The clashes between President Abraham Lincoln and Chief Justice Roger B. Taney over slavery, secession, and the president's constitutional war powers went to the heart of Lincoln's presidency. James Simon, author of the acclaimed What Kind of Nation, brings to vivid life the passionate struggle during the worst crisis in the nation's history, the Civil War. The issues that underlaid that crisis -- race, states' rights, and the president's wartime authority -- resonate today in the nation's political debate.
James F. Simon is the Martin Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus at New York Law School. He is the author of seven previous books on American history, law, and politics. His books have won the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award and twice been named New York Times Notable Books. He lives with his wife in West Nyack, New York.
"Fascinating.... An enthralling, clear, and fast-moving account of Lincoln and Taney's battles from the time of the Dred Scott decision until Taney's death in 1864.... Places the Lincoln-Taney disputes into the context of the broader sweep of U.S. history, providing nourishing food for thought.... A fine book." -- J. Michael Parker, San Antonio Express-News
"Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney is a forceful reminder that the Civil War was more than a conflict of soldiers and that, under the rule of law, the decisions of courts could make fully as much difference -- and be fully as much of a struggle -- as the results of battles." -- Allen C. Guelzo, The Wall Street Journal
"Excellent.... A fresh take on who Lincoln was and how he became American history's indispensable man." -- David Waldstreicher, The Boston Globe
"In this splendidly written book, Simon...has given us an excellent dual biography of these two giants in American history who clashed directly on the issue of presidential power.... An excellent history and fine biography. It causes us to focus on one of the critical issues of our time." -- William E. Hellerstein, New York Law Journal
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