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Posted November 17, 2008
Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney
James F. Simon's enlightening book Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession, and the President's War Powers is a must read to understand the constitutional battle Lincoln and Taney waged during the Civil War. In this duel biography of Taney and Lincoln, Simon successful places the two men in their historical context. What makes this book really stand out is Simon's balanced handling of Chief Justice Taney, best remembered for the Dred Scott decision. Taney was not a southern zealot who let his racism cloud his views, he was actually a moderate who had freed his slaves years earlier. Taney had been highly respected as Chief Justice till in the Dred Scott he neglected his famed understanding of the Constitution and let his class cloud his judgment. For a book on constitutional law, I could not put this book down.
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Posted December 11, 2012
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