We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

Adam Winkler (Author)

Product Details

$28.95  $26.63
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
February 27, 2018
6.2 X 1.6 X 9.3 inches | 1.85 pounds

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About the Author

Adam Winkler is a professor at UCLA School of Law, where he specializes in American constitutional law. His scholarship has been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, Atlantic, Slate, and Scotusblog


An eye-opening account of how corporations became 'persons' entitled to constitutional rights and used those rights to impede efforts to regulate them in the interests of real people.--David Cole, author of Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law
An incisive account of the unlikely rise of an idea that has nearly turned American politics upside down.--Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman
This is a brilliant, beautifully written book on a topic affecting almost every area of law: how did corporations come to have rights under the Constitution? Professor Winkler carefully details this history from English law to the present, and the book is filled with new insights and information. Any future discussion of rights for corporations will be shaped by this wonderful book.--Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
Impressively thorough and wide-ranging. . . . Winkler employs an evocative, fast-paced storytelling style, making for an entertaining and enlightening book that will likely complicate the views of partisans on both sides of the issue.
[A] timely, exciting book . . . . Constitutional law professor and legal commentator Winkler examines the history of the relationship between corporations and the Constitution, providing a field guide to the legal issues and an overview of a long-term corporate civil rights movement that employs techniques familiar from social justice movements. . . . Along the way, he presents a wide range of vividly drawn historical figures, bringing their philosophies, tactics, debates, and shenanigans to life while allowing readers to assess the ethics and implications of their work.--Sara Jorgensen
Winkler's deeply engaging legal history, authoritative but accessible to non-lawyers, takes readers inside courtrooms, judges' chambers and corporate offices... The book offers new takes on familiar stories...as well as fascinating insights from largely forgotten moments... [A] meticulous, educational and thoroughly enjoyable retelling of our nation's past.--Benjamin C. Waterhouse
'Are corporations people?' That's the provocative question Winkler poses at the outset of his impressive, engaging new book. . . . [Winkler] begins in Colonial America and provides a forceful and highly readable account of what he convincingly describes as a 'long, and long overlooked, corporate rights movement.'
Much of the value of Winkler's book lies in his elegant stitching together of 400 years of diverse cases, allowing us to feel the sweep and flow of history and the constantly shifting legal approaches to understanding this unusual entity -- Blackstone's 'artificial person.' Four hundred years is a lot of time, and Winkler does a wonderful job of finding illustrative details without drowning in them, and of giving each case enough attention to make it come alive...By nailing down the absurdities of the past, Winkler allows us to see how the future becomes more open.--Zephyr Teachout