The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries That Defined America (Paperback)

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"Superbly well written . . . a wonderfully informative guide to the Supreme Court both past and present."—David J. Garrow, American History

Jeffrey Rosen recounts the history of the Supreme Court through the personal and philosophical rivalries that have transformed the law—and by extension, our lives. With studies of four crucial conflicts—Chief Justice John Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson; post–Civil War justices John Marshall Harlan and Oliver Wendell Holmes; liberal icons Hugo Black and William O. Douglas; and conservative stalwarts William H. Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia—Rosen brings vividly to life the perennial rivalry between those justices guided by strong ideology and those who cared more about the court as an institution, forging coalitions and adjusting to new realities. He ends with a revealing conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts, who is attempting to change the court in unexpected ways. The stakes, he shows, are nothing less than the future of American jurisprudence.

About the Author


Jeffrey Rosen is the author of nonfiction books, including the recent Louis D. Brandeis and William Howard Taft. He is the president and chief executive officer of the National Constitution Center, a law professor at George Washington University, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He was previously the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and a staff writer for The New Yorker.

WNET, channel 13, is a non-commercial television station licensed to Newark, New Jersey. With its signal covering the three-state New York metropolitan area, WNET is a flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service, and a primary provider of PBS programming.

Praise For…


"Authoritative analysis of how the justices’ “quirks of personality and temperament” have shaped American law and made the Court one of our strongest institutions … An illuminating look at the human side of the highest court." - Kirkus Reviews
Product Details
ISBN: 9780805086850
ISBN-10: 0805086854
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: December 26th, 2007
Pages: 288
Language: English