Industrial-Sized Deals Shop all Back to School Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums $5 Off Fire TV Stick Off to College Essentials Shop Popular Services pivdl pivdl pivdl  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation STEM Toys & Games
What Kind of Nation and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States Reprint Edition

45 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0684848716
ISBN-10: 0684848716
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$7.00
Buy new
$13.44
More Buying Choices
30 New from $2.52 97 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $11.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


InterDesign Brand Store Awareness Textbooks
$13.44 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States + Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession, and the President's War Powers (Simon & Schuster Lincoln Library)
Price for both: $25.74

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Simon (a former Time editor, now a law professor at NYU) examines the decades of conflict between the states' rights views of Thomas Jefferson and the federalist beliefs of John Marshall. In 1801, at the end of Adams's presidency, Marshall accepted the Supreme Court chief justice's position and Jefferson became the nation's third president. That set the stage for years of competition between the two philosophies of government, especially the two visions of the judiciary, represented by the principal antagonists of Simon's history. Simon deftly explains how Jefferson and Marshall maintained a faeade of civility in their public pronouncements while unleashing blistering mutual vituperation privately. Ultimately, as Simon demonstrates, Marshall prevailed. His technique was subtlety itself. In his opinion in Marbury v. Madison, Marshall gave an ostensible victory to Madison (Jefferson's Secretary of State) but reached that result by asserting the authority of the Supreme Court to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional. That assertion had far-reaching implications for consolidating the federal government's power. Once the Supreme Court became the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution, the court repeatedly exercised its authority to invalidate state laws and court decisions inconsistent with the federal Constitution. Simon usefully narrows his focus to a handful of key decisions by the Marshall court, showing how the justice's concept of what kind of nation the U.S. should be progressively swept aside Jefferson's belief that state and federal governments were equal sovereigns. Simon's book illuminates the origins of a national political debate that continues today.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

With John Adams ever so popular right now, why not take a look at what some of his contemporaries were doing to "create a United States"?
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

See all Editorial Reviews
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


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: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (March 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684848716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684848716
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 70 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is written for a broad audience and aimed at exploring one of the oldest and most persistent problems in American history; the proper role of the Federal Government. Simon frames this book as a conflict between Jefferson, representing those who supported a weaker central government and emphasized the importance of individual states, and John Marshall, the great Chief Justice who led the Supreme Court to establish its critical role as arbiter of constitutional questions. The Marshall court's work strengthened the importance not only of the Supreme Court but of the Federal Government in general. This is not a new story, indeed, most of what Simon describes is the standard understanding of this period of our history. Simon is a good writer who describes the politics and legal issues quite well. His description and analysis of the behavior of the Marshall court is shrewd, emphasizing Marshall's careful attention to both politics and crucial legal issues. For example, it is clear that Marshall worked very hard to maintain unanimity among the justices, even for difficult decisions. Similarly, many of his important decisions were crafted to simultaneously achieve the goal of establishing his brand of moderate Federalism while avoiding inflammatory political consequences. Readers will finish this book with an increased appreciation for Marshall's considerable intellect and remarkable political skills. Beyond this, the book is disappointing in terms of explaining the wellsprings of these conflicts and important aspects of the debate. I think the emphasis on the rivalry between Jefferson and Marshall, which Simon probably chose as a framing device, actually tends to limit understanding of the nature of this conflict.Read more ›
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
62 of 75 people found the following review helpful By charles falk VINE VOICE on March 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is surely the winter of Thomas Jefferson's discontent. His political credo of limiting the power of the federal government is invoked to restrict the rights of individual citizens against giant commercial entities and his defense of executive privilege is used to limit public and Congressional investigation into administrative wrongdoing. To make matters worse, he is attacked by present-day historians as hypocritical, petty, and perhaps worst of all -- trivial.
In James F Simon's What Kind of Nation, Jefferson comes off as all three in his battles over constitutional interpretation with his cousin and nemesis John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. One of the blurbs on the jacket describe Simon as
"eminently fair". That would be accurate if the title of the book were "What Kind of Court". But taken as a study of the two men's contribution to the kind of nation the United States became, it is skewed. What Kind of Nation is the story of Marshall's contribution, but it is far from the full record of Jefferson's.
Simon, a law professor, is admirable in his clear, readable exposition of how Marshall expanded the powers of the US Supreme Court during his thirty-year stewardship. Nearly single-handedly Marshall established the court as co-equal with the executive and legislative branches of the federal government and superior to the individual states' courts. Both Marshall and Jefferson were political partisans who bent legal ideology to suit their own pragmatic objectives, but Marshall was unquestionably better at it. For example, Marshall was a loyal if unenthusiastic supporter of the Alien and Sedition Acts which Federalist judges used to make political dissent a crime.
Read more ›
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
35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Professor. on May 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read "What Kind Of Nation" by James Simon and found it to be quite informative. I would recommend it, especially to those who have a legalistic bent. Is it about the early influence of the Court on what kind of nation? Yes. Is it the epic struggle that created the USA? No. For that, a book that could be called "the epic of the USA" is a good read entitled (and hold your breath) "West Point: Character Leadership Education, A Book Developed From The Readings And Writings Of Thomas Jefferson" by Norman Thomas Remick. Its the epic struggle of mankind that led to founding the USA. But that does not take away from my opinion that James F. Simon did a wonderful job with "What Kind Of Nation"
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
35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A. R. L on November 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The world needs a book about John Marshall's contribution to America. In my opinion, "What Kind Of Nation" by James F. Simon is it. Though the nature of the subject almost guarantees that the reading will be somewhat dry, scholarly, and lawyerlike, the author did a nice job with it. As a scholar myself, I recommend it. If you're looking for an easy read on Thomas Jefferson, I also recommend Norman Thomas Remick's excellent book "West Point: Character Leadership Education, A Book Developed From Thomas Jefferson's Readings And Writings", in which West Point is posited as a metaphor for Jefferson's worldview of the way America ought to be.
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
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By P. Martin on July 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
On a recent vacation to Colonial Williamsburg and Monticello, my 14-year-old nephew commented that Thomas Jefferson didn't get along with Alexander Hamilton. The four adults accompanying him replied patronizingly that Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr certainly didn't get along, but didn't remember anything between Hamilton and Jefferson...
Of course, my nephew was absolutely correct. In an effort to rectify my obvious educational deficiency, I immediately embarked on a reading plan which led me to "What Kind of Nation", where I discovered that Thomas Jefferson also didn't along with John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
By the time I got to this book I had a pretty good feel for the politics of the period, having read "Founding Brothers" by Joseph Ellis, "Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington" by Richard Brookhiser, "Alexander Hamilton: American" by Richard Brookhiser and "James Madison" by Garry Wills. I believe this background helped me to maximize my enjoyment of "What Kind of Nation" because I was able to focus on Marshall's brilliance and perseverance in establishing the authority of the Supreme Court on an equal footing with the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. Jefferson's antics were amusing, but old news. The way that Marshall dealt with Jefferson who was, after all, the President of the United States during the first 8 years of Marshall's 34 years as Chief Justice, is fascinating.
James Simon does a great job of telling the story without getting overly technical with the legal side of things. I think he strikes just the right balance, so that the lay reader (i.e., non-lawyer) can appreciate the significance of Marshall's extraordinary accomplishments.
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

Most Recent Customer Reviews

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
What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States
This item: What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States
Price: $13.44
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: biography books