We the Corporations: Book summary and reviews of We the Corporations by Adam Winkler

We the Corporations

How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

by Adam Winkler

We the Corporations by Adam Winkler X
We the Corporations by Adam Winkler

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Book Summary

We the Corporations chronicles the revelatory story of one of the most successful, yet least known, "civil rights movements" in American history.

We the Corporations reveals how American businesses won equal rights and transformed the Constitution to serve the ends of capital. Corporations - like minorities and women - have had a civil rights movement of their own, and now possess nearly all the same rights as ordinary people. Uncovering the deep historical roots of Citizens United, Adam Winkler shows how that controversial 2010 Supreme Court decision was the capstone of a two-hundred-year battle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business.

Bringing to resounding life the legendary lawyers and justices involved in the corporate rights movement - among them Daniel Webster, Roger Taney, Lewis Powell, and even Thurgood Marshall - Winkler's tour de force exposes how the nation's most powerful corporations gained our most fundamental rights and turned the Constitution into a bulwark against the regulation of big business.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. 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." - Publishers Weekly

"[A] timely, exciting book ... 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." - Booklist

"A chronicle of the steady, willful process by which corporations became people - until, that is, you try to sue them. ... Maddening for those who care about matters constitutional and an important document in the ongoing struggle to undo Citizens United." - Kirkus

"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...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

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Author Information

Adam Winkler

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.

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