The Life of John Marshall
by: Albert J. Beveridge
I had the distinct pleasure of reading this biography, about the life of our greatest Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in a first edition. Now, this won't be such a great feat as I get into the more recent books, but to be reading out of the actually edition printed in 1920 was pretty exciting to me.
I found this biography to be quite interesting. It starts from the very beginning of Marshall's life and examine how each event that he experienced affected his interpretation of the law and Constitution. It is fascinating to see how Marshall grew up in close contact with many of our founding fathers. He was a cousin of Thomas Jefferson's (although there great disagreements later in life are well known...). He was at Valley Forge with George Washington. He studied law at the College of William & Mary under George Wythe (whose home we have visited at Colonial Williamsburg).
What a fascinating and intelligent man! I would recommend this book for someone who is doing research, especially trying to connect how Marshall's decisions in court were affected by his life experiences. (Being 4 volumes, I'm not sure it would make the best pleasure reading...)