Item description for How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution by Richard A. Epstein...
In this provocative book, Richard Epstein shows how Progressives saw in constitutional interpretation an opportunity to advance their political agenda. They transformed a Constitution that reflected the influence of John Lock and James Madison into one that reflected the ideas of the leading intellectuals of their own time. As a result, they rewrote, because they did not understand, key provisions of the constitutional text.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 4.5" Height: 6.75" Weight: 0.32 lbs.
Release Date Sep 25, 2007
Publisher Cato Institute
ISBN 1933995068 ISBN13 9781933995069
Availability 2 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 24, 2017 02:53.
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More About Richard A. Epstein
Richard A. Epstein is James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago, and Peter and Kirstin Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Richard A. Epstein currently resides in Chicago, in the state of Illinois. Richard A. Epstein was born in 1927 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Chicago.
Reviews - What do customers think about How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution?
Review Feb 26, 2008
I have not read the entire book yet, but the beginning is very informative. The US Constitution is a unique work, and we Americans need to take time to revisit it. The book appears to explain how we recent generations of Americans have changed a very important document, our Constitution, and not for the good.
Could've Been a Home Run... May 29, 2007
Having extensively studied Con Law, I was already aware of the "rewriting" of our constitution. There's an absolute gold mine of case law to support this notion. I feel like Epstein didn't make the best use of this treasure trove however. At times it seemed almost like Epstein was going easy on the Supreme Court.
I think he focuses too heavily on economic theory and not enough on constitutional originalism. The title of his book is "How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution" but sometimes the content seemed more like "Why Progressive Economic Theory is Worse Than Classic Liberalism." He tries to reconcile this discrepancy by asserting that the constitution IS classically liberal. He doesn't make much of an effort, however, to sell this point. Of course, realistically this book is most likely just preaching to the choir that bought that premise long ago. I still felt he needed to (and having read other pieces from him and having seen him speak I have no doubt he could have) expounded on this foundation of his argument.
As a random complaint, he spends a lot of time distinguishing libertarians from classic liberals. Given the greater conflict at hand (i.e. liberalism vs. progressivism), I found it odd that he would devote so much space to this topic.
An Excellent Review of Judicial History May 22, 2006
Because the political philosophy of our fathers is rooted in a combination of Lockean and Hobbesian philosophy, the initial Federal government's role was basically defense, foreign policy, and refereeing interstate commerce. It was not to provide for needs such as retirement, health, food assistance, farm support, or recreation. Yet, today the federal government is involved in all these activities, and over time, individual property rights have been highly compromised, and personal responsibility is no longer an legally binding.
This book gives us a judicial history of the key court cases that lead to this outcome. It then critiques the logical flaws of the progressive thinking. It does not explain how the key judges who decided these key court cases got to the bench. Therefore, one should not and cannot rely solely on this book to give one a complete understanding how political power shifted in this country so that the vision of our founders could be destroyed. It is perhaps good that this book is not comprehensive because it would be much longer and we can use our time more efficiently by first examining the court decisions and then later one try to figure out how the court changed its guiding philosophy.
I recommend this book to those who are trying to restore liberal principals to American Federalism. (Please note that liberal here begins with a small l.