- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Revised ed. edition (February 23, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195093879
- ISBN-13: 978-0195093872
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.2 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A History of the Supreme Court Revised ed. Edition
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Frequently Bought Together
Bernard Schwartz's history treats the Court as "both a mirror and a motor--reflecting the development of the society which it serves and helping to move that society in the direction of the dominant jurisprudence of the day." Beginning with the 17th-century writings of Sir Edward Coke, which shaped much of the legal thinking of America's Founding Fathers, Schwartz considers each of the major eras of the Supreme Court's tenure, from its first term in 1790 (held in New York City) to the Rehnquist years. There are also four chapters that deal specifically with watershed cases: Dred Scott v. Sandford, Lochner v. New York, Brown v. Board of Education, and Roe v. Wade. Schwartz marshals a substantial amount of historical information to carry the story forward without getting stuck on minutiae.
From Publishers Weekly
Constitution scholar Schwartz ( Super Chief: Earl Warren and His Supreme Court ) provides a thorough, balanced and readable chronological overview of the highest court in the land. He mixes biographical sketches of justices like John Marshall with insightful analyses of major decisions, offering also a close look at four watershed cases, e.g., those regarding desegregation and abortion. Schwartz's account of the modern court, especially that headed by Warren, is lively and savvy, with a moderate-liberal slant. His history of the earlier court is less journalistic; nevertheless, he shows how the court slowly grew in role and stature, and how its decisions contributed vitally to an expanding federal economy and the rise of corporations. While Schwartz at times judiciously reevaluates scholarly controversies--such as his upgrade of long-denounced Dred Scott jurist Roger Taney--he skirts such issues as the growing argument that the right to abortion should be based on equal protection rather than privacy rights.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Schwartz focuses on two main themes in the narrative. The first one, addressed in the Prologue and in the first few chapters, deal with the practice of Judicial Review in Anglo-Saxon common law, and especially in the early US, where under Chief Justice Marshall, the supreme court has been established as SUPREME - that is, in position to pass judgment on State legislators, State courts, and even the US Congress.
The theme is very prominent in the early history of the Court, where the Supreme Court fulfilled its Hamiltonian role as the final authority on the constitutionality of law. Very early, US Justices have proved that they were every bit the politicians as the Jurists - Chief Marshall successfully established Judicial Review in his Marbury vs. Madison decision, while Roger B Taney catastrophically endangered it in his attempt to end the political crisis of the Union via his Dred Scott Decision.
Later in the book, Schwartz still devotes time to the question of Judicial Review, but then in a new disguise - that of Judicial restraint, which Schwartz first sees in the actions of Roger B Taney, but which were only manifested plainly in the dissents of Oliver Wendell Holmes, most famously in the Lochner vs. New York case (1905), where the majority judges, led by Rufus W.Read more ›
“A History of the Supreme Court” by Bernard Schwartz is about how the Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution from the time of its inception down to the publication of his book, in 1993. The book reminds me of my two Con Law classes as it covers the same material. The author begins by saying the great theme of our nation’s development is the idea of law as a check upon government power. Indeed, the Constitution is not a prohibition against what the people might do, but a prohibition against what the government might do.
The Supreme Court was hardly supreme in the beginning.Read more ›
I give five stars for three reasons. First, unlike many other legal histories it has few Latin phrases and most legal terms are explained. Second, the competition is multivolume tombs, most of which are very out dated, so this is by default the best book out there. Third, arguably, every major justice and case that shaped the philosophy of Constitutional Law is covered. It is remarkable that such long history can be meaningfully condensed into one book. It is an excellent reference to look up subjects that appear in books, news and current events. It is essential for understanding Constitutional Law.
For a faster read try skimming through some of the drier (or less well written) biographical descriptions, which are relatively easy to weed out. Schwartz covers some of the most interesting aspects of the early court when the Justices also served on the federal circuit court, spending as much as six months of the year traveling cross country under the most brutal conditions. Schwartz describes the evolution of Constitutional Law involving the struggle between the federal and state governments leading up to and after the Civil War. His coverage of Holmes during the development of the modern system of federal government is very good, although sometimes biased with Schwartz's liberal views. Schwartz goes into special detail for Civil Rights with chapters on Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The "Should be Title" is The History of the United States as affected bring the Supreme Court". Very interesting book. Must read for historians.Published 1 month ago by E. Keith Winder
I am glad I have this book in my home library, we should all be more knowledge about our judicial system, it affects our life every day.Published 12 months ago by J. R. Powell
Good informative book. If you are not a poly-sci lover, it will read like desk assembly instructions. Read morePublished 16 months ago by AngryGames
"A History of the Supreme Court" is a nicely written institutional history of, well, of the Supreme Court. However, it's not really a history of the U.S. Read morePublished on December 2, 2013 by not me
This book manages to put a human perspective on the history of the Supreme Court by providing anecdotes in order to create a historical context. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Jaz2099
Bernard Schwartz "History of the Supreme Court" is a good reference book to have in your library. The book is not a light read but it is a thorough treatise of how the Supreme... Read morePublished on June 18, 2012 by kariedi
I have a mixed opinion of the book, "A History of the Supreme Court." Though I gave it 3 stars, there are short comings. Read morePublished on January 3, 2012 by JohnnnyD