Front cover image for War powers : how the imperial presidency hijacked the Constitution

War powers : how the imperial presidency hijacked the Constitution

This book examines a fundamental question in the development of the American empire: What constraints does the Constitution place on our territorial expansion, military intervention, occupation of foreign countries, and on the power the president may exercise over American foreign policy? 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. Legal historian Irons recounts this story of subversion from above, tracing presidents' increasing willingness to ignore congressional authority and even suspend civil liberties.--From publisher description
Print Book, English, [2006]
[Owl Books], New York, [2006]
x, 303 pages ; 23 cm.
9780805080179, 0805080171
In the beginning: "the power of war and peace"
"Not only war but public war": congressional authority in the new nation
"A war unjust and unnecessary": seizing a continental empire
"The great exigencies of government": the Civil War
"Remember the Maine": the birth of imperial America
"We must have no criticism now": the war to end all wars
"The sole organ of the nation": the birth of the imperial presidency
"The very bring of constitutional power": Japanese Americans and German saboteurs
"A world-wide American empire": the imperial presidency in the Cold War
"What every schoolboy knows": Vietnam and congressional abdication
"We were going to war": from the Gulf War to Afghanistan
"We will not hesitate to act alone": the American colossus in the age of preemptive war
"The constitution is just a piece of paper": empire vs. democracy