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Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom Audible – Unabridged

4.5 out of 5 stars 268 customer reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book but found it even more interesting and engaging than I thought I would. I have always liked Judge Napolitano, yet have thought some of his earlier writing a bit dry. This one really does a good job focusing on the roots of the Progressive Era, and the two larger than life presidents who embodied it. As he says so clearly in the final chapter;

"Jefferson believed that in the long arc of history, we can see repeated over and over again the struggle for individual freedom against a monopoly of force. The monopoly of force has killed, stolen, lied, and cheated its way into power and wealth. The first two decades of the twentieth-century America - an era arguably dominated by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson - are not an exception to Jefferson's conclusion: rather, they are a heightened paradigm of it. In those twenty or so years the role of the federal government changed so radically that it would never be the same again." (pg. 248)

Besides providing fascinating details about these oddly juxtaposed yet soul-mate-like troubled men, I especially liked how Judge N. ties the Constitutional amendments of the time together. The only one that was any good, and worth changing the Constitution for was the 19th (women's vote). All the others have damaged the Constitution beyond recognition, yet are still in place today, except for the short live 18th (alcohol prohibition). I had never before realized how destructive the 17th was (Senators selected by popular vote and not by State appointment), and how fundamental the old arrangement was to the balance of powers established by the original framers.

Before the 16th amendment (legalizing income tax) the federal government got 40% of its revenue from taxes on alcohol.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Napolitano's book will offend some and frighten others. Unfortunately what he writes is necessary to know for anyone trying to understand the current state of our government. For those who revere leading progressives like Theodore Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson, this book will be offensive. For those who revere the Constitution and the principles of the founding fathers, the book will be revelatory. Anyone who thinks the Constitution is merely a guideline and who believes that the Constitution should be flexibly interpreted according to current language or beliefs will also be offended. Those who believe the Founders were operating according to John Locke's principles of written law safeguarding society from willful rule by powerful men for their own purposes will find strong arguments that these principles have been broken and are continuing to be broken by powerful progressives. This book is a painful but necessary education - without any sugar-coating - on the current state of the American. government. Libertarians will agree with it. Progressives will hate it
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Judge Napolitano has presented a rigorous and informative study of Constitutional issues that demonstrate how much we have strayed from the founders' principals and how they have taken away our freedoms. Basically, according to the original Constitution and Bill of Rights, the federal government should be dealing with the States who ratified the Constitution that gave the federal government certain powers, and the States should be dealing with individual citizens and people.
Starting around 1900, under the Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson administrations, and followed by Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and others, the federal government has been dealing directly with the people on more and more key issues such as the entitlement programs, federal income tax, etc., and the States are being silenced. This has changed the nature of the Federal Republic and the American people are losing their freedoms[...].
I would like to learn what Judge Napolitano can offer as to how to correct the above problems and how we can return to the founders' principals.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an important contribution to the historian who would connect the dots from the early Progressive era to today, in figuring out how and why there was a silent revolution by the radical Left to destroy the Constitution and replace it with a Marxist platform. One can well argue that the Marxists captured the White House BEFORE they captured the Kremlin! Wilson and T. Roosevelt implemented radical ideas that were subsequently built upon by almost every administration since. One can see this Red Thread running through the entire fabric of the national government for more than a century now. So many planks of Karl Marx were accomplished by Wildon and Col. Mandel House that historians of the future will be compelled to ask how such a paradigm shift could occur without a guiding hand behind it (and I do not refer to a Divine Hand). It took two world wars to keep the American People diverted away from what amounted to a coup de'etat. Thanks to Judge Napolitano for this expose. Napolitano should be sitting on the Supreme Court. But then, what SHOULD be, rarely is.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves history. It's definitely not what you learned in schools, it's much more fascinating.

For those who value liberty, this is a great book explaining how exactly our freedoms have been eroded away and how the two presidents discussed in this book are responsible.
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