A People's History of the Supreme Court: The Men and Women Whose Cases and Decisions Have Shaped OurConstitution: Revised Edition

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Penguin, Jul 25, 2006 - Political Science - 576 pages
6 Reviews
A comprehensive history of the people and cases that have changed history, this is the definitive account of the nation's highest court

Recent changes in the Supreme Court have placed the venerable institution at the forefront of current affairs, making this comprehensive and engaging work as timely as ever. In the tradition of Howard Zinn's classic A People's History of the United States, Peter Irons chronicles the decisions that have influenced virtually every aspect of our society, from the debates over judicial power to controversial rulings in the past regarding slavery, racial segregation, and abortion, as well as more current cases about school prayer, the Bush/Gore election results, and "enemy combatants." To understand key issues facing the supreme court and the current battle for the court's ideological makeup, there is no better guide than Peter Irons. This revised and updated edition includes a foreword by Howard Zinn.

"A sophisticated narrative history of the Supreme Court . . . [Irons] breathes abundant life into old documents and reminds readers that today's fiercest arguments about rights are the continuation of the endless American conversation." -Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MarkBeronte - LibraryThing

Taking a representative (if not comprehensive) accounting of the Supreme Court's most significant decisions, Irons puts cultural and political context--and a human face--to the parties involved ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

This sweeping history of the Supreme Court will thoroughly aggravate anyone who believes, along with Robert Bork or Justice Antonin Scalia that the Constitution should be read narrowly. Irons ... Read full review


Morally Sinful by the Word of God
The Exigencies of the Union
The supreme Law of the Land
The Plot Thickens Fast
The Court Is Now Sitting
These Jarring and Discordant Judgments
The Good and the Wise
Great Good and Excellent Man
We Live by Symbols
A Japs a Jap
My Little Soul Is Overjoyed
Give Me the Colored Doll
War on the Constitution
A Better Place Because He Lived
Youve Been Taking Pure Thalidomide
The Raw Edges of Human Existence

A Small PleasantLooking Negro
Another Explosion Will Soon Come
An Evil Eye and an Unequal Hand
Our Constitution Is ColorBlind
The Spectre of Socialism
The Work Was Light and Healthful
Falsely Shouting Fire in a Theatre
Every Idea Is an Incitement
The General Welfare of the United States
To Save the Constitution from the Court
Truly a Pandoras Box
I Fear for the Future
One Nation Under God
The Values We Share with a Wider Civilization
A Blank Check for the President

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About the author (2006)

Peter Irons is professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of five previous award-winning books. The most recent, A People's History of the Supreme Court, was awarded the Silver Gavel Certificate of Merit by the American Bar Association.

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