Tom Peebles

Thomas H. Peebles is a retired Department of Justice attorney living in Paris. He regularly reviews recent works on history, politics, political theory and literature at He holds degrees from Dartmouth College (A.B), London School of Economics (M.Sc.), University of Detroit School of Law (J.D), and Stanford Law School (J.S.D). At LSE he studied the “History of Political Thought” under Michael Oakeshott. His dissertation at Stanford examined the emergence in the period 1890-1920 of the idea of the federal constitution as a flexible and evolving instrument. He worked and studied for a year at the Faculté de Droit de Clermont-Ferrand, and was a Fulbright grantee at the Université de Paris II (Assas). At the Department of Justice, he worked on DoJ overseas rule of law assistance programs, serving in US Embassies in Haiti, Bulgaria and Benin. At DoJ HQ, he served as Regional Director for DoJ assistance programs in Central and Eastern Europe.

Is the US Constitution Dead?

9 February 2024 |

Review: Erwin Chemerinsky, Worse Than Nothing: The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism (Yale University Press)   In 2010, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving the constitutionality of […]


A New Form of Autocracy?

23 November 2022 |

Review: Moisé Naím, The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century (St. Martin’s Press)   Less than a week before the recent mid-term elections in […]


The Chancellor

22 August 2022 |

This is a book review of Kati Marton’s The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel (Simon & Schuster, 2021). Many can plausibly claim to have had a hand in […]


Can democracy work?

19 March 2021 |

Did American democracy survive the presidency of Donald Trump? The question seems sure to occupy historians, commentators and the public during the administration of Joe Biden and beyond. If nothing […]