Without Precedent book cover

Without Precedent

By Joel Richard Paul '77

The remarkable story of John Marshall who, as chief justice, statesman, and diplomat, played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States.

This is the astonishing true story of how a rough-cut frontiersman - born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education - invented himself as one of the nation's preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Constitution to forge a stronger nation. Without Precedent is the engrossing account of the life and times of this exceptional man, who with cunning, imagination, and grace shaped America's future as he held together the Supreme Court, the Constitution, and the country itself.


Amherst Reads is an online bookclub that connects alumni, students, faculty members, parents and friends to the intellectual life of the college. Each month a new book by an Amherst author is featured, providing excerpts, exclusive audio interviews, discussion questions and more. And through its online catalog, Amherst Reads also makes it easy to search for books by Amherst alumni and faculty. Enjoy!

Suggest a Book to Amherst Reads
We are always on the look-out for publications by Amherst authors. If you know of a book or author not in our catalog, please let us know!
Suggest a book »

Join Amherst Reads on Goodreads
Start a discussion, create an event or find out what your classmates are reading through the Amherst Goodreads group. Join now »


The Common - Amherst's Literary Journal
The Common is an award-winning print and online literary magazine based at Amherst College that publishes essays, short stories, poetry, and images with a strong sense of place. In our first three years, we've published work by established and emerging writers from around the globe, including many Amherst alumni. Subscribe now »


Search the Amherst Reads Catalog
Browse more than 1400 titles in the Amherst Reads Catalog to find books by alumni and faculty authors. Search Catalog »

Send Us Your Feedback » We'd love to hear what you think of Amherst Reads.