american political history

book review score+5

Theodore and Woodrow:
How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom
Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Nelson, 2012, 298 pages

reviewed by T. Nelson

As children, we're all taught to revere famous presidents like Lincoln, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. But as Napolitano says, Americans, educated in state schools, are only taught the government's version of history. These four presidents, in many ways, actually did incalculable harm to their country. This book presents the case against TR and WW: the bull moose and the professor.

Both of them won the Nobel Peace prize, and in the now-familiar tradition of Nobel laureates, both trampled the Constitution. Despite their differences in personality, both were puppets of big bankers. J.P. Morgan financed TR's 1912 Bull Moose party in order to split the Republicans and elect WW over Taft to gain passage of the Federal Reserve bill. Effectively kicked out of the Republican party, TR was even more left-wing than WW—at least at first. Caught up in the same statist, elitist, and racist ideas that brought communism to Russia and dictators to Europe, they began the long process of grabbing power from the states by bribery and indoctrination and consolidating it in Washington.

Napolitano describes how, by disguising themselves as protectors, government officials are gradually turning us into their slaves. His thesis is that much of this tyranny began in the Progressive Era. This was the era when the Federal Reserve was created, the Constitutional prohibition against income tax was reversed, and the country began its inexorable slide toward central control. The contrast between the amount of liberty our ancestors had, compared with how little we have today, is shocking. Those of us who value liberty can only look back with envy at how free our ancestors were.

These two Progressives believed that by strengthening the Federal government, they were strengthening America. Recent history has proven just how wrong they were. Napolitano tries to relate TR and WW's policies to present-day America. The sudden jumps back and forth are a little jarring, and make the book more political than it needs to be.

Andrew Napolitano's views will startle those who still believe what the government tells us about itself in the government's schools, but he's one of the clearest and most uncompromising advocates of constitutional liberty today. Read this book for a different perspective on American history.

dec 27, 2013