The Roots of American Bureaucracy: 1830 – 1900
By William E. Nelson
2006/09 - Beard Books
1587982846 - Paperback - Reprint - 234 pp.
An enlightened view of the history of the intellectual foundations of law and politics.
This innovative book argues that the mugwump reformers who built early bureaucracies cared less about enhancing government efficiency than about restraining the power of majoritarian political leaders in Congress and the executive branch. Since the book’s initial publication a quarter of a century ago, its well-documented argument has gained increasing relevance as recent administrations have tried to rein in civil servants and force them publicly to toe the President’s line. In the words of the late John Hart Ely, “No one who would think intelligently about our institutions -- in particular about the enduring tension between ‘majority rule’ and ‘minority rights’ -- can afford to ignore this book.” Further currency of the author’s contentions can be found in an extensive special author’s note to this reprint edition.
No book reviews available.
William E. Nelson is Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law and History at New York University.
Other Beard Books by William E. Nelson:
The Literature of American Legal History (with John Phillip Reid)