Impeachment: An American History

Modern Library. Oct. 2018. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9781984853783. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781984853790. POL SCI
American history authors Meacham, Peter Baker, Timothy Naftali, and Jeffrey A. Engel come together to offer a comprehensive and timely look at impeachment throughout U.S. history. An introduction to the background, discussion, and vote to add impeachment to the U.S. Constitution at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia is provided first with the intent to explore what the concept meant to the Constitution's framers, who, according to Engel, saw George Washington's political integrity as a model to be followed by his successors. The work's remaining sections provide an accessible narrative about the three instances of U.S. impeachment: the trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868, in which it was unclear if any wrongdoing took place, the Watergate scandal involving Richard Nixon in 1974, which "set the standard by which all ensuing scandals are measured," and Bill Clinton's perjury charge about an extra-marital affair in 1999. While not covered in-depth, the 2016 presidential election is discussed to explain that the framers would be surprised to learn that impeachment was used as a talking point by both candidates against each other.
VERDICT An engrossing work about a consequential subject, this is a must for readers of history and politics, as well as those interested in the current state and future of the nation.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing