Cover image for Waging war on trial : a handbook with cases, laws, and documents
Waging war on trial : a handbook with cases, laws, and documents
Dirck, Brian R., 1965-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, Inc., [2003]

Physical Description:
xvii, 342 pages ; 24 cm.
Introduction -- Historical background -- Cases -- Legacy and impact -- Documents -- Key people, laws, and concepts -- Chronology.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF5060.Z9 D57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
KF5060.Z9 D57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A thought-provoking and engaging guide to the legal, moral, and political issues that arise when the United States goes to war.

* A-Z entries on key people such as Oliver Wendell Holmes and Senator Lee Overman, court decisions such as Abrams v. United States and Schenck v. United States , events such as the Gulf War, and issues such as the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus

* A chronology spanning the history of waging war from 1792, which saw the formation of the Society of Cincinnatus, through 2002, with the United States contemplating war with Iraq

Author Notes

Brian R. Dirck is assistant professor of American history at Anderson University, Anderson, IN.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Dirck (history, Anderson Univ.) provides background material and analysis of the evolving balance between executive and legislative war-making powers in the US, a subject of particular current relevance. Part 1 is more appropriate to upper-level students whose background will enable them to better appreciate the arguments Dirck offers. The materials presented in part 2 are generally familiar to more advanced students, but the collection of these documents and the chronology provided in this section could be useful to lower-level students just beginning to explore this important topic. The book provides a well-argued analysis of the historical evolution of conflict between branches of the US government regarding war-making powers. Its analysis of the impact of key court cases on the elaboration or constraints on the war powers of these two branches touches on many significant cases associated with the topic. Though limited by being written prior to the Iraq War, Dirk's fourth chapter provides some tantalizing hints about the impact of past legal precedent on both the war in Iraq and the ongoing war on terrorism. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduate, graduate and research/faculty collections. C. W. Herrick Muhlenberg College

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. ix
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Part 1
1 Introductionp. 3
Chaotic Nature of Warp. 9
The Laws of War, the War of Lawsp. 11
Law versus Warp. 15
Conclusionp. 24
References and Further Readingp. 25
2 Historical Backgroundp. 27
War and the Constitutionp. 27
War and the Constitution before the Civil Warp. 35
Civil War: The Law's First Real Testp. 39
Imperialism and a World Warp. 47
Law, the Constitution, and the "Good War"p. 57
Korea, Vietnam, and War by Presidential Fiatp. 66
Congress's Pendulum: The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the War Powers Act of 1973p. 69
After Vietnam: Exorcised Demons?p. 71
References and Further Readingp. 74
3 Casesp. 77
The "Least Dangerous Branch": The Supreme Court and American War Makingp. 77
Defining the New Roles: The Court and War Making in the Early National Erap. 78
The Civil War: Libertarian Idealism versus Wartime Pragmatismp. 85
Reconstruction and ex parte Milliganp. 94
World War I and Justice Holmes's Consciencep. 102
World War IIp. 109
After World War II: Traditionsp. 116
The Court and War in the Nuclear Agep. 117
Youngstown and the "Imperial Presidency"p. 118
Expanding Wartime Dissentp. 121
Reining in Military Justice: The Military Court of Appeals and the My Lai Atrocitiesp. 125
Law and War: Whither the Supreme Court?p. 129
References and Further Readingp. 131
4 Impact and Legacyp. 133
Met on a Battlefield, of Sortsp. 133
The War Powers Issue: Who's in Charge?p. 136
Wartime Civil Liberties and Military Justicep. 141
The Pending War with Iraqp. 145
Law and War in the Terrorism Era: Old Wine in New Bottles?p. 149
References and Further Readingp. 151
Part 2 Documentsp. 155
Constitutional Language about Warp. 155
What Is a "War"?p. 157
Controlling the Wartime Economyp. 181
Clear and Present Danger: Schenck v. United Statesp. 185
The Retreat from Schenck: Abrams et al. v. United Statesp. 190
Slowing the Imperial Presidency: Youngstownp. 266
Modern Times: The Gulf War and the War on Terrorismp. 288
Key People, Laws, and Conceptsp. 299
Chronologyp. 311
Table of Casesp. 317
Annotated Bibliographyp. 319
Indexp. 325
About the Authorp. 342