I had always wanted to read more about the most important Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and this book was very engaging. This biography of Marshall tells the story of a fascinating historical figure who, for whatever reason, seems to get short thrift in the pantheon of our founding fathers. He was close with Washington, a cousin of Jefferson, Secretary of State and then Chief Justice (even at the same time for a month) for Adams, a state leader and legislator for Virginia, an important supporter of the Constitution during the ratification process - Marshall was a little bit like the Forest Gump of the Revolutionary Era. His decisions on the Supreme Court made the Court an equal branch and established our understanding of how the judiciary works under the Constitution.
My favorite part of the book, or at least the part where I learned the most, was during Marshall's time as a peace commissioner to France during the French Revolution and the XYZ Affair. This was the type of book where I kept learning new things and it made me want to find out more about many different aspects of that historical period. That is the highest compliment I can pay a work of history.