frustration over the Court mounted Roosevelt and his aides began to search for a solution to the Court's immovability.
Though numerous approaches were considered, ultimately Roosevelt settled on a plan to expand the number of justices on the Court in order to appoint more members sympathetic to the New Deal.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
in excellent condition. a most interesting story of the forces aligned against fdr
during the thirties
Jeff Shesol wrote a landmark book about the Supreme Court. He is a good historian who backs up his writing with detailed endnotes. Read morePublished on August 26, 2012 by Santa Barbara Jim
Superb read informative much like the present divided partisan political world that we face today. The only thing that changes is the dates.Published on June 10, 2012 by EJS
Jeff Shesol's Supreme Power is a riveting tale of FDR's failed attempt to pack the Supremem Court during a half year run in 1937, after the Democratic Party swept the 1936... Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by Jeff
As a fan of any book on presidents, I knew I would like this one and I wasn't disappointed. Written very well, which is to be expected from a former Clinton speechwriter, the book... Read morePublished on December 29, 2011 by ESM517
I don't feel that Roosevelt is turned into a god like figure- I feel its very plainly stated his desires and viewpoint vs. the constitution. Read morePublished on December 21, 2011 by Firstsnow
Shesol's follow-up to his masterful work on LBJ and RFK does not disappoint. He brings alive the characters and the issues of the court packing scheme to great effect and this... Read morePublished on May 30, 2011 by J. Smallridge
In the end FDR, got what he wanted. But, the journey to that end cost him a great deal of political capital. Read morePublished on April 19, 2011 by overlord