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Lengthier than FDR vs. the Constitution, by Burt Solomon (2009), an account of the 1937 political fracas between the president, the Supreme Court, and the Senate, Shesol’s history of the same episode expands with detail about the origin of Roosevelt’s proposal to reorganize the federal judiciary. It sprang from liberals’ infuriation with the conservative Court’s invalidation of some New Deal programs; Shesol’s quotations of New Dealers’ diaries well convey the incandescence of their fury. He also attends to Washington’s sociopolitical atmosphere, such as the Gridiron Dinner’s spoofs of the Supremes and FDR’s landslide reelection, which set the stage for Roosevelt’s hubristic moment. After providing background to FDR’s reform plan, which its opponents (and history) branded a court-packing scheme, Shesol continues with a narrative of the political battle that erupted. Characterizing defining traits of the main combatants—FDR, Chief Justice Charles Hughes, and Senator Burt Wheeler—Shesol skillfully illustrates the nexus of personality and principle, with the New Deal and the Constitution being perceived as at stake. A book sure to recruit history readers, especially those eyeing present political currents. --Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of the most eloquent historians of his generation, Jeff Shesol has a deep understanding of the presidency, and the interplay of politics, personalities, and principles, all of which he brings to life in this rich, remarkable book. (President Bill Clinton)See all Editorial 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