John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court

John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court

by Richard Brookhiser


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The life of John Marshall, Founding Father and America's premier chief justice.

In 1801, a genial and brilliant Revolutionary War veteran and politician became the fourth chief justice of the United States. He would hold the post for 34 years (still a record), expounding the Constitution he loved. Before he joined the Supreme Court, it was the weakling of the federal government, lacking in dignity and clout. After he died, it could never be ignored again. Through three decades of dramatic cases involving businessmen, scoundrels, Native Americans, and slaves, Marshall defended the federal government against unruly states, established the Supreme Court's right to rebuke Congress or the president, and unleashed the power of American commerce. For better and for worse, he made the Supreme Court a pillar of American life.

In John Marshall, award-winning biographer Richard Brookhiser vividly chronicles America's greatest judge and the world he made.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465096220
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 372,474
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and the author of eleven books, including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, American, and Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

A Note on Spelling and Usage ix

Introduction John Marshall George Washington 1

Section I Early Life

Chapter 1 Soldier 11

Chapter 2 Lawyer 27

Chapter 3 Local Politician 41

Chapter 4 Diplomat, Congressman, Secretary of State 59

Section II Beleaguered Chief Justice

Chapter 5 The Case of the Missing Commission 77

Chapter 6 Impeachment 97

Chapter 7 Treason 107

Chapter 8 Corruption and Contracts 123

Section III Magisterial Chief Justice

Chapter 9 A Small College 137

Chapter 10 Bankers and Embezzlers 155

Chapter 11 Jewish Lottery Runners 169

Chapter 12 Steamboats and Commerce 181

Section IV Chief Justice: The Waning Years

Chapter 13 Slavers 195

Chapter 14 Bankrupts 211

Chapter 15 Cherokees 223

Chapter 16 Missionaries 237

Chapter 17 Bill of Rights 249

Legacy: Marshall, Jefferson, Lincoln 261

Acknowledgments 279

Notes 281

Bibliography 303

Index 309

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