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Simon, James F. Lincoln and Chief Justice Tane; slavery, secession, and the President's war powers.

SIMON, James F. Lincoln and Chief Justice Tane; slavery, secession, and the President's war powers. Read by Richard Allen. 9 cds. 11.5 hrs. Tantor Media. 2006. 1-4001-0331-7. $34.99. Vinyl; content, author, reader notes. A*

NYU law professor James Simon has written a timely dual biography featuring the conflicts between the president and the chief justice over slavery and the president's constitutional powers. Ironically, Taney had manumitted most of his slaves and was opposed to slavery when he led the Court in the fateful Dred Scott decision of 1857. Lincoln too hated slavery, but wished blacks sent to Liberia because they were "inferior politically and socially." Lincoln opposed Taney's opinion that secession was constitutional; Taney blamed Lincoln for the Civil War. Simon describes in engaging detail the early lives of these two adversaries, going back to Taney's appointment as Chief Justice in 1837 during Jackson's tenure and Lincoln's early attempts at elected office. Their personal lives are also discussed, including marriages, children, tragic family losses and financial difficulties. Considering the current disunion between the president and congress over the war in Iraq, this book is highly recommended to all libraries. Award-winning reader Allen captures perfectly the passion of the momentous events as well as the intricate legal debates. Janet Julian, English Teacher (retired), Grafton, MA

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Author:Julian, Janet
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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