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About Civil War Lawyers: Constitutional Questions, Courtroom Dramas, and the Men Behind Them
Civil War Lawyers is a comprehensive and fascinating look at the underappreciated role of the law--and of lawyers--during the United States' Civil War. Great Constitutional issues were addressed by the Supreme Court in tense courtrooms where individual lives were at stake. Presidents struggled with the legality of their actions, including questions on habeas corpus and military commissions that still have vital relevance today.
Lawyers dominated public and political life during the first third of American history, and many of the lawyers prominent during the Civil War period were not only aware of each other professionally, but they had also tried cases with and against each other before the War. The key members of Lincoln's cabinet were all lawyers, as were Lincoln's key diplomatic appointees and the five men who tried to end the War at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference in February 1865.
The book also includes an appendix containing more than 100 biographies of the lawyers of the time, a look at the cases in which the lawyers crossed paths before the War, a detailed timeline of Civil War events, and period photos and editorial cartoons. Civil War Lawyers is an indispensible addition to the bookshelves of all lawyers, historians, and Civil War buffs.
What Others Are Saying...
"As an American history buff as well as a student and practitioner of the law, I loved this book! Arthur Downey does a great job of demonstrating how the law and lawyers helped shape history in the Civil War era." --John W. Suthers, Colorado Attorney General
"The Civil War, in addition to military and political battles, was largely a legal contest fought by the giants of the profession in the courts, legislatures and even the streets. Arthur Downey's succinctly written Civil War Lawyers tells this important and critical story with great clarity. All topics are included-from civil liberties to emancipation to the law of war. I cannot think of a better primer as the sesquicentennial of the Civil War begins." --Frank J. Williams, retired Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and founding Chair of The Lincoln Forum
"Arthur Downey's Civil War Lawyers brings to life the the lawyers and major legal disputes of that era. The stories -- about slavery, secession, pirates and privateers, civil liberties and habeas corpus, and assassination and charges of treason -- are compelling and vivid, illuminating the influence of lawyers and the law in times of political crisis. Downey couples his historical narrative with succinct and cogent analyses of the continuing relevance of legal concepts important during the Civil War." --John E. Noyes, Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law, California Western School of Law