- Hardcover: 309 pages
- Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Printing edition (June 28, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596981490
- ISBN-13: 978-1596981492
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century Hardcover – June 28, 2010
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From the Inside Flap
Unconstitutional laws are pouring out of Washington but we can stop them.
Just ask Thomas Jefferson. There is a rightful remedy” to federal power grabsit’s called Nullification.
In Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, historian and New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr. explains not only why nullification is the constitutional tool the Founders envisioned, but how it worksand has already been employed in cases ranging from upholding the First Amendment to knocking down slave laws before the Civil War. In Nullification, Woods shows:
* How the states were meant to be checks against federal tyrannyand how a growing roster of governors and state attorneys general are recognizing they need to become that again
* Why the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reinforces the rights of states to nullify unconstitutional laws
* Why it was left to the states to uphold the simple principle that an unconstitutional law is no law at all
* Why, without nullification, ordinary Americans will continue to suffer the oppression of unjust, unconstitutional laws
* PLUS thorough documentation of how the Founding Fathers believed nullification could be applied
Nullification is not just a bookit could become a movement to restore the proper constitutional limits of the federal government. Powerful, provocative, and timely, Nullification is sure to stir debate and become a constitutional handbook for all liberty-loving Americans.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Nullification
In clear and well-documented arguments, Tom Woods gives hope to those who wish to tame the federal monster as the Framers intendedby using the utterly lawful and historically accepted principle of Nullification. You must read this book.”
The Honorable Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior Judicial Analyst, Fox News Channel
Thomas Jefferson said, Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.’ It turns out that at least two thirds of congressional spending is absent of any constitutional authority. That means that at the very least, it is going to take the vigorous use of nullification to restore the American republic. Anyone in the Tea Party movement or elsewhere who really wants to limit government ought to start with this highly readable and informative book.”
Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, George Mason University
This book is a must read for all who respect and cherish liberty. During these times that challenge our freedoms there is no one more qualified to make U.S. history relevant to the fight against big government than Thomas Woods.”
Barry M. Goldwater, Jr., former Member of Congress
Top Customer Reviews
As with his bestseller "Meltdown," in which Woods explained how the Federal Reserve and government intervention were primary culprits in the ongoing recession, "Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century," is a how-to for Americans fed up with an out-of-control Washington, DC. Question: How can we expect a federal government no longer restrained by the Constitution to be contained by that document any time in the future? Answer: by containing it ourselves.
Woods argues that Americans concerned about federal overreach--on everything from the imposition of national healthcare to medicinal marijuana laws--should revisit the "principles of '98," as in 1798, when James Madison and Thomas Jefferson famously insisted that the federal government, as Woods puts, "cannot be permitted to hold a monopoly on constitutional interpretation" or the "exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers," or it would continue to grow, "regardless of elections, the separation of powers and other much-touted limits on government power."
Per the 10th amendment and Madison and Jefferson's example, Woods argues that states should render void--or nullify--oppressive federal mandates, as not only a necessary measure, but perhaps the only possible way Americans might ever stuff the beast in Washington back into its constitutional box. Woods points out that nullification is not only an old, all-American concept whose time has come, but is far more practical method of substantively addressing today's problems than the false solutions offered by the Left/Right, two-party paradigm, a truly archaic political model which has kept us distracted from the real dilemma of unchecked government power--something our rulers laughably keep insisting they will keep in check so long as their own party holds all the power in government.
FOX News host Judge Andrew Napolitano is correct when he says "In clear and well-documented arguments, Tom Woods gives hope to those who wish to tame the federal monster as the Framers intended--by using the utterly lawful and historically accepted principle of Nullification." Indeed. And with his latest offering, Tom Woods has given Americans who genuinely want to "take their country back" the blueprint to do just that.
On the contrary, Woods shows that this was an idea championed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and flowed seamlessly from the "compact theory of the Union." Nullification was not an ad hoc principle dreamed up in a particular battle over states' rights, but instead was an integral part of Jefferson's philosophy of a federation in which the central government only received enumerated (and strictly limited) powers from the states who constituted the Union.
This book is a great read for anyone who loves colonial and early US history. Woods sketches a vision of early America that we didn't learn in grade school. For example, the handbill announcing the "Anti-Slave-Catchers' Mass Convention" (p. 82) is amazing--outraged citizens in Wisconsin didn't want to hand over an escaped slave as the feds dictated (under the Fugitive Slave Act). This episode is but one example that Woods provides, to prove that very often "states' rights" were used to *protect* liberty. Is that really so hard to understand--that sometimes the *federal* government is the bad guy?
A surprise in this book is Chapter 4, "What Is (or Are) the United States, Anyway?" Here Woods makes a compelling argument for the compact theory of the Union, which is the view that the federal government was created by the individual States when they ratified the Constitution. (A nationalist view holds that "the people of the United States" collectively formed the central government, and that therefore the individual state governments are subordinate to it.)
Much of Woods' evidence I had read before, but a new one was his focus on the Declaration of Independence itself, which says:
"...That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do" (qtd p. 97).
Woods points out that if the individual States, upon their declaration of independence, retained the rights to *start wars and contract alliances*, then surely they were sovereign political entities, in the way that France and Great Britain were separate States. It is then an easy matter to show that at no point, whether with the Articles of Confederation or the Constitution (which after all was ratified NOT by the American public but by the individual states), did these initially sovereign states cede all of their powers to the U.S. government.
All in all, an excellent book that provides a new look at American history, but also draws lessons that are very relevant in today's political battles.