Scorpions The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2010-11-08
Publisher(s): Twelve
List Price: $30.00

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Customer Reviews

Spectacular Readable Legal History!  June 15, 2011
Rating StarRating StarRating StarRating StarRating Star

Feldman has written a spectacularly excellent history of the Supreme Court FDR made, the Supreme Court that transformed American jurisprudence and shaped it into what it is today. A group biography of the relationship between FDR and four of his Supreme Court justices: Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Robert Jackson, and William O. Douglas, written by one of the most brilliant legal scholars at work today. ""Scorpions" tells the story of four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. Overall, I'd highly recommend this for readers interested in the Supreme Court in particular, or just U.S. history generally.

Scorpions The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


Unprecedented in its global impact, the Great Depression sounded the death knell of unfettered capitalism. Four men - all from wildly different backgrounds, all with decidedly disparate temperments and all equally devoted to FDR - were the primary authors of what would essentially be America's new Constitution.

Scorpions is the story of their personalities, their relationships and above all their ideas in the crucial years of depression and war - years in which these men created the national game plan that would save the country by rebuilding the economy and defeating the Nazis and the Soviets in turn.

It is also the story of how these men - Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Robert Jackson and William O. Douglas (a Jew, a Klansman, a Yankee, and a Westerner) - advised, cajoled, used and were used by the man who brought them together and whom they all revered: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

‘’For intellectual heft it is hard to match Mr Feldman's portrait of America's most inscrutable institution - and the men who, sometimes despite themselves, carried it through one of history's most critical periods’’ - THE ECONOMIST

‘’In SCORPIONS, Noah Feldman offers a detailed account of the troubles and achievements of Roosevelt's four most notable appointees. A first-rate work of narrative history that succeeds in bringing the intellectual and political battles of the post-Roosevelt Court vividly to life’’ - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Author Biography

Noah Feldman is the author of three books, Divided By God: America's Church-State Problem and What We Should Do About It (FSG, 2005); What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building (Princeton University Press, 2004); and After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy (FSG, 2003). In 2003 he was senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of the Transitional Administrative Law or interim constitution. He is currently a professor at the NYU School of Law, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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