Thursday, February 9, 2017

Rahman Reviews Gerstle, "Liberty and Coercion"

Writing for JOTWELL's Legal History Section, K. Sabeel Rahman (Brooklyn Law School) has posted a review of Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present (2015), by Gary Gerstle (Cambridge University). Here's the first paragraph:
As a field, legal history has long been centrally concerned with the patterns and trajectories of American political development and state formation. In his recent book, Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present (Princeton University Press, 2015), Gary Gerstle offers a compact and highly readable synthesis of the long arc of the battles over the idea of a strong and central American state, from the constitutional founding through recent clashes between the Obama administration and the Tea Party. Gerstle and his work are of course well-known in the field. In this new book, he offers a cautionary narrative about this long process of state formation, and how it has set in place pathologies that fuel recurring crises of governance and legitimacy.
Read on here.

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