- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (April 10, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871407558
- ISBN-13: 978-0871407559
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Eisenhower vs. Warren: The Battle for Civil Rights and Liberties 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Enjoyably readable, thoroughly researched.... An absorbing book about a saga in American law and politics that remains centrally important.”
- Lincoln Caplan, New York Times
“The most thorough and balanced assessment of the two men’s fraught relationship yet written.... Simon is the ideal scholar to undertake this study, having made a career of examining conflicts between the presidency and the Supreme Court. As we anticipate an existential clash between Donald Trump and the justices―if Trump attempts to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, for instance, or defies an obstruction-of-justice finding―Simon’s book is highly topical. It also has something to teach us about incremental versus rapid change. The fundamental disagreement it chronicles concerns the pace of social progress.”
- Michael O'Donnell, The Atlantic
“Illuminate[s] an often-overlooked period of legal history at the start of the civil rights movement. . . . Simon is in top form, creating sympathetic portraits of both protagonists, capturing the historical context of Eisenhower’s presidency, thoroughly explaining the dynamics of the Warren Court, and, when necessary, looking past Eisenhower’s and Warren’s professed positions to expose their underlying motives and goals. This balanced account of the bitter relationship between Eisenhower and Warren presents a new lens through which to view the start of the civil rights movement.”
- Publishers Weekly
“A vivid account….Gripping.”
- Michael Barone, Wall Street Journal
“Many Americans, especially white ones, think of the 1950s with gauzy nostalgia….[Eisenhower vs Warren] offer[s] important corrections to such sentimentalism…. Mr. Simon is an engaging storyteller.”
- The Economist
“A detailed, fine-grained study...As Simon skillfully demonstrates, Eisenhower was far from inert on the subject of racial reform… Warren, too, is written as intriguingly complicated.”
- Open Letters Review
“The two principals’ individuality, as well as their relationship to one another and to their associate justices, is skillfully and intelligently drawn. This is a cogently written book, especially given the complexity of many of the issues. Simon does great justice to an important segment of a critical period in American history.”
“Chief Justice Earl Warren was a bold moralist. President Dwight Eisenhower was a cautious pragmatist. Both men were, in their way and in their time, great leaders. With clear-eyed judiciousness and a subtle feel for the nuances of hard decision-making, James Simon has brought the compelling conflict between these two men to life.”
- Evan Thomas, author of Ike’s Bluff and Being Nixon
“A lively and accessible synthesis of the existing literature on Eisenhower's and Warren's careers, as well as an incisive analysis of their relationship. Once again James Simon shows his facility for illuminating pairings of celebrated historical figures.”
- G. Edward White, David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law University of Virginia School of Law
“In Eisenhower v. Warren, James Simon offers a truly masterful telling of the complex relationship between two of the most influential and compelling figures in mid-twentieth century America. Exploring such fundamental issues as racial segregation and McCarthyism, Simon takes us beyond the scenes in the White House, the Congress, and the Supreme Court to reveal with extraordinary intimacy the conflicts, the compromises, and the sometimes shaped antagonisms that shaped one of the most pivotal periods in American history. Quite frankly, I couldn't put it down!”
- Geoffrey Stone, author of Sex and the Constitution
About the Author
James F. Simon is dean emeritus at New York Law School. He is the author of nine books on American history, law, and politics, and has won the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. He lives in West Nyack, New York.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The author begins with some effective biographical material about each man. For Warren, that means principally his many terms as Attorney General and Governor of California, and his national political career as the GOP vice presidential candidate in 1948 and a major contender for the GOP nomination (against Taft and Ike) in 1952. Ike's military career as an effective leader (such as his role as Supreme Allied Commander in World War II) is detailed, but the author also discusses his postwar activities as President of Columbia, NATO leader, and Joint Chiefs participant as well. It is evident from even these early chapters that Warren is the hero of the book rather than Ike.
The author does a solid job in several chapters on the 1952 nomination and the campaign against Adali Stevenson. The reader starts to see that Ike's position on civil rights issues while not hostile is not exactly enthusiastic either. Ike apparently just did not want to stir up controversy with southern supporters by being too activist; he also just wanted things calm during the campaign. There are several different stories as to why Ike promised Warren the "first vacancy" on the Supreme Court--my understanding differs a bit from the author's. What is clear is that Warren insisted first meant first, including the Chief Justiceship, when Fred Vinson suddenly died just after the first Brown argument.
The author's recounting of how in two days Warren exited California and became Chief Justice in the midst of the tense deliberations over ending school segregation is just masterful. Warren was not the supreme court novice he is sometime depicted as, he had argued before the Court 25 times, but at issue were his political skills as he led to an unanimous opinion. We learn exactly how he did it. The author's treatment of the second Brown arguments, over implementation, is also well done.
The core of the book becomes how and why Ike did not push enforcement of Brown or offer much public support for the decision. The author's cool analytical approach allows the reader to penetrate the issue with a minimum of emotion. While the Court was being attacked from several sides, Ike just wanted to play it cool although he did send troops into Little Rock as discussed in another outstanding chapter. So there was definitely a cooling in the Ike Warren relationship over this. Anyone who did not live through the Civil Rights struggle needs to carefully read this chapter to get a feeling for the extreme reactions to the Brown decision.
The concluding chapters focus on the more general egalitarian decisions of the Warren Court and the "Impeach Earl Warren|" campaign. Warren was a fighter to the end, opposing the National Court of Appeals proposal and exerting his influence in areas important to him after his retirement. That Warren is the hero of the book is fine by me--he is one of my heroes as well. I met him once at the University of California, Santa Barbara (one of his many achievements as Governor) and I was not disappointed. He is a figure well worth studying and the author has made that conveniently possible.
James F. Simon’s parallel study of the lives of two remarkable figures in American history reminds us of a far different time in our nation. EISENHOWER VS. WARREN is a behind-the-public-scenes look at the post-World War II era of our nation when the battle for civil rights was fought in several venues. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chief Justice Earl Warren viewed the issue through different life experiences. Simon has written extensively on the relationship between the Supreme Court and presidents. His books have covered the political and legal rivalries from Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall to William Rehnquist and George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He always shows an amazing ability to pinpoint the conflicts and compromises that shape important moments in our nation’s history.
Earl Warren led a remarkable political life. He rose through California politics as a local prosecutor, state attorney general and governor. In the 1940s, California election laws allowed candidates to run in multiple primaries. Warren occasionally ran for office in both Democrat and Republican primary elections, and won nominations on both party lines. He built a remarkable record in office, governing in ways that would be anathema to modern-day Republicans. He endorsed spending on social services without raising taxes and built a budget surplus in California that exceeded $150 million. Nominated for vice president with Thomas E. Dewey in 1948, he was swept up in the Truman upset. America might have been a far different nation had that election result been as forecast by political pundits.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a war hero, not a politician. He was not the first military president, but his road to the White House took an interesting path. In the years after World War II, the popular Eisenhower avoided partisan politics with such skill that he could have been nominated and elected president as either a Democrat or Republican. President Truman offered to step aside in 1948 and support him for the nomination. Eisenhower declined and spent the first post-World War II years as president of Columbia University. That he lacked a sense of political skill was evident after he was nominated for president by the Republicans in 1952. His advisors thought he should offer the vice-presidential nomination to Richard Nixon. Eisenhower was surprised that he had that choice, thinking that the convention would decide who his running mate would be.
Simon’s account of the Eisenhower-Warren connection avoids discussion of the famous deal between the two men during the 1952 Republican National Convention. History has suggested that in exchange for Warren’s support for the nomination, he was promised the first Supreme Court vacancy. Simon maintains that the decision to nominate Warren was free of any promise and was based on careful reflection. Regardless, Warren became Chief Justice, and history records that his effort to secure a unanimous court in Brown v. Board of Education, the school desegregation case, changed America forever. Simon notes that, even though Eisenhower was not enthused about that decision and perhaps had even inappropriately lobbied Warren against it, his first public response was to support it. “The Supreme Court has spoken, and I am sworn to uphold the constitutional process in the country,” he told reporters two days after the decision. “And I will obey.” Presently, those words are not part of our political vocabulary.
History is an important teacher. EISENHOWER VS. WARREN reminds us of an era when Supreme Court justices owed their allegiance to the Constitution they interpreted, not the president or political party who nominated them. Simon believes that a political Supreme Court destroys the fabric of our country. But that fabric can be mended, and the pattern for the mending remains part of our national history.
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman