Review by Choice Review
Practicing attorney Rudko makes extensive use of primary and secondary sources to show that Marshall had significant practical experience in international law for 20 years prior to his appointment as Chief Justice in 1801. Rudko focuses on Marshall's intellectual and political initiation to the law of nations as an attorney in Virginia litigating claims of British creditors, as a US negotiator in France, and briefly as a Federalist Representative and Secretary of State asserting US neutrality. Marshall early demonstrated a commitment to applying legal principles to politically vital issues of national sovereignty. More complete biographies A.J. Beveridge's The Life of John Marshall (4v., 1916-19) and F. N. Stites's John Marshall, Defender of the Constitution (CH, Apr'81) provide less detail about these matters than Rudko's narrowly defined study. At a time of renewed efforts to extend international law against nonconsenting nations, readers will find valuable precendent in Marshall's efforts to persuade US adversaries to respect both treaties and customary rules of law. Rudko's effective use of opinions by Justice Marshall shows both the impact of his foreign policy experience and the early relevance of international law for US courts. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and general readers.-H. Tolley, University of Cincinnati
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.