This is a fascinating, reasonably brisk read and a worthwhile book, but the subtitle wildly overpromises.

Jefferson and Marshall didn’t like each other. In fact, it appears that Marshall positively hated Jefferson and during the near crisis of 1800, expressed a desire that Burr be made president instead of Jefferson.

I learned a great deal about Marbury vs Madison that I didn’t know and the cunning way that Marshall used it to establish constitutional review, as as well as much about the trial of Aaron Burr for treason. But here’s the thing, Jefferson was rather peripheral to those and Simon doesn’t even make a more than half-hearted stab at suggesting he was (at the time) terribly concerned about Marbury vs Madison, for example (though he was hellbent on leather on seeing Burr hanged). In fact, perhaps a quarter of the narrative takes place after Jefferson had retired from public office.