FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Warren Court and Amer... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good, clean reading copy. Lightly worn edges and covers. Text appears clean & mark-free. NOT an ex-library discard and Ships direct from Amazon! Qualifies for FREE 2 DAY PRIME Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $35. Overnight and 2 day shipping available!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Warren Court and American Politics Paperback – March 17, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0674006836 ISBN-10: 0674006836

Buy New
Price: $29.00
18 New from $19.55 53 Used from $1.58
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$19.55 $1.58
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back When You Sell Us Your Books
$29.00 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Warren Court and American Politics + In the Balance: Law and Politics on the Roberts Court
Price for both: $49.24

Buy the selected items together

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press (February 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674006836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674006836
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,139,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Mr. Powe describes himself as someone who 'worshipped' the Warren Court. Even so, he portrays it impartially as the super-legislature it often resembled—an outcome-directed body that rarely worried about constitutional theory or precedent… The court set into motion a philosophy of political activism—heedless of constitutional doctrine—that has become, for many judges ever since, almost a way of life. This cannot be a good thing, however much we might applaud some of the Warren court's rulings or the good intentions that lay behind them. Admirably, especially for someone still enthralled by the Warren Court, Mr. Powe seems to recognize this. (Jay P. Lefkowitz Wall Street Journal)

[Powe's] book would be of considerable interest to students of the judiciary even if its sole virtue were the deftness with which Powe organizes and analyzes the unusually large number of important decisions that the Supreme Court rendered during the controversial tenure of Chief Justice Earl Warren. In this respect, Powe is deserving of comparison to such eminent chroniclers of the Court's history as Henry Abraham, Alfred Kelly, and Winfred Harbison. The book's purpose, however, is as ambitious as its scope… A comprehensive (and accessible) history of the Warren Court. (Jeffrey D. Hockett Jurist: Books-on-Law)

An intriguing…history of the path-breaking, even revolutionary, court under Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1950s and 1960s. Rarely for a constitutional scholar, Powe places the Warren court's most famous cases in their political context…[in] a colorful tale. The liberal Warren court's decisions on race, crime, religion, free speech and obscenity startled, delighted or outraged contemporaries and had a far-reaching impact on American politics and society. (The Economist 2000-10-07)

In an important book, Lucas A. Powe, Jr. argues that the familiar debate about the merits of the Warren Court is, in fact, wrong. Far from being a group of liberal judicial activists who imposed their views on an unwilling nation, Powe argues, the Warren Court was, for much of its tenure, remarkably deferential to the political branches… Powe persuasively argues that the most important decision of…[the Warren Court] can be justified as an effort to unclog, rather than to thwart, the expression of majority will. (Jeffrey Rosen New Republic 2000-11-06)

A thorough and enlightening [read]. (Mary Carroll Booklist)

Professor Powe has written a masterful book, the best on the Supreme Court in a generation. Not only will it be seen as a definitive account of the Warren Court, but it will also be viewed as a seminal work on the U.S. Supreme Court. With this work, Powe stakes a powerful claim to be seen as the heir to Robert McCloskey. Powe has written in the best tradition of works at the intersection of law, political science, and history. Decision making in the Supreme Court depends on law, attitudes, personalities, contexts, and sometimes fortune. This book demonstrates this in a way that will seem exactly right to most students of the Court. Not since Walter Murphy's classic Elements of Judicial Strategy have we had a book that does this so elegantly and persuasively. (H. W. Perry, author of Deciding to Decide: Agenda Setting in the United States Supreme Court)

Professor Powe, demonstrating total control of the legal and historical materials, illuminates how the Warren Court was deeply embedded in the culture and politics of its time, particularly the Kennedy–Johnson liberalism of the mid and late 1960s. In doing so, he has resuscitated a neglected and valuable tradition of the institutional analysis of public law and given us a deeper understanding of what lies ahead for America in the new millennium. (Mark Yudof, University of Minnesota)

Writing accessibly, and often irreverently, Powe locates the Warren Court within the major political movements of the era and convincingly refutes the notion that the Court was a forum of principle that ignored the political world outside its marble palace. Although there will undoubtedly be other treatments of the Court, Powe's ambitious and comprehensive survey establishes a very high threshold for any future historians to meet. (Sanford Levinson, author of Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies)

This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the Warren Court. Numerous scholars have asserted that Earl Warren and his fellow justices were deeply involved in politics and mindful of changing political currents, but L.A. Powe is the first to have demonstrated detailed connections between the legal opinions issued by Warren Court justices and contemporaneous political arguments made by members of Congress and the Executive branches. The Warren Court and American Politics represents a skillful blending of the techniques and concerns of legal scholars and political scientists, combined in a lively, at times riveting, narrative. (G. Edward White, University of Virginia School of Law)

Finally we have a comprehensive, readable, and clear-headed history of the Warren Court. This book is not only essential but absolutely required reading for everyone interested in American constitutional history, politics, and law. (Stephen M. Griffin, Tulane Law School)

Powe has revived an honorable genre—the study of the Supreme Court as a political institution—a field once graced by the likes of E.S. Corwin, Alpheus Mason, and Walter Murphy. Powe reminds us that the Court is a political institution, one of three branches of government, and as such can only be understood in the larger context of American politics. The book is a tour de force, brimming with insights and elegantly written. He reminds us all of what political science once was, and what it could be again. (Melvin I. Urofsky, Virginia Commonwealth University)

Purely legal analysis emphasizes the logical links, or absence of them, between the questions raised in two or more cases and the answers given to them. Purely political analysis relies on social history as an explanation for judicial decisions. A more complete picture results, as Powe argues, from a combination of the two… Powe has done his non-psychological homework, however, and he presents new material resulting from research about Brennan, Tom Clark, and Douglas…he suggests that the Court 'was not worrying about Constitutional theory but rather reaching results that conformed to the values that enjoyed significant national support in the mid-1960s.' His well-researched and lively volume presents strong evidence that he is correct. (Philippa Strum Journal of American History)

The Warren Court and American Politics is a spectacularly good book. Written for an audience of educated non-lawyers, it provides the best available account of the relationship between the Warren Court's liberalism and American politics during the entire period of Earl Warren's tenure… It retrieves the nearly forgotten period of stalemate. Its argument that the South must be seen at the center of the Warren Court's work in free speech, religion, and criminal procedure illuminates the Court's enterprise better than any other account of which I am aware. (Mark V. Tushnet Texas Law Review)

Challenging the reigning consensus that the Warren Court fundamentally protected minorities, this book examines the Supreme Court in a wider political environment. Powe argues that the Court was a functioning partner in Kennedy–Johnson liberalism and thus helped impose national liberal-elite values on groups that were outliers to that tradition. (Law and Social Inquiry)

About the Author

Lucas A. Powe, Jr. holds the Anne Green Regents Chair at the University of Texas, where he teaches in the School of Law and the Department of Government.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Joel on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is exceedingly interesting, and it was shipped much more quickly than I expected.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Warren Court and American Politics
This item: The Warren Court and American Politics
Price: $29.00
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com