Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush

Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush

by Thomas E. Woods Jr., Kevin R. C. Gutzman

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307449382
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/08/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 375 KB

About the Author

THOMAS E. WOODS JR., PH.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to American History, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, and 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a contributing editor of The American Conservative magazine, he has received the Templeton Enterprise Award and the O. P. Alford III Prize in Libertarian Scholarship, among other honors. He and his family live in Alabama.

KEVIN R. C. GUTZMAN, J.D., PH.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Constitution and Virginia’s American Revolution. An associate professor of American history at Western Connecticut State University, Dr. Gutzman has written for numerous popular and scholarly publications.


From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Constitution Is Dead     1
Congress Shall Make No Law (Unless It Really Wants To): Woodrow Wilson and Freedom of Speech     5
Another "Great President" versus the Constitution: Harry Truman Seizes the Steel Mills     23
The Third Rail of American Jurisprudence: Brown v. Board of Education     41
Discriminating to End ... Discrimination: The Forced Busing Fiascoes     55
Roads to Nowhere     71
The Great Gold Robbery of 1933     83
The Court's "Wall of Separation": Banning Prayer from Public Schools     103
The Power to Draft     119
Do Americans Have a Constitutional Duty to Suffer? The Case of Medical Marijuana     135
From Chief Executive to Prince: The Presidency and Foreign Policy     151
The Phony Case for Presidential War Power     167
The President Enforces the Law ... Right?     185
Conclusion: Can Anything Be Done?     199
The Constitution of the United States     203
Notes     227
Acknowledgments     247
Index     249

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Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Cascadian on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I sometimes think that in an era when "history" means who won last season's American Idol, one of the hardest things to get people to understand is that the assault on the American Constitution didn't begin with George W. Bush. The systematic attempt to expand and centralize State power at the expense of individual liberty goes much farther back in our past ... probably to the very adoption of the Constitution in place of the Articles of Confederation, but at least, as Thomas Woods and Kevin Gutzman argue, to the first world war. Indeed, as I saw someone express it recently, George W. Bush is a pro-bono attorney for the ACLU compared to that true monster, Woodrow Wilson.So that's the first thing about "Who Killed the Constitution?": the authors' well-grounded historical viewpoint. The second is their research and documentation. It would be one thing to disregard them as ideologists if all they were doing was huffing and puffing like a Fox News pundit. But for them to marshal facts and citations and many, many quotations, as they do, makes this not pontificating but important investigative history. Discounting the seriousness of their argument would require ... well, exactly what has been happening for that last century or so ... the bald-faced denial of the evidence of our senses and reason. But if the rational reader can't see through that after a few hours in these pages, then I'm not sure what more we can do.Of course, I'm not entirely sure what we can do anyway. I was all set to write that I wished I shared the authors' belief that Something Can Be Done, that the Republic is salvageable, and what's been lost can be regained. I had even prepared to title my review something like "A great book, heartbreakingly irrelevant."I should have paid more attention to the title.You see, the authors are not asking *whether* the Constitution is dead. They know it is. It was murdered by presidents, legislators, and jurists who sought Constitutional cover to create a veil of legitimacy around what they had already planned to do. Once they've come up with the arguments in which to clothe their intentions (the Constitution's "capacity for adaptation is indefinitely flexible," Justice George Sutherland wrote in 1919 [p. 162]), they lift the Constitution into the air like a shamanistic totem and the rest of us fall into line, hand over heart, like they knew we would.Imperial ipsedixitism triumphs again.So then what's left for the remnant? To their credit, the authors are more skilled than I at avoiding resignation. They write in their final paragraph that it's up to the American people to decide what to do with the information here presented. As I asked in my review of Woods' 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask, what if they're right? Whether this great book does in fact turn out to be heart-breakingly irrelevant is one, I suppose, that will only be answered in hindsight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only problem is that it keep literaly saying the same thing multiple times
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