Joseph J. Ellis The New York Times Book Review A study of the political and legal struggle between these icons of American history...A major contribution...A model of narrative history written by someone who knows the law.
A. J. Langguth author of Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution and Our Vietnam James Simon has written a legal suspense story, with John Marshall trying to wrench the Supreme Court from a cramped room in the Capitol building to its rightful place under the Constitution while a suspicious President Jefferson fights him bitterly from behind the scenes. What Kind of Nation helps us to understand the court battles that go on today, no less partisan, no less urgent.
The Washington Post James Simon adds a patina of freshness and telling detail to this familiar story. He carefully traces the origins of the rivalry...but is at his best when he gets around to the great cases, not merely Marbury but others, especially the Burr treason trial...What Kind of Nation is a fine read.
The American Prospect James Simon retells this splendid story in clear and elegant prose. For once the publisher's subtitle is not exaggeration -- the result is, at least in legal terms, an epic of the founding, featuring fascinating antagonists, enormous consequences, and alternating episodes of nobility and treachery.