Alex Goodall


Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs The Supreme Court


W W Norton & Co 656pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

The original copy of the constitution of the United States resides, alongside its two siblings, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, in a specially designed rotunda at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Each nestles cosily in a custom-built container of titanium, glass and nickel-plated aluminium that hermetically seals the papers within a cloud of inert argon gas in order to minimise the chances of reaction and degradation. The documents are maintained at a steady temperature of 19.4 degrees Celsius and 40 per cent humidity, with all variations carefully monitored by an electronic system designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Such is the importance awarded these documents that in the event of a nuclear attack each container is engineered to plummet down to a bespoke nuclear bunker hidden beneath the building, ensuring that the documents will persist long into the nuclear winter, unlike the hundreds of unprepared tourists who came to see them.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • sorry I can’t spell fluttering. I was agitated.,
    • Probably try and get an announcement out later, for all these male writers who think of fluttering inner muscle sheaths...,
    • He felt the muscles far inside her flutteriung around him,
    • Next week sees return, and we've got discounted tickets on offer, right here: ,
    • We're rarely topical - tricky as a monthly magazine - but we've an article this month all about Laurence Binyon, po… ,
    • "We will remember them" - who wrote those words, and why have them become our terms of memorial? ,
    • RT : Wow. We're over the moon with this stunning piece on My Cat Yugoslavia, 'a truly extraordinary novel.'… ,