Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Book Review

War Powers: How the Imperial Presidency Hijacked the Constitution
By Peter Irons

Worried about the dangers of unchecked executive power, the Founding Fathers deliberately assigned Congress the sole authority to make war. But the last time Congress declared war was on December 8, 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Since then, every president from Harry Truman to George W. Bush has used military force in pursuit of imperial objectives, while Congress and the Supreme Court have virtually abdicated their responsibilities to check presidential power. In vivid detail, Peter Irons recounts this story of subversion from above, tracing presidents' increasing willingness to ignore congressional authority and even suspend civil liberties.

While wandering around my local public library a couple of weeks ago, this book caught my eye in the new book section. I'm glad I decided to check it out. There's a great deal about the history and intent of the Constitution of the United States that I wasn't aware of until I read this book.

Irons also covers, in great detail, how our Constitution has been stretched to its limits and beyond by presidents, both former and current. Additionally, he reveals how our two other branches of government have failed us miserably by allowing "inherent" presidential powers to go unchecked.

In addition to being highly informative, "War Powers" was written as an easy-to-digest book for any reader. The writing was smooth and flowing, from the framing of the Constitution up until our present day executive branch nightmare.

PTCruiser gives "War Powers" two thumbs up. Go ahead and check it out.


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