The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court [NOOK Book]

Overview

Following the bitterly contested election between Adams and Jefferson in 1800, the United States teetered on the brink of a second revolution. When Adams sought to prolong his policies in defiance of the electorate by packing the courts, it became evident that the new Constitution was limited in its powers. Change was in order and John Marshall stepped up to the challenge.

The Great Decision tells the riveting story of Marshall and of the landmark court case, Marbury v. Madison,...

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The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court

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Overview

Following the bitterly contested election between Adams and Jefferson in 1800, the United States teetered on the brink of a second revolution. When Adams sought to prolong his policies in defiance of the electorate by packing the courts, it became evident that the new Constitution was limited in its powers. Change was in order and John Marshall stepped up to the challenge.

The Great Decision tells the riveting story of Marshall and of the landmark court case, Marbury v. Madison, through which he empowered the Supreme Court and transformed the idea of the separation of powers into a working blueprint for our modern state. Rich in atmospheric detail, political intrigue, and fascinating characters, The Great Decision is an illuminating tale of America’s formative years and the evolution of our democracy.

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Editorial Reviews

David C. Frederick
In The Great Decision, Cliff Sloan and David McKean draw primarily on secondary sources, along with some contemporary newspaper accounts, to paint a vivid picture of intense political conflicts between the Federalists and Jeffersonians. In so doing, they skillfully present the reader with a political thriller…their book provides a colorful description of the tumultuous times in which the Court rendered its landmark judgment.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal

Spanning the years 1801 to 1835, John Marshall's nationalist-leaning Supreme Court greatly expanded the powers of the federal government, much to the chagrin of states' rights advocate Thomas Jefferson and the Republican Party. No case exemplified that political conflict more so than the Supreme Court's 1803 decision in the landmark case Marbury v. Madison, a decision that established the court's power of judicial review. Quickly following up Lawrence Goldstone's The Activist: John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, and the Myth of Judicial Review, former Supreme Court clerk Sloan (former publisher, Slate) and top-level Senate aide McKean (Tommy the Cork) have written a lucid and compelling account of the well-known but seldom understood court battle that secured the place of the judiciary as a coordinate branch of the federal government. While William Nelson's Marbury v. Madison: The Origins and Legacy of Judicial Review more thoroughly examines the complex legal details of the case, Sloan and McKean have given generalists and academics alike a fascinating, straightforward narrative that is highly recommended for larger public and academic libraries.
—Brian Odom

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786744961
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/2/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 669,951
  • File size: 456 KB

Meet the Author

Cliff Sloan is a former Supreme Court clerk. He has written about the Supreme Court for many publications, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, and Slate.

David McKean is a top-level Senate aide, a veteran political strategist, and the author of Friends in High Places and Tommy the Cork.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 21, 2009

    Old story becomes new

    The story line is what attracted me to this title, I didn't expect such a well researched story. Throughout the book another new (old) sub-story appeared. I have read many books of this era and this one tells it in such a private manner, the letter research must have been weary. David McCullouch had it easy, pore thru one pile of letters! The logic of Marshall must drive todays legal eagles crazy, but if you have a real understanding of how those times worked it made sense. It may take a few readings, but it is pure logic. But by making his decision, he makes himself irrelevant. Congress fumes. Jefferson is apoplectic. So how can Marshall call the case? Good summer reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Very good book on the period

    It is a very interesting book. It helps understand the period around 1800. It helps you to see how all the forces came together. Presidents Jefferson, Adams,Madison, Monroe and the Chief Justice. How Marburry VS Madison changed how the Supreme Court forever. I recommend this book for anybody who likes history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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