Insight into SCOTUS
I really enjoyed this book's insights into the operation of the Supreme Court and the relationship between the Court and the Executive Branch. The book covers a lot of ground. It gives a bio for each of the current justices. It also covers important cases that have come up during the Obama administration. Further it provides background on case history to explain the history that led to the present day cases. I had never completely understood how the commerce clause in the constitution allowed for so much federal regulation, but this book explains the case that set that precedent where a farmer growing wheat for just his own use was under the jurisdiction of federal farming regulation since the wheat market was an interstate market even though he was not participating in interstate commerce himself. Of course a good portion of the book focuses on the court's decision about Obamacare. The book also explains how the court is in many ways more radical in its shift to being more conservative. The court is the least covered of the 3 branches of government and I found this book really valuable in understanding it.
More focus on big picture - less on details.
This book provides a lot of details on the Bretton Woods conference. In particular it focuses on the two main players: Harry Dexter White of the US and John Maynard Keynes of England. Much time is spent on whether White was a communist. There are memo-by-memo recountings of the formulations of US and British positions. I am sure the work is extremely well researched, but just too much detail on the events for me.
I was more interested in the impact of the conference and how the two creations from the conference (IMF, Word Bank) function. How do currency exchanges work was a more interesting question than whether White was a communist.
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