Truman and the Steel Seizure Case

The Limits of Presidential Power

Truman and the Steel Seizure Case

Constitutional Conflicts

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Book Pages: 416 Illustrations: Published: March 1994

Author: Maeva Marcus

Contributor: Louis Fisher

History > U.S. History, Law > Legal History, Politics > Political Science

Government seizure of the nation’s strikebound steel mills on 8 April 1952 stands as one of President Harry S Truman’s most controversial actions, representing an unprecedented use of presidential power. On 8 June 1952 the United States Supreme Court invalidated Truman’s order with its monumental decision in Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer. The history and significance of this case constitute the subject of Maeva Marcus’s meticulously researched, brilliantly analyzed, and authoritative study. From Truman’s initial assertion of "inherent" executive power under the Constitution to the High Court’s seven opinions, Marcus assesses the influence of the case on the doctrine of separation of powers and, specifically, the nature and practice of executive authority. First published in 1977 (Columbia University Press), and reissued here in paperback with a new foreword by Louis Fisher, this book remains the definitive account of the Steel Seizure incident and its political and legal ramifications.


"A model study among those which use a single incident to illumine larger issues. But although we learn much of the political and economic and social history of the early 1950s, it is in legal history and over a longer span that Dr. Marcus excels." — A. E. Campbell , TLS

"Rarely, perhaps never, has a judicial proceeding been the subject of such thorough and perceptive exposition as Marcus has given the Steel Seizure case." — Howard C. Westwood , University of Chicago Law Review

"The richness of the research, the sophistication of the analysis, and the great editorial skill and care that went into the book will make this a standard work for all students of the Truman era." — Arthur F. McClure , American Historical Review

"Although there have been some other articles and books on the Youngstown case, this book remains definitive. The author handles a variety of materials exceedingly well, and shows great sensitivity not only to the legal issues involved, but to the political ones as well. It is a model case study." — Melvin I. Urofsky, Virginia Commonwealth University

"Marcus’s book continues to be the only extended discussion of the Steel Strike incident. Truman’s seizure of the steel companies and the subsequent litigtation remain an important historical episode with contemporary implications for executive power cases." — G. Edward White, University of Virginia School of Law


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Price: $29.95

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