The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS (Simon & Schuster, Nov. 2016) by Judge David J. Barron, The Honorable S. William Green Visiting Professor of Law. Judge Barron will be interviewed by Daphna Renan, Assistant Professor of Law.
Copies of Waging War will be available for sale and Judge Barron will be available for signing books at the end of the talk.
Thursday, November 17, 2016 at noon, with lunch
Harvard Law School Room WCC 2019 Milstein West A/B (Directions)
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
“A timely account of a raging debate: The history of the ongoing struggle between the presidents and Congress over who has the power to declare and wage war.
The Constitution states that it is Congress that declares war, but it is the presidents who have more often taken us to war and decided how to wage it. In Waging War, David J. Barron opens with an account of George Washington and the Continental Congress over Washington’s plan to burn New York City before the British invasion. Congress ordered him not to, and he obeyed. Barron takes us through all the wars that followed: 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American war, World Wars One and Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and now, most spectacularly, the War on Terror. Congress has criticized George W. Bush for being too aggressive and Barack Obama for not being aggressive enough, but it avoids a vote on the matter. By recounting how our presidents have declared and waged wars, Barron shows that these executives have had to get their way without openly defying Congress.
Waging War shows us our country’s revered and colorful presidents at their most trying times—Washington, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Johnson, both Bushes, and Obama. Their wars have made heroes of some and victims of others, but most have proved adept at getting their way over reluctant or hostile Congresses. The next president will face this challenge immediately—and the Constitution and its fragile system of checks and balances will once again be at the forefront of the national debate.” — Simon & Schuster
About Judge David Barron
Judge Barron was appointed to the First Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2014. He graduated from Harvard College in 1989 and Harvard Law School in 1994. From 1989 to 1991, he worked as a newspaper reporter. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Judge Stephen R. Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, from 1994 to 1995, and for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court, from 1995 to 1996. He then worked as an attorney advisor for the Office of Legal Counsel of the United States Department of Justice, from 1996 to 1999. In 1999, Judge Barron became an Assistant Professor at Harvard Law School. He became a full Professor at Harvard Law School in 2004, where he worked until he rejoined the Justice Department as Acting Assistant Attorney General from 2009 to 2010. He then returned to the Harvard Law School faculty in 2010, where he was named the S. William Green Professor of Public Law in 2011, and worked until his appointment to the federal bench in 2014. Judge Barron is visiting Harvard Law School during 2016-2017 as The Honorable S. William Green Visiting Professor of Public Law.
About Daphna Renan
Daphna Renan is an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She teaches and writes about administrative law, national security, criminal procedure, and executive power. Her current research examines surveillance as ongoing and routinized domestic administration, and explores mechanisms for its systemic governance. Renan draws analytic, doctrinal, and institutional tools from the fields of administrative law and criminal procedure, and she analyzes the interplay of agency design with rights-based adjudication. Her work integrates legal analysis with interdisciplinary perspectives on the administrative state.
Before joining HLS, Renan served as an attorney advisor in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and as counsel to the Deputy Attorney General. She was also a member of President-Elect Obama’s Justice Department transition team. Renan clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as an articles editor of the Yale Law Journal. She received her B.A., graduating summa cum laude, from Yale College.
Recent Reviews of Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS
“A brilliant book by one of our most brilliant young jurists, Waging War plumbs two hundred and forty years of history for answers to an urgent question about the future of the American democracy. Will presidents wage the wars of tomorrow within limits or without constraints? David J. Barron has written the definitive account of the value of constitutional government in the way the United States goes to war.” — John Fabian Witt, author of Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History
“As the distinguished jurist and law professor David J. Barron reminds readers in his splendid and wonderfully lucid new work, the conflict between the commander-in-chief and congress to declare and wage war is truly the story of America. With a scholar’s rigor and precision, a historian’s hunger and curiosity, and a natural story-teller’s gift for narrative and character, Waging War takes readers from the struggle to win and sustain independence to today’s shadowy post-Cold War world characterized by shifting global and terrorist threats and lethal new technologies. For those who care about the past and future control of the supreme power of the American state, Waging War is a vital and essential contribution.” — Gordon M. Goldstein, author of Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
“Waging War, deeply researched with a compelling and exciting narrative, immerses readers in the struggles of presidents as commanders in chief, and Congress as they walk the Constitution’s high wire over when and how to wage war. With challenges to presidential powers at their zenith today, Barron offers lessons learned from George Washington to Barack Obama about a decision critical to American lives and the world at large.” — Marcia Coyle, author of The Roberts Court