John Marshall may be one of the most influential founders to never become President. As an early chief justice, he was a principal founder of the U.S. system of constitutional law. But more than that, his story is entwined with the entire founding of America.
In this episode, Sam Wang discusses Marshall's legacy with historian and author Robert Strauss. The pair go into great detail on the American issues Marshall helped to shape, which is the subject of a new book by Strauss titled “John Marshall: The Final Founder.”
Strauss has been a reporter at Sports Illustrated; a feature writer for The Philadelphia Daily News; a news and sports producer for KYW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia; and the TV critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Asbury Park Press. For the last two decades, he has been a freelance journalist, his most prominent client being The New York Times, where he has had more than 1,000 bylines. He has taught nonfiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania since 1999 and has been an adjunct professor at Temple University, the University of Delaware, and St. Joseph’s University as well. He is the author of "Worst. President. Ever.: James Buchanan, the POTUS Rating Game, and the Legacy of the Least of the Lesser Presidents," among other books. He lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Zelizer has been among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN Political Analyst and a regular guest on NPR’s “Here and Now.” He is the author and editor of 21 books including, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society (2015), the winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress and Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974 (Norton), co-authored with Kevin Kruse. His new book is Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party (Penguin Press). The New York Times named the book as an Editor's Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books in 2020. He is currently writing a new book about Abraham Joshua Heschel for the Jewish Lives Series of Yale University Press. Zelizer, who has published over 1000 op-eds, has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the New York Historical Society, and New America. He also co-hosts a popular podcast called Politics & Polls.
Wang is a professor of neuroscience at Princeton University and director of the Electoral Innovation Lab. In his neuroscience research, he studies learning and development with an emphasis on data-intensive methods. His electoral work includes the Princeton Election Consortium, a pioneering poll aggregation effort; the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, which works toward fair districting policy in all 50 states; and the Electoral Innovation Lab, which applies data and math to reforms for voting and democracy. Wang also is an affiliate of the Program in Law and Public Affairs, the Center for Information Technology Policy, and the Program in Quantitative and Computational Biology. He has won national awards for his neuroscience and gerrymandering work including an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, the W.M. Keck Foundation Young Investigator Award, and the Common Cause Award for Partisan Gerrymandering Writing. His books “Welcome to Your Brain” and “Welcome to Your Child’s Brain” have been translated into over 20 languages.