UCLA School of Law

02/09/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/09/2018 18:08

We the Corporations by Adam Winkler

We the Corporations: How Americans Won Their Civil Rights (W.W. Norton, 2018) sheds light on of the most successful, yet least known civil rights movements in American history, revealing how American businesses won equal rights and transformed the Constitution to serve the ends of capital. Corporations-like minorities and women-have had a civil rights movement of their own, and now possess nearly all the same rights as ordinary people. Uncovering the deep historical roots of Citizens United v. FEC, Adam Winkler shows how that controversial 2010 Supreme Court decision was the capstone of a 200-year battle over corporate personhood and constitutional protections for business. Bringing to resounding life the legendary lawyers and justices involved in the corporate rights movement-among them Daniel Webster, Roger Taney, Lewis Powell, and even Thurgood Marshall-Winkler's tour de force exposes how the nation's most powerful corporations gained our most fundamental rights and turned the Constitution into a bulwark against the regulation of big business. Winkler is also the author of Gun Fight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America (W.W. Norton, 2013).

Praise for the Book

'Impressively thorough and wide-ranging. . . . Winkler employs an evocative, fast-paced storytelling style, making for an entertaining and enlightening book that will likely complicate the views of partisans on both sides of the issue.' - Publishers Weekly, starred review

'A chronicle of the steady, willful process by which corporations became people-until, that is, you try to sue them. . . . Maddening for those who care about matters constitutional and an important document in the ongoing struggle to undo Citizens United.' - Kirkus Reviews

'An eye-opening account of how corporations became 'persons' entitled to constitutional rights and used those rights to impede efforts to regulate them in the interests of real people.' - David Cole, author of Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law

Adam Winkler In the Media

Adam Winkler is a frequent commentator and guest who has been featured on numerous television and radio programs and podcasts. His essays have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic and elsewhere.

Interviews with Winkler include:


Face the Nation

All Things Considered