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Bush v. Gore: The Court Cases and the Commentary Paperback – February 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Washington Post columnist Dionne and Weekly Standard editor Kristol have assembled 12 legal opinions and 62 pieces of journalism on the recent "Five-Week Recount War." The legal documents include texts of four November advisory opinions from Florida officials, several court decisions preceding December's Gore v. Harris in the Florida Supreme Court, and the climactic Bush v. Gore in the U.S. Supreme Court. The journalism is mainly the work of national columnists from such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, and National Review, plus the editors' own Post and Standard pieces. Some legal documents are not printed in full, but the complete texts are available on an accompanying web site. The editors, who differ on recount questions, have been careful to balance opinions in their column selections. They have contributed a brief introduction and a chronology, but otherwise the book is purely documentary. An optional purchase for libraries, who can weigh the local advantage of having this inexpensive compilation from a prestigious imprint against the time staff and patrons would otherwise spend locating these scattered texts in various print and online sources. Robert F. Nardini, Chichester, NH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A 'must' for students of political science and American electorial history." — Midwest Book Review, 4/18/2001



"Kristol and Dionne's collection stand[s] up well as an account of the 'outside story' in Florida." —Richard Lowry, National Review, 4/19/2001



"'Bush v. Gore' is essential reading.... It features a wide range of intelligent commentary, from hard-hitting leftist critiques in The Nation, to confused centrist plaints in The New Republic, to jarring conservative responses in The Weekly Standard." —Corey Robin, Brooklyn College, SUNY, Newsday, 6/20/2001



"The editors, who differ on recount questions, have been careful to balance opinions in their column selections." —Robert Nardini, Library Journal, 9/24/2001



"... makes for entertaining and informative reading to see such contrasts in opinion." —Kenneth R. Mayer, Congress & the Presidency, 10/1/2001



"Bush v. Gore [is] a well-edited, balanced work.... The book collects the principal decisions and varied and thought-provoking views on the main facets of the battle." —Steven I. Himelstein, Dorsey & Whitney LLP (Law firm), New York Law Journal, 5/4/2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815701071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815701071
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,247,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This book can really be divided into two parts. The first part of the book provides reprints of some of the key court decisions in the legal battle that transpired after the Presidential election in 2000. While volumes were said and written about these decisions, most Americans did not read the actual decisions themselves. I did read the U.S. Supreme Court decision of December 12th, which effectively ended the legal confrontation, when it was released and was surprised by the way it was portrayed by the press. To my reading, neither side reported it completely accurately. Other key decisions (including two by the Florida Supreme Court) are included conveniently in this one text without the distraction of the 'spin doctors' to tell you what you should be thinking. As a non-lawyer, I found the decisions to be quite readable and within my grasp.
The second part of the book is two collections of editorials, one set chosen by a Pro-Bush advocate and one set chosen by a Pro-Gore advocate. These make for very light reading and this comes as a bit of a relief. After wading through a 60 plus page decision from the Supreme Court, it's a nice change of pace to read some light "op-ed" columns from prominent national newspapers. However, these are relatively unimportant. Does anyone still care what The Washington Post thought about the election on November 21st? I was struck by how inflammatory the rhetoric was in these editorials. This was true on both sides. I'm not sure the country was well served by the press and I'm also not impressed that these sources are particularly important now.
Conspicuously lacking are the plaintiff's briefs, which are really the core first person materials.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book a great read! Having paid close attention to the press coverage and downloading the decisions at the time, I found this book much easier to follow than what I read and viewed during the conflict. While reading this book, I realized how much spin was actually put on the decisions when reported by the press. I chose this book for its balance and I was not disappointed.
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Format: Paperback
The only reason this book has any value is because of the opinions from the courts that take up the first half of the volume. The rest of the book is filled with op-ed pieces from various newspapers and magazines, liberal and conservative. They are all pretty much worthless. They are too short to offer any real insight, and instead simply seek to use very abrasive rhetoric to whip their respective troops into a frenzy. Reading the court cases however, is clearly an essential part of understanding what happened in the election of 2000. To me, it is fairly clear that what happened to Gore was blatently undemocratic and unfair, but also completely legal under Florida's statutory scheme. So the fundamental question that the book raises, though it never directly address it, is, should we be pursuing a basic sense of fairness, or strictly adhereing to laws, even when it is apparent that they are not functioning in a democratic way, or to the benefit of the citizenry whatsoever. If you think that op-ed columnists will adequately answer that, think again. But at least this book allows thoughtful readers who want to ponder the question for themselves the opportunity to see some source materials.
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Format: Paperback
Bush V. Gore: The Court Cases And The Commentary focuses on one of the most extraordinary five week periods in American electorial history: The Florida vote count in the George Bush/Al Gore presidential election contest. Bush v. Gore gathers its key text from the landmark legal cases argued in the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Following the legal documents are more than sixty opinion pieces from journalists and scholars on both sides of the political divide. A "must" for students of political science and American electorial history, Bush V. Gore's combination of significant court documents and bi-partisan editorial commentary creates an informed and informative perspective for the unprecedented, highly controversial post-election period with all of its drama, constitutional issues, and outcome.
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