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Tory of how a rough cut frontiersman born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education invented himself as one of the nation's preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Constitution to forge a stronger nation Without Precedent is the engrossing account of the life and times of this exceptional man who with cunning imagination and grace shaped America's future as he held together the Supreme Court the Constitution and the country itsel. I do not imagine many biographies of John Marshall bother much with anything beyond his tenure on the Supreme Court since that is where Marshall s mark on our history was made This book reveals the error in any such effort While a good deal of attention is paid to the cases Marshall used to establish the independence and necessity of the third branch of government this author devotes nearly half of his book to what got Marshall to the Court and what made him the man that was suited to the task set before himTo begin with there is repeated mention of the conflicts Marshall had with his cousin Thomas Jefferson and it is clear that this author does not particularly care for our third president an opinion I share with the author I consider Jefferson our first sleazy president and this author provides even reasons for me to hold this opinion I thought I knew enough from other readings but Prof Paul supplies even He starts with the family basis for the animosity between these two esteemed relatives It seems that a female forebear of Marshall fell out of favor with her father who disinherited her and the inheritance that would have made Marshall s life comparable in comfort to Jefferson s went to TJ s branch of the family and was enjoyed by TJ Marshall was born in a log cabin the oldest of 15 children and they were poor as dirt Nevertheless Marshall made something of himself and did it the hard way while his cousin TJ never had to work a day in his life or struggle for anything That Marshall didn t become some sort of twisted bitter and ambitious person is a tribute to the man s character In fact at the end of the book the author compares the character and lives of these two men in a fairly objective manner and the result is not surprisingIn addition to revealing of the important aspects of Marshall s personal development as well as the direction of his career the book also supplies detail about our history that I have not found in any other history that I ve read The book trace Marshall s career through the events of our history in which Marshall was a participant These events are among the minor events that appear in every US history but never in any depth Marshall was one of delegates sent to France by Adams to negotiate a settlement with France over the uasi War As a result of that Marshall was directly involved in the infamous XYZ Affair and for the first time we have a history that names who XY and Z actually were and what exactly they did Much to his dismay this affair made Marshall a national celebrity when all he wanted to do was go home to his nearly invalid wife and return to his law practice Unfortunately Marshall s sense of duty and his loyalty and devotion to the men that steered his career to advantage made this impossible He was repeatedly pulled back into the national political scene by Washington and then by Adams with the end result being his appointment as chief justice of the Supreme CourtSurprisingly a bit than half the book is devoted to the cases that insured Marshall s place in our history What is surprising is that the author is a law professor and this portion of the book is not mind numbingly boring To the contrary the professor lays out these cases in a way that even a layman will appreciate In each case the author gives the backstory along with some conjecture of what may have been going on behind the scenes even suggesting that Marshall may have suborned perjury in the Marbury case The author also then identifies the issue of the case and the decision and what the rationale for the decision may have been He also examines the political implications of the decisions What the author also credits Marshall for is his ability to build consensus among the justices to achieve an astonishing number of unanimous decisions among justices with dissimilar personalities backgrounds and politics In sum this is probably one of the best biographies I have ever read and definitely worth reading if you re interested in our history The Black Ice Score (Parker, used to establish the independence and necessity of the third branch of government this author devotes nearly half of his book to what got Marshall to the Court and what made him the man that was suited to the task set before himTo begin with there is repeated mention of the conflicts Marshall had with his cousin Thomas Jefferson and it is clear that this author does not particularly care for our third president an opinion I share with the author I consider Jefferson our first sleazy president and this author provides even reasons for me to hold this opinion I thought I knew enough from other readings but Prof Paul supplies even He starts with the family basis for the animosity between these two esteemed relatives It seems that a female forebear of Marshall fell out of favor with her father who disinherited her and the inheritance that would have made Marshall s life comparable in comfort to Jefferson s went to TJ s branch of the family and was enjoyed by TJ Marshall was born in a log cabin the oldest of 15 children and they were poor as dirt Nevertheless Marshall made something of himself and did it the hard way while his cousin TJ never had to work a day in his life or struggle for anything That Marshall didn t become some sort of twisted bitter and ambitious person is a tribute to the man s character In fact at the end of the book the author compares the character and lives of these two men in a fairly objective manner and the result is not surprisingIn addition to revealing of the important aspects of Marshall s personal development as well as the direction of his career the book also supplies detail about our history that I have not found in any other history that I ve read The book trace Marshall s career through the events of our history in which Marshall was a participant These events are among the minor events that appear in every US history but never in any depth Marshall was one of delegates sent to France by Adams to negotiate a settlement with France over the The Black Painting uasi War As a result of that Marshall was directly involved in the infamous XYZ Affair and for the first time we have a history that names who XY and Z actually were and what exactly they did Much to his dismay this affair made Marshall a national celebrity when all he wanted to do was go home to his nearly invalid wife and return to his law practice Unfortunately Marshall s sense of duty and his loyalty and devotion to the men that steered his career to advantage made this impossible He was repeatedly pulled back into the national political scene by Washington and then by Adams with the end result being his appointment as chief justice of the Supreme CourtSurprisingly a bit than half the book is devoted to the cases that insured Marshall s place in our history What is surprising is that the author is a law professor and this portion of the book is not mind numbingly boring To the contrary the professor lays out these cases in a way that even a layman will appreciate In each case the author gives the backstory along with some conjecture of what may have been going on behind the scenes even suggesting that Marshall may have suborned perjury in the Marbury case The author also then identifies the issue of the case and the decision and what the rationale for the decision may have been He also examines the political implications of the decisions What the author also credits Marshall for is his ability to build consensus among the justices to achieve an astonishing number of Fire and Desire unanimous decisions among justices with dissimilar personalities backgrounds and politics In sum this is probably one of the best biographies I have ever read and definitely worth reading if you re interested in our history

Summary Without Precedent

Without Precedent

The United States the longest serving in history he established the independence of the judiciary and the supremacy of the federal Constitution and courts As the leading Federalist in Virginia he rivaled his cousin Thomas Jefferson in influence As a diplomat and secretary of state he defended American sovereignty against France and Britain counseled President John Adams and supervised the construction of the city of Washington DCThis is the astonishing true s. This is a major new biography of John Marshall 1755 1835 Marshall was President John Adams Secretary of State As he was going out of office Adams appointed John Marshall as the Chief of the Supreme Court Even though Marshall was the fourth Chief Justice he was the one that transformed the Court into its current role and one of the key balances of power in the government Paul covers Marshall s early life and reveals him as a man Of course he also goes into depth discussing his role on the Supreme Court Marshall was the longest serving Chief Justice More than any other biography of Marshall Paul goes into detail about Marshall the manThe book is well written and meticulously researched Paul attempts to be unbiased as far as Marshall is concerned but not so for President Thomas Jefferson The book is easy to read with a flowing narrative Paul s writing style makes complex legal cases easy to understand for the layman I found this to be one of the best biographies on Marshall that I have read to date If one is interested in the Supreme Court this is a must read bookJoel Richard Paul is a Professor of International Economic Law and Constitutional Law at the University of California Hastings Law School in San Francisco CaliforniaI read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible The book is just over seventeen hours Fred Sanders does a good job narrating the book Sanders is a stage and film actor as well as an audiobook narrator Einsteins Generation unbiased as far as Marshall is concerned but not so for President Thomas Jefferson The book is easy to read with a flowing narrative Paul s writing style makes complex legal cases easy to Electing Judges understand for the layman I found this to be one of the best biographies on Marshall that I have read to date If one is interested in the Supreme Court this is a must read bookJoel Richard Paul is a Professor of International Economic Law and Constitutional Law at the University of California Hastings Law School in San Francisco CaliforniaI read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible The book is just over seventeen hours Fred Sanders does a good job narrating the book Sanders is a stage and film actor as well as an audiobook narrator

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The remarkable story of John Marshall who as chief justice statesman and diplomat shaped the foundation of the United StatesNo member of America's Founding Generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than John Marshall and no one did to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States From the nation's founding in 1776 and for the next forty years Marshall was at the center of every political battle As Chief Justice of. 35 Marshall was a self made man a cousin of Jefferson but his family had none of the wealth as Jefferson He was self taught well read and a man for whom the Union and it s perseverance meant everything He held different positions under various early Presidents and was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for decades He was integral to the making of the laws of our early countryA very interesting well researched book Reading with a group is always informative other opinions and place to get clarity for ones own thought I felt like I got to know Marshall the politician the man only by inference His private live his difficult family life with a wife he loved but who was sickly was mentioned only occasionally Would have liked further explanation there One can tell this author felt Douglas was an outstanding man he was not very complimentary about Jefferson Don t know the accuracy of this but will soon be reading about Jefferson soon so I expect his character will be revealedI learned much which how the early courts worked the cases they worked and the manipulation within the court It s interesting reading how our country developed politically in the early years and one soon learns that history keeps repeating itself It seems to be circular we get so far but then we seem to follow a familiar path round and round


10 thoughts on “Without Precedent

  1. says:

    35 Marshall was a self made man a cousin of Jefferson but his family had none of the wealth as Jefferson He was self taught well read and a man for whom the Union and it's perseverance meant everything He held different posi

  2. says:

    With his previous bestselling history Unlikely Alies covering the alliance between France's Beaumarchais and the Continental cause's Silas Deane Professor Joel Richard Paul has ably set a high regard and standard for himself as a budding histor

  3. says:

    In my years of reading American history I have always found biographies of the Founding Fathers of greatest interest to me Not only were these men full of grit and determination in the face of their British oppres

  4. says:

    Without Precedent Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times was an engrossing and meticulously researched biography of Chief Justice John Marshall appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President John Adams The author imparts the hi

  5. says:

    This is yet another book that while focused primarily on John Marshall compares the legacies Marshall with his political rival Thomas Jefferson Both men made essential contributions to the early republic And like every other historian I have read in this author’s assessment Marshall was the better manJoel Richard Paul

  6. says:

    This is a major new biography of John Marshall 1755 1835 Marshall was President John Adams’ Secretary of State As he was going ou

  7. says:

    I do not imagine many biographies of John Marshall bother much with anything beyond his tenure on the Supreme Court since that is where Marshall's mark on our history was made This book reveals the error in any such effort While a good deal of attention is paid to the cases Marshall used to establish the indepen

  8. says:

    This is a page turner I love history but unfortunately most books are told like a textbook matter of fact and dry This one is a marvelously written account with a flowing narrative of Marshall’s ascent as a frontiersman to one of the longest serving Chief Justice This is a book I can give away to history buffs there’s still plenty to figu

  9. says:

    As good a history book as I have read Marshall is a true founding father and a man of great character for his time This was a detailed lesson in the politics during the revolution and for over forty years after The book explains details about Washington Jefferson Adams Madison and many others in a depth and from a perspect

  10. says:

    “It is tempting to contrast Marshall’s life and legacy with Jefferson’sNo Marshall biography can avoid taking sides in their conflicted relationship” P 436 I humbly beg to differ If you seek an unbiased account of the life and works of Justice Marshall then stay away from this book This narrative can be accurately described as a criticism of Jefferson than a summary of Marshall’s works To put it bluntly this book drips w

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