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Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom Hardcover – November 12, 2012
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About the Author
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is Fox News Channel's senior judicial analyst, currently seen by millions of viewers weeknights on The Big Story and The O'Reilly Factor. Napolitano is the youngest person in New Jersey history to receive a lifetime judgeship. He is bright (graduate of Princeton and Notre Dame Law School), articulate (four times voted most outstanding professor at the two law schools at which he taught), and broadcast-experienced (as a daily fixture on Fox News Channel since 1998). He is the author of Constitutional Chaos and The Constitution In Exile.
Top customer reviews
"Jefferson believed that in the long arc of history, we can see repeated over and over again the struggle for individual freedom against a monopoly of force. The monopoly of force has killed, stolen, lied, and cheated its way into power and wealth. The first two decades of the twentieth-century America - an era arguably dominated by Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson - are not an exception to Jefferson's conclusion: rather, they are a heightened paradigm of it. In those twenty or so years the role of the federal government changed so radically that it would never be the same again." (pg. 248)
Besides providing fascinating details about these oddly juxtaposed yet soul-mate-like troubled men, I especially liked how Judge N. ties the Constitutional amendments of the time together. The only one that was any good, and worth changing the Constitution for was the 19th (women's vote). All the others have damaged the Constitution beyond recognition, yet are still in place today, except for the short live 18th (alcohol prohibition). I had never before realized how destructive the 17th was (Senators selected by popular vote and not by State appointment), and how fundamental the old arrangement was to the balance of powers established by the original framers.
Before the 16th amendment (legalizing income tax) the federal government got 40% of its revenue from taxes on alcohol. The 16th amendment paved the way for the 18th, and the 17th sealed it by removing the check and balance of the State's representatives, leaving it to the masses to decide (reform minded progressives), with women rewarded with the 19th for being such supporters of Prohibition with their votes at the state level. But we all know Prohibition (which was at the hub of this first push at progressive minded reform) was an utter failure, leading to a bloom in criminalization and a destruction of family values (sound familiar?).
This book provides plenty of clear perspective on the effects of the Progressive Era - from the rise of Crony Capitalist and Union special interests, American military expansion and the draft, to the establishment of the banking cartel we euphemistically know as the Federal Reserve, compulsory education, and racist eugenic practices. I find it incomprehensible that such a movement can have any credibility today (yet many on the left still proudly identify themselves as "progressives"), and that these harmful and unconstitutional policies are now the foundation of the new American Empire.
Judge Napolitano's writing style is direct and simple, even plain, yet never dumbed-down. He gives us the best overview of this pivotal phase of American history I've ever seen, and one that is timely to revisit today. The Progressive Era may have begun over 100 years ago but it isn't over yet...
The author examines different aspects of the Progressive movement, and each chapter looks at a different way that the unintended consequences of Progressivism has had deleterious effects on our individual liberty.
The book is well organized, and the author divides a complex political movement into chapters, each of which look at a different way the movement has affected individuals and the nation. As a result of this organization, readability and enjoyment is enhanced. Each chapter has a "Conclusion" section that summarizes the points put forth in the chapter. Each facet of the movement is tied to one or both (most often both) of these very interesting figures in American history.
I found the book to be very compelling....very hard to put down! I highly recommend the book to not only anyone interested in American History, but anyone who is concerned about the direction our country is heading today. This book clearly shows HOW we got to where we are today. It shows how the federal government, due in large part to the actions of these two powerful presidents, went from its constitutionally defined enumerated powers to having UNLIMITED power over our daily lives!