Whoever said “don’t judge books by their cover” clearly didn’t work in marketing. We gathered our connoisseurs of taste and picked these gems.
Legal historians often privilege legal doctrine in their work, which is understandable since the lawyers, paying homage to stare decisis in their briefs, cite old rules to create new ones. Doctrinal arguments—about evidence, trial procedure, and treason law among other issues—did figure prominently in the trial and have to be treated seriously. But learned lawyer talk was inseparably connected to political ideology, which in turn was refracted by the character traits of those involved. Character influenced the outcome of the trial; and the trial, as trials often do, cast a bright light on character.
With the Republican National Convention getting underway in Tampa, FL (the usual fanfare tempered by the approach of Tropical Storm and projected Hurricane Isaac), we turn to the introduction to Elizabeth Price Foley’s timely and insightful account, The Tea Party: Three Principles. Curious about the relation between the Republican party and the Tea Party movement? Look no further than the extract below.
The treason trial of Aaron Burr was not only one of the greatest criminal trials in American history, where some of the best lawyers in the nation argued about the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and the constitutional meaning of treason. Thanks to national newspaper coverage, the trial turned into a “mind-jostling” debate over the nature of the young republic with Jefferson, Marshall, and Burr representing the contending options.
What are we to make of the Bible? It’s not easy to say. But a common approach goes like this: There are two kinds of literary works that address themselves to ultimate issues – those that are the product of reason; and those that are known by way of revelation. Works by philosophers such as Plato or Hobbes are works of “reason,” composed to assist individuals and nations looking to discover the true and the good as best they are able in accordance with man’s natural abilities. The Bible, on the other hand, is “revelation,” a text that reports what God himself thinks about things.