Book Review: Edward F Mannino. Shaping America: The Supreme Court and American Society

American Journal of Legal History, Vol 52, page 413

Drake University Law School Research Paper No. 12-20

5 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2012 Last revised: 3 Oct 2012

Hunter R. Clark

Drake University Law School

Date Written: July 2012

Abstract

Edward F. Mannino, an accomplished practitioner and scholar, brings astute, practical understanding to his book Shaping America: The Supreme Court and American Society. He has written a refreshing, narrative history -- not a casebook or treatise -- about the forces that have shaped the Court, and how the Court has shaped America. The book is concise, yet ambitious in its scope. It purports to put the Court into historical perspective by emphasizing personalities and issues over doctrine and abstract theories of constitutional interpretation. Mannino believes that understanding the Court’s decision-making throughout its history requires an assessment of three factors: (1) the impact of the appointment of domineering justices; (2) the influence of the dominant political culture of the era; and (3) popular opinion. The author will doubtless be criticized by some for his approach, but it makes this book accessible to a wider audience.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Edward F. Mannino, John Marshall, Roger Taney, Stephen J. Field, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, William Rehnquist, John Roberts, Free labor philosophy, Substantive due process, Court-packing plan, New federalism, New Deal, Reconstruction, Church and state

Suggested Citation

Clark, Hunter R., Book Review: Edward F Mannino. Shaping America: The Supreme Court and American Society (July 2012). American Journal of Legal History, Vol 52, page 413; Drake University Law School Research Paper No. 12-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2155922

Hunter R. Clark (Contact Author)

Drake University Law School ( email )

2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
United States

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