Cover: Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court, from Harvard University PressCover: Supreme Injustice in HARDCOVER

Supreme Injustice

Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court

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$35.00 • £25.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674051218

Publication: January 2018


304 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures


Taken together, Finkelman’s accounts of the troubling underbellies of the Marshall, Story and Taney careers offer an unsettling meal… This book is a useful contribution toward a fleshing out of the lives of three men who shaped the bulk of American law in the formative years between our independence and our descent into civil war.—David Wecht, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Supreme Injustice contains no call to topple monuments or to rewrite history books. [Finkelman] simply lays out a convincing case that we must in thinking about our national heritage grapple with the unsettling truths about the humanity we denied slaves and the legal protections we gave their owners.—Daniel B. Moskowitz, The Washington Times

Paul Finkelman is by any account one of our leading historians of American slavery and the law. His incontrovertible and startling findings about the involvement of Justice Marshall in slave owning and selling, and Justice Story’s pro-slavery decision in Prigg v. Pennsylvania, are essential reading for anyone interested in American constitutional development in the antebellum era and its enduring influence on American law and society.—Sanford Levinson, author of An Argument Open to All: Reading ‘The Federalist’ in the 21st Century

Scholarly, hard-hitting and relevant. Finkelman’s book is a must-read for those who seek to understand the permeating influence of slavery in the development of antebellum law.—R. Kent Newmyer, author of The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr: Law, Politics, and the Character Wars of the New Nation