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Commentaries on the Constitution Hardcover – September 10, 1995

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Commentaries were tremendous achievements, and evidence immense industry and legal knowledge, and themselves entitled him to be ranked as a jurist of the first rank. --Walker, Oxford Companion to Law 1192

Taking the Federalist as the basis of his Commentaries, he advocates a liberal construction of the palladium of our liberties. --Marvin, Legal Bibliography 669

About the Author

Apart from James Kent, no legal scholar has had greater influence on American law than Justice Story [1779-1845], who was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1811.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Carolina Academic Press (September 10, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890893144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890893142
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,285,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Warren L. McFerran on October 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Joseph Story began his political career as a Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican in a New England State dominated by Hamiltonian Federalists. When he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by President James Madison, it was under the impression that Mr. Story would serve as a counter-weight to the nationalistic-minded Chief Justice John Marshall. Yet, after his appointment, Justice Story made a conversion to the Hamiltonian Federalist mentality, and became the protege of the Chief Justice. (In fact, he dedicated his Commentaries on the Constitution to Chief Justice Marshall.) While serving on the Supreme Court, Justice Story also served as a law professor at Harvard University, a position in which he was encouraged to produce works espousing the nationalistic point of view (in opposition to the States' Rights school of thought that emphasized the federal nature of our system of government).

Within the Commentaries, Justice Story bended the truth to suit his purposes, as, for example, in his explanation of the adoption of the Constitution of 1787. According to Justice Story, the Constitution was adopted by the American people as a single sovereign Nation over the States. The wording of the Preamble, "We the people of the United States," for instance, was offered to sustain this view, despite the fact that, in the Constitutional Convention, the Preamble had been worded as, "We the people of the States of," followed by the names of the thirteen sovereign States. The Convention's Committee of Style modified it to read "We the people of the United States" only because it was not known whether all 13 States would actually ratify it. Justice Story chose to ignore this historical fact in presenting his view of the Constitution, because the fact did not support his conclusion.
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By Tim Rose on October 12, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
awesome quick delivery!
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Format: Hardcover
While Joseph Story is commonly acknowledged as a constitutional expert, he advanced some very flawed theories on the Constitution, which ran counter to the what the founders put into place, and ran directly against the limited federal government that was essential to the concept of federalism.

In Story's historically incorrect assertion, the national government pre-dated the states, which later gave rise to the dimution of states' rights and the utter destruction of the Constitutional Republic, replaced by the consolidated mess we have today. The truth, of course, is that the states were sovereign in their own territory, and only delegated away certain powers (clearly deliniated in Article 1, Section 9).

While there is much in this volume that is useful from a historical perspective, the underlying theory that Story holds of the origin of the Constitution (and thereby, the Constitutional Republic) is deeply flawed, which adversely affects what he writes about the document.
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Format: Hardcover
Part of the Introduction came out immediately as if it were never attached. This shouldn't happen on a "Like New" book. I enjoy the book but the condition is wholly unacceptable. No other pages have fallen out, however.
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