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on September 4, 2013
Unprecedented is a genre-bending legal-political thriller. At times the book is detailed, nuanced, and deep; at others, it is breathtakingly fast-paced and dramatic. From Justice Kagan's mysterious decision to wall herself off from the case, to a look behind the scenes of the secret deliberations of the highest court in the land, Unprecedented gives a month-by-month, sometimes minute-by-minute (and even second-by-second!) account of the case of the millennium. Professor Blackman's highly readable style, excitement about the case, and affection for the actors involved blend to create an auspicious early masterwork from a highly promising young legal talent.

Unprecedented is unprecedented. Unlike so many legal dramas that can feel dry and abstract, Unprecedent makes it feel like you're there for some of the most important and critical decisions leading up to one of the most important moments in the history of the United States -- the moment the Chief Justice of the United States affirmed the constitutionality of "the last piece of our basic social compact."

I actually choked up as the book described those tense uncertain moments when the President and the Nation thought Obamacare had fallen, and the crowd outside began cheering for the Constitution. Now how many law books can you say made you feel something like that?
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on August 26, 2013
This insightful page-turner provides a definitive account of Obamacare that is not only fair and nuanced but also highly relevant to ongoing debates. Blackman couples his expertise as a constitutional scholar with riveting interviews to provide a rich history of one of the most controversial cases of our time. I highly recommended this to members of both sides of the political spectrum - you will enjoy learning the inside scoop.
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on September 8, 2013
Josh Blackman's book is amazing. On one level, Unprecedented will appeal to the general public wanting to know the behind the scenes action of the Obamacare litigation. On another level, Unprecedented will appeal to all those legal nerds (like myself) who want to understand the litigation dynamics and strategies behind the biggest Supreme Court case of our generation. Unprecedented also does a wonderful job of bringing to life the characters involved in the case, from the Solicitor General to one of the architects of the case, Randy Barnett.

Buy this book. You won't be disappointed.
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on October 21, 2013
I picked this up while browsing at my local library because I was interested in the case. I fully expected to return it without having read the whole thing because of the expected legalese. Instead I was treated to one of the best reads I've had in a long time. As one other commenter noted, John Grisham novel comes to mind or a Perry Mason case. Crisp writing. Understandable explanations where needed. Great story-telling that keeps you wanting to know what happens next and yet you know the story is real! I also experienced dismay reading his musical chairs account of health care law politics with everyone ending up in the chair they said they would not sit in! Great read of a historical event even if you are not interested in the Obamacare law itself.
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on September 11, 2013
Unprecedented is a thrilling tour through one of the most exciting legal challenges of our lifetimes. Blackman's all-access perspective and scholarly gravitas will satisfy generalist readers and constitutional scholars alike. Some readers might question the book's "rehabilitation" of Solicitor General Verrilli, but Blackman persuasively argues that Verrilli deserves much of the credit for shaping and pressing the Taxing Power argument that ultimately convinced a majority of the Court. This is itself an important contribution to the growing literature on NFIB v. Sebelius.

Unprecedented reminds me of one of my favorite books in this genre: Jonathan Mahler's The Challenge, a blow-by-blow account of the litigation in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Both authors spent untold hours interviewing key participants, and Blackman actually witnessed the conversations from which a constitutional challenge to the ACA materialized. No matter your political leanings, you can't go wrong buying this book.
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on September 23, 2013
If you want to learn everything about how Obamacare was passed, how the Supreme Court saved it, and what this means for the future of the Constitution, you should read this amazing new book. Unlike far too many books about constitutional law, Unprecedented is written in an engaging, gripping style. Blackman actually tells the story in the form of a riveting legal thriller. You'd think it's a John Grisham novel, but it's real! Read this book. You will enjoy it.
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on November 17, 2013
Well written account of how the the legal strategies behind the Affordable Care Act developed. I think it works well for both a legal and non-legal audience. It's written from a conservative point of view, but not in a hack kind of way.
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on September 9, 2013
Though I consider myself a well-informed student of politics, this book taught me a great deal about the history of this controversial new law -- who had proposed it in the past, who had opposed it, and who had favored it. I was stunned to find that both parties had taken both sides on the individual mandate in the last twenty years. Prof. Blackman explains the legal issues surrounding the case with just enough history in a way that a layman can easily understand and a lawyer, such as myself, can easily learn from. I already have people who want to borrow the book from me!
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on January 2, 2014
What a remarkable job Blackman did in relating what can only be described as a remarkable journey of health care in America. As impossible as it may seem that a non-ficitonal book, where the outcome is known, can be an exciting, almost suspenseful read, this one is. Having finished the book, I'm still in awe of what went I learned. I simply can not say enough good things about this book. I would strongly encourage anyone at all interested in Obamacare read this book. I feel confident in saying that as you learn the details, at times you will be shocked.

In short, one of the top 2 or 3 books I've ever read.
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on October 13, 2013
Most of the story of how the ACA became law was chronicled as it went along but this book puts it all together in one place. Furthermore, the author was there throughout the process. Learn how the "sausage was made." Learn how the bargains were struck, how we were manipulated and, best of all, how the case was presented to SCOTUS by both sides. Learn what the justices said and thought! Easy to read and very informative. Don't miss the last part of the book. It's where you'll likely learn the most about the future of this bill.
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