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  • The Great Decision

  • Jefferson, Adams, Marshall and the Battle for the Supreme Court
  • By: Cliff Sloan, David McKean
  • Narrated by: Peter Jay Fernandez
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 201
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 157
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 159

The Great Decision tells the riveting story of Marshall and of the landmark court case, Marbury v. Madison, through which he empowered the Supreme Court and transformed the idea of the separation of powers into a working blueprint for our modern state.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brings to life the early days of the USA

  • By Tim on 06-02-12

Thoroughly enjoyed the book

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-19-12

What did you love best about The Great Decision?

I had heard of Marbury v Madison mentioned quite frequently and only had a general, vague idea of what the case was about but this book gave me a much better understanding and appreciation for the historical context and complexity of the case. It also gave me a fuller understanding of our Constitution and the formation of the government which it spawned. I thought The Great Decision was a great book and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to gain a greater understanding of our history and Constitution.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Decision?

The explanation of John Marshal's decision in the case.

What about Peter Jay Fernandez’s performance did you like?

I though he did a very good job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. There was so much information that I found it better to listen for an hour or so and then have time to digest what I had heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Original Meanings

  • Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution
  • By: Jack N. Rakove
  • Narrated by: Steven Weber
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29

What did the US Constitution originally mean, and how can we recover the intentions of its framers? These questions, which resound throughout today’s most heated legal and political controversies, lie at the heart of Jack N. Rakove’s splendidly readable work of historical analysis. In Original Meanings, he traces the complex weave of ideology and interests from which the Constitution emerged and shows how Americans have attached different meanings to their founding document from the moment it was published.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Epistemological in its approach ...

  • By History on 10-24-11


3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-18-11

The narrator is excellent but the author writes like a high-brow college professor's text book. Although he provides a lot of historical facts, his presentation is boring and hard to follow. I found myself struggling to stay interested.

In addition to that, the author starts his presentation with a false premise and then spends the rest of the book building his case on that foundation. The author is a either a Moderate or a Liberal because he tries to present every argument ever made about the Constitution as being equally valid. In this way, he tries to "prove" that there is no way we can really know for sure how to properly interpret the Constitution because everyone back then had their own personal understanding of what it meant.

If you're trying to gain a better understanding of the Constitution, this book is not for you. If you want a detailed analysis of all the historical facts that lead to the ratification of the Constitution and an understanding of all the arguments that were made from all sides, both for and against the Constitution, then you might like the book.

4 of 22 people found this review helpful