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August Book Club Treason Trial of Aaron Burr 720 x 90

Despite Aaron Burr’s many accomplishments as both a lawyer and politician—which culminated in his appointment as Jefferson’s Vice President—today he is forever known for his duel with Alexander Hamilton. The fatal shot killed both his rival and his political career, but his infamy did not end there: In 1807, he was arrested and charged with treason, for allegedly planning to separate western states from the Union.

The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr: Law, Politics, and the Character Wars of the New Nation (on sale September 25) captures the sheer drama and intricate dynamics of the explosive trial that riveted the new nation. A longtime historian and law professor, Kent Newmyer illuminates the complex interaction of legal doctrine, political ideology, and character in the lawmaking process. In particular, he brings to vivid life, along with Aaron Burr himself, two founding fathers bitterly pitted against each other during the trial: President Thomas Jefferson, who declared Burr guilty without benefit of a trial, and Chief Justice John Marshall, who sat as trial judge in the federal circuit court in Richmond. In addition to Burr’s life, at stake were laws that were instrumental to the new Republic: the rights of criminal defendants, the constitutional meaning of treason, the separation of powers, and the rule of law itself.

This month, the Cambridge Book Club takes you behind the scenes of this famous trial. Kent Newmyer will present new blog posts each week, profiling the larger-than-life personalities involved, the trial, and the case’s impact on American law. We’ll have a slideshow, timeline, and other special features.

So check back early and often! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates, and share your thoughts with other Book Club readers using #cambridgeideas.

SPECIAL SALE! As a special offer for book club members, get 30% off this month's book pick by using the code treason. You'll also get the discount on several related titles below, for further reading.

 

Features book listing

There are 7 titles for this feature

These titles are sorted by Title (ascending)

American Sovereigns

American Sovereigns

The People and America's Constitutional Tradition Before the Civil War
  • Christian G. Fritz
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9780521125604)
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  • Publication date: April 2009
  • Subject: Early republic and antebellum history

American Sovereigns is a path-breaking interpretation of America's political history and constitutionalism that analyzes the understanding of how the American people were to rule as a collective sovereign. National and state political controversies produced choices that shaped our current view of the meaning of the sovereignty of the people.

  • Available
  • $32.99 (Z)
Criminal Justice in the United States, 1789–1939

Criminal Justice in the United States, 1789–1939

  • Elizabeth Dale
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9781107401365)
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  • Publication date: August 2011
  • Subject: American history: general interest

This book chronicles the development of criminal law in America, from the beginning of the constitutional era through the rise of the New Deal order. Elizabeth Dale discusses the changes in criminal law during that period, tracing shifts in policing, law, the courts, and punishment. She also analyzes the role that popular justice – lynch mobs, vigilance committees, law-and-order societies, and community shunning – played in the development of America's criminal justice system.

  • In stock
  • $24.99 (Z)
The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Jefferson

The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Jefferson

  • Frank Shuffelton
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9780521686976)
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  • Publication date: February 2009
  • Subject: American literature

  • In stock
  • $26.99 (Z)
The Dynamic Constitution

The Dynamic Constitution

An Introduction to American Constitutional Law
  • Richard H. Fallon
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9780521600781)
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  • Publication date: March 2005
  • Subject: US law

In this book Harvard law professor Richard H. Fallon introduces non-lawyers to the workings of American Constitutional Law. He writes with clarity and vigor about leading constitutional doctrines and issues, including the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the guarantee of equal protection, rights to fair procedures, and rights to privacy and sexual autonomy. Along the way, Fallon describes many of the fascinating cases and personalities that have shaped constitutional law. He shows how historical, cultural, and other factors have influenced constitutional ajudication, making clear the dynamic nature of the Constitution.

The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr

The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr

Law, Politics, and the Character Wars of the New Nation
  • R. Kent Newmyer
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9781107606616)
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  • Publication date: September 2012
  • Subject: Early republic and antebellum history

The Burr trial featured some of America's most gifted lawyers and pitted Marshall, Jefferson, and Burr in a three-way contest that tracked the political and cultural differences of the new republic. This book focuses on the complex interaction of legal doctrine, political ideology, and character in the lawmaking process. The law that came out of the trial – the rights of criminal defendants, the constitutional meaning of treason, and the separation of powers, indeed the rule of law itself – left a permanent mark on American history.

  • In stock
  • $29.99 (Z)
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson

The Writings of Thomas Jefferson

Being his Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages, Addresses, and Other Writings, Official and Private
  • 1
  • Thomas Jefferson, H. A. Washington
  • Paperback (ISBN-13: 9781108032872)
  • Publication date: September 2011
  • Subject: Colonial American history

This nine-volume edition presents the writings of Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Enlightenment thinker and third President of the United States.

  • Available
  • $52.00 (Z)
Thomas Jefferson and American Nationhood

Thomas Jefferson and American Nationhood

  • Brian Steele
  • Hardback (ISBN-13: 9781107020702)
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  • Publication date: July 2012
  • Subject: Early republic and antebellum history

This book describes Thomas Jefferson as the essential teller of what he once called the "American Story" and argues that his confidence about America's greatness was rooted less in his famously cosmic optimism than in his extensive empirical assessment of American character, which he believed made a unique democratic politics possible here. Jefferson's opposition to Hamilton, architect of America's fiscal-military state, was less an opposition to government power than what Jefferson considered Hamilton's effort to administer a central state with its own rationale, largely disconnected from public will or America's unique character.

  • Available
  • $100.00 (C)

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