The fascinating, behind-the-scenes story of Franklin Roosevelt´s attempt to pack the Supreme Court has special resonance today as we debate the limits of presidential authority.The Supreme Court has generated many dramatic stories, none more so than the one that began on February 5, 1937. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, confident in his recent landslide reelection and frustrated by a Court that had overturned much of his New Deal legislation, stunned Congress and the American people with his announced intention to add six new justices. Even though the now-famous court packing scheme divided his own party, almost everyone assumed FDR would get his way and reverse the Courts conservative stance and long-standing laissez-faire support of corporate America, so persuasive and powerful had he become.In the end, however, a Supreme Court justice, Owen Roberts, who cast off precedent in the interests of principle, and a Democratic senator from Montana, Burton K. Wheeler, led an effort that turned an apparently unstoppable proposal into a humiliating rejection and preserved the Constitution.FDR v. Constitution is the colorful story behind 168 days that riveted and reshaped the nation. Burt Solomon skillfully recounts the major New Deal initiatives of FDR´s first term and the rulings that overturned them, chronicling as well the politics and personalities on the Supreme Court from the brilliant octogenarian Louis Brandeis, to the politically minded chief justice, Charles Evans Hughes, to the mercurial Roberts, whose switch in time saved nine. The ebb and flow of one of the momentous set pieces in American history placed the inner workings of the nation´s capital on full view as the three branches of our government squared off.Ironically for FDR, the Court that emerged from this struggle shifted on its own to a liberal attitude, where it would largely remain for another seven decades. Placing the greatest miscalculation of FDRs career in cont... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Louis Milgrom. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/001528/bk_adbl_001528_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Following the Supreme Court ruling in 1954 striking down the ´´separate but equal´´ doctrine, a decade and a half of civil turbulence existed. Civil rights activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring about change. This product tells a part of that historic time with speeches from many of those attempting to achieve racial equality. Produced by the Speech Resource Company and fully narrated by Robert Wikstrom 1. Language: English. Narrator: Robert Wikstrom. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/010793/bk_blak_010793_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
President Richard M. Nixon, the first president to resign from office in disgrace, sought to exert so much power in office that he eventually became tangled up in the Watergate scandal and its cover-up. These incidents ultimately led to the appointment of a special prosecutor and a burgeoning criminal investigation of his own conduct. Nixon’s secret White House taping system provided the smoking gun that would lead to the unraveling of his administration. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in U.S. v. Nixon made clear that no person, not even the president, was above the law. With the drumbeat for impeachment growing louder, Nixon resigned. Flying away in a helicopter, he left the White House before Congress had the opportunity to impeach him. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Sean Runnette. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/027543/bk_adbl_027543_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Dwight D. Eisenhower earned public acclaim during World War II as supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe. The first Republican since Herbert Hoover to occupy the White House, ´´Ike” planned to hold the line against further expansion of federal powers. He worked assiduously to avoid being dragged into the school desegregation issue, believing in a ´´gradualist” approach to eliminating racial discrimination. Eisenhower helped steer the Supreme Court toward a middle-ground ´´with all deliberate speed” approach in Brown v. Board of Education II and hoped to allow states and local communities to work out the desegregation issue themselves. When the governor of Arkansas refused to allow black children to attend public school in Little Rock, however, Eisenhower was forced to send in National Guard troops to restore order. In the end, Eisenhower’s commitment to ´´gradualism,” albeit well-intentioned, allowed those dedicated to preserving segregation to advance their agenda, ushering in the period of violence and civil rights protests that would plague the nation in the 1960s. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Sean Runnette. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/027540/bk_adbl_027540_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was sworn in aboard Air Force One hours after JFK’s assassination in Dallas, used his ample skills in cajoling and arm-twisting to push through the most significant civil rights legislation in American history, in the form of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, after Kennedy’s death. A towering Texan, LBJ also believed in using political muscle to overpower the intransigent courts and legal precedent that stood in his way. He thus managed to use the Commerce Clause cases of the New Deal era to advance his Great Society agenda. Yet when LBJ left office after a single full term, he was bitter, frustrated, and exhausted, having been engulfed by public controversy over the Vietnam War. Nonetheless, Lyndon Johnson left in place one of the greatest constitutional and legislative achievements in the nation’s history. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Sean Runnette. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/027542/bk_adbl_027542_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Minutes before supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef, before rocks ripped a huge hole in her hull and a geyser of crude oil darkened the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, the ship´s lookout burst through the chart room door. ´´That light, sir, it´s still on the starboard side. It should be to port, sir.´´ Her frantic words were merely the last in a litany of futile warnings. A parade of promises began the next day. Exxon Shipping Company president Frank Iarossi declared, ´´If it is a claim that is associated with the spill, we´ve assumed full financial responsibility.´´ A week later, Alaska Governor Steve Cowper spoke at the Valdez Civic Center. ´´We don´t want anybody to think that they have to hire a lawyer and go into federal court and sue the largest corporation in America...The state of Alaska represents you. And we want to be sure that...people who are damaged by this, get compensated fairy and quickly.´´ He also indicated that the state would see to it Prince William Sound was cleaned up, regardless of the cost. Lengthy investigations revealed cover ups, covert operations, reckless corporate management, numerous safety violations, and a broken regulatory process. At the time of the spill, oil flowed through the Alyeska pipeline at a profit of $400,000 per hour, yet in the end, the 10,000 fishermen affected by the spill spent nearly 20 years in litigation and received little compensation for their losses. Despite a massive cleanup effort, oil remains on the beaches and continues to impact marine life. Red Light to Starboard documents a story that stunned the world, recounting regional and national events. The compelling narrative explains how an industry often seen as greedy came to be entrusted with a spectacular, fragile ecosystem, and discusses the governmental and public policy decisions that contributed to the disaster, as well as personal and environmental consequences. It also follows policy steps t... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Chris Abell. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/051377/bk_acx0_051377_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
James MacGregor Burns’s stunning trilogy of American history, spanning the birth of the Constitution to the final days of the Cold War. In these three volumes, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winner James MacGregor Burns chronicles with depth and narrative panache the most significant cultural, economic, and political events of American history. In The Vineyard of Liberty, he combines the color and texture of early American life with meticulous scholarship. Focusing on the tensions leading up to the Civil War, Burns brilliantly shows how Americans became divided over the meaning of Liberty. In The Workshop of Democracy, Burns explores more than a half-century of dramatic growth and transformation of the American landscape, through the addition of dozens of new states, the shattering tragedy of the First World War, the explosion of industry, and, in the end, the emergence of the United States as a new global power. And in The Crosswinds of Freedom, Burns offers an articulate and incisive examination of the US during its rise to become the world’s sole superpower - through the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, and the rapid pace of technological change that gave rise to the ´´American Century.” 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mark Ashby. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/017311/bk_adbl_017311_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Throughout his long and influential career, Michael Fellman has explored the tragic side of American history. Best known for his path-breaking work on the American Civil War and for an interdisciplinary methodology that utilizes social psychology, cultural anthropology, and comparative history, Fellman has delved into issues of domination, exploitation, political violence, racism, terrorism, and the experiences of war. Incorporating essays written over the past thirty years - two of them previously unpublished, and the others not widely available - Views from the Dark Side of American History reveals some of the major personal and scholarly concerns of his career and illuminates his approach to history, research, applied theory, and analysis. Each essay includes a thought-provoking preface and afterword that situate it in its time and explore its intellectual and political contexts. Fellman also grapples with the personal elements of developing as a historian - the people with whom he argued or agreed with, the settings in which he gave or published the papers, and the subjective as well as historical issues that he addressed. The collection encourages history students, historians, and general readers of history to think through the layers of their historical engagement and to connect their personal experiences and social commitments to their explorations. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Bill Fisher. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/001685/bk_acx0_001685_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In 1550-51, Bartolomé de las Casas and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, in the Valladolid Debate, attempted to settle the issue of whether or not Native Americans should have been enslaved, given sanction by the Pope. Both carefully argued their sides, las Casas stating emphatically, through his ´´Apología´´, that Native Americans were not all uncivilized and that only Canaanite tribes could be enslaved. What ensued was a heated, good-versus-evil argument that settled nothing and still allowed the Catholic Church and the Spanish government to condone and support the continued enslavement of native peoples. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Dennis Logan. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/039554/bk_acx0_039554_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.