Another panel in the pre-Civil War picture, to which the recent Calhoun and Douglas books have also contributed. Added interest in that Taney was the Chief Justice at the time the Dred Scott decision was handed down, and did all in his power to aid the South by that and other opinions. The Jackson administration was a stormy period -- the Biddle scandal and the Bank of the United States implicated Taney. But, in spite of the dubious aspects of his career, he emerges as a significant and able figure, in both legal and political life. A serious and definitive biography.