If Roger Taney had not written the majority opinion in the Dred Scott case, he would undoubtedly have remained unknown through American history to a vast majority of the people. But those careful students of history and the law who would have examined his work would have rated him on a par with Marshall as a Chief Justice and would have found much of value in his memoir on the Jacksonian war with the Bank of the United States. Walker Lewis has endeavored to set the record straight and has prepared a lengthy historical biography of Taney as his, brief. Unfortunately his research far exceeds his editing and his book is weighed down with historical asides, many of which serve only as distractions. His style is pedestrian and seems almost to take on the color of the dour Justice. The Supreme Court is generally not understood as an institution and an analysis of the thinking of one of its more perceptive Justices on its function would have been valuable. Unfortunately, there is too little analysis and too much fact here.