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The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics

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This classic book on the role of the Supreme Court in our democracy traces the history of the Court, assessing the merits of various decisions along the way.  Eminent law professor Alexander Bickel begins with Marbury vs. Madison, which he says gives shaky support to judicial review, and concludes with the school desegregation cases of 1954, which he uses to show the This classic book on the role of the Supreme Court in our democracy traces the history of the Court, assessing the merits of various decisions along the way.  Eminent law professor Alexander Bickel begins with Marbury vs. Madison, which he says gives shaky support to judicial review, and concludes with the school desegregation cases of 1954, which he uses to show the extent and limits of the Court’s power.  In this way he accomplishes his stated purpose: “to have the Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review better understood and supported and more sagaciously used.”  The book now includes new foreword by Henry Wellington. Reviews of the Earlier Edition: “Dozens of books have examined and debated the court’s role in the American system.  Yet there remains great need for the scholarship and perception, the sound sense and clear view Alexander Bickel brings to the discussion…. Students of the court will find much independent and original thinking supported by wide knowledge.  Many judges could read the book with profit.” –Donovan Richardson, Christian Science Monitor “The Yale professor is a law teacher who is not afraid to declare his own strong views of legal wrongs… One of the rewards of this book is that Professor Bickel skillfully knits in quotations from a host of authorities and, since these are carefully documented, the reader may look them up in their settings.  Among the author’s favorites is the late Thomas Reed Powell of Harvard, whose wit flashes on a good many pages.” –Irving Dillard, Saturday Review Alexander M. Bickel was professor of law at Yale University. 


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This classic book on the role of the Supreme Court in our democracy traces the history of the Court, assessing the merits of various decisions along the way.  Eminent law professor Alexander Bickel begins with Marbury vs. Madison, which he says gives shaky support to judicial review, and concludes with the school desegregation cases of 1954, which he uses to show the This classic book on the role of the Supreme Court in our democracy traces the history of the Court, assessing the merits of various decisions along the way.  Eminent law professor Alexander Bickel begins with Marbury vs. Madison, which he says gives shaky support to judicial review, and concludes with the school desegregation cases of 1954, which he uses to show the extent and limits of the Court’s power.  In this way he accomplishes his stated purpose: “to have the Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial review better understood and supported and more sagaciously used.”  The book now includes new foreword by Henry Wellington. Reviews of the Earlier Edition: “Dozens of books have examined and debated the court’s role in the American system.  Yet there remains great need for the scholarship and perception, the sound sense and clear view Alexander Bickel brings to the discussion…. Students of the court will find much independent and original thinking supported by wide knowledge.  Many judges could read the book with profit.” –Donovan Richardson, Christian Science Monitor “The Yale professor is a law teacher who is not afraid to declare his own strong views of legal wrongs… One of the rewards of this book is that Professor Bickel skillfully knits in quotations from a host of authorities and, since these are carefully documented, the reader may look them up in their settings.  Among the author’s favorites is the late Thomas Reed Powell of Harvard, whose wit flashes on a good many pages.” –Irving Dillard, Saturday Review Alexander M. Bickel was professor of law at Yale University. 

30 review for The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics

  1. 4 out of 5

    B

    The blurb on the back is the most cutting I've ever read, I think. It's one of two blurbs. And more, it cuts to the quick: "The Yale professor is a law teacher who is not afraid to declare his strong views of legal wrongs. . . .One of the rewards of this book is that Professor Bickel skillfully knits in quotations from a host of authorities and, since these are carefully documented, the reader may look them up in their settings. Among the author's favorites is the late Thomas Reed Powell of The blurb on the back is the most cutting I've ever read, I think. It's one of two blurbs. And more, it cuts to the quick: "The Yale professor is a law teacher who is not afraid to declare his strong views of legal wrongs. . . .One of the rewards of this book is that Professor Bickel skillfully knits in quotations from a host of authorities and, since these are carefully documented, the reader may look them up in their settings. Among the author's favorites is the late Thomas Reed Powell of Harvard, whose wit flashes on a good many pages." - Irving Dillard, Saturday Review

  2. 5 out of 5

    Apar Gupta

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bryan

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alan Johnson

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    Michele Still

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steve Greenleaf

  12. 5 out of 5

    josh

  13. 4 out of 5

    André Ilharco

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nick D

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sigrid Fry-Revere

  16. 4 out of 5

    Victor Arias

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Simko

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christian Hecht

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nolan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alex C.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Derryn Shaw

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Zimmerman

  27. 5 out of 5

    Igor

  28. 5 out of 5

    Valar Morghulis

  29. 5 out of 5

    Van Esse

  30. 4 out of 5

    Steve Balman

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