To Chain the Dog of War: The War Power of Congress in History and Law

In This Review

To Chain the Dog of War: The War Power of Congress in History and Law

By Francis D. Wormuth and Edwin B. Firmage, with Francis P. But
Southern Methodist University Press, 1986
347 pp. $27.50

An extensive legal study that examines the constitutional power to initiate acts of war, in the light of executive and legislative actions and judicial decisions in hundreds of instances since the founding of the republic. Taking note of the tendency of presidents, particularly in the latter half of the twentieth century, to assert and exercise war-initiating power on their own, the authors come down firmly on the side of the power of Congress alone to authorize acts of war, which the War Powers Resolution of 1973 restates and confirms. To the argument that the perils of the nuclear age justify the president's having authority to act, they reply that those perils only reinforce the requirement for deliberation and congressional approval (though without denying the president's power to respond immediately to armed attack). The book is for lawyers, but the issues are for everybody.

More Reviews on Political and Legal From This Issue

Browse All Capsule Reviews

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.