Robert Strauss on John Marshall, with Michael Gerhardt

APR 28, 2021 | 6:00 PM TO 7:15 PM





April 28, 2021: 6:00 PM-7:15 PM




Leon Levy Center for Biography



Eighteenth- and 19th-century contemporaries believed John Marshall to be, if not the equal of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, at least very close to that pantheon. 

John Marshall: The Final Founder demonstrates that not only can Marshall be considered one of those Founding Fathers, but that what he did as the Chief Justice was not just significant, but the glue that held the union together after the founding. The Supreme Court met in the basement of the new Capitol building in Washington when Marshall took over, which gives a sense of what the executive and legislative branches thought of the judiciary. 

John Marshall: The Final Founder argues for a change in the view of when the “founding” of the United States ended, which has long been thought of occurring either with the signing of the Constitution, the acceptance of the Bill of Rights or the beginning of the Washington presidency. The Final Founder pushes that forward to the peaceful change of power from Federalist to Democrat-Republican and, especially, Marshall’s singular achievement — moving the Court from the basement and truly making it Supreme.
Robert Strauss's most recent book was Worst. President. Ever, a biography of James Buchanan, which won the Gold Medal for Biography from the Independent Publishers association.  Before turning to history, Strauss was a reporter at Sports Illustrated, a feature writer for the Philadelphia Daily News, a news and sports producer at KYW-TV in Philadelphia and a TV critic for the Asbury Park Press and Philadelphia Inquirer.  For the last two decades, he has been a freelance writer, chiefly for the New York Times.  
Michael Gerhardt is the author of seven books, including Lincoln’s Mentors, and leading treatises on impeachment, appointments, presidential power, Supreme Court precedent, and separation of powers. He has written more than a hundred law review articles and dozens of op eds in the nation’s leading news publications, including SCOTUSblog, The New York Times, and Washington Post. His book The Forgotten Presidents was named by The Financial Times as one of the best non-fiction books of 2013. He was inducted into the American Law Institute in 2016.