Listening to, and reading, the book simultaneously, I got the most out of it. As a reader, I felt like the driver of a slightly out-of-alignment car with a barely noticeable drag to the left, which served as a constant reminder that the writer is a journalist, for New Yorker, who happened to be a Harvard Law graduate. I shall read The Nine again before listening to The Oath the third time. These are essential complements to the Justices' books, opinions, and oral arguments, a reading of which would be helpful in better understanding of the functioning of the Supreme Court.
I bought this book several years ago and never got around to reading it. I finally had the opportunity to listen to it as an audiobook. The reader was quite good and the premise of the author that the Supreme Court is a highly politicized institution where the make up of the court and the ideology of its members is the most important factor in decision-making is still as valid today as it was when the book was first written.I especially enjoyed the vignettes of each of the court's members and the concise but accurate synopsis of the court's major cases during this period.
too bad Mr Toobin's bias was so apparent.
No, if all his books are so slanted to the left.
I do not know but the performance was just fine.
Yes, research the author before buying the book. lol
No, but thanks for asking.
I learned a lot from this book about how the Supreme Court functions. I also really enjoyed the personal stories about the various justices. However, the author's frequent demonization of conservatives often seemed gratuitous and subtracted from the dignity of the subject.
Toobin uses his vast knowledge of the U.S. Supreme Court to sort fact from fiction. His engaging book cuts through the mystery and superstition surrounding the judicial branch to give us a rare portrait of the Supreme Court in all its humanity, nuance, ideology and intelligence. He seems to always take his sources with the grain of objectivity, questioning the subjective motivations of each and working to provide the counter-argument. Similarly, he tries to reserve his own judgement from most every subject except the Bush v. Gore ruling, and the evangelical christian political phenomenon more generally. The books greatest value is that it lays out the information in a readable and engaging way so that we can shape our own opinions and beliefs with care.
The Nine was a very enjoyable listen. Jeffrey Toobin makes the Supreme Court accessible and shows both the best and the worst of the court and its justices. Don Leslie does a tremendous job with the narration.
First off, the narration was excellent.
The scholarship seems on point. There may be a slight liberal bias, but nothing that would be off putting to a moderate. The book is not hard to follow, but sometimes story seems disorganized and scattered.
All in all though, a fascinating book and a great introduction to the personalities on the court up until the end of the bush administration.
Toobin has good material. The research is thorough. However, as in his OJ book, his biases and attempts at analysis undermine the book rather than make it more interesting. I say that even though I share his political and social leanings. His thinking is that of an outsider who misunderstands the perceptions and motivations of those he watches. As someone who spent many years practicing law, my reaction while reading/listening to the book was often that he just didn't "get it." Instead he "gets it" about 50% of the time. It's the writing of someone who is well educated in the law but not in the behavior of the humans in the courts and in cases. Nonetheless, the facts he describes are fascinating, and it's easy enough to separate out and ignore his speculation and opinion.
I think Toobin could write a very good book if he made a conscious effort to write a "neutral" book, with the assistance of an editor that insisted on that principle. He understands the mechanics of the law and our legal system. His writing, in other books, and elsewhere, is clear and easy to read. He's a good reporter who simply does not have good insight about the cases and institutions he covers. The next time he gets an advance to tackle some interesting case or legal institution, he should stick to the facts.
Jeffrey Toobin gives the reader an incredibly detailed and intimate look into the lives, transition, and evolution of the Supreme Court and its Justices. Toobin breaks down decisions and conflict to the very bone, teasing the reader with dialogue between Supreme Court Justices that happens right in their chambers. All the way up to the end, the reader is given mass amounts of information as the story of the Supreme Court, the Nine, and Justice progresses up to a close present.
Toobin's description of the case Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000) is incredible. Toobin shows one of the Supreme Court's greatest flaws through this case by ripping away the Justices' aura of being untouchable and shows their true human nature as they make a grave mistake by taking the case. This case has truly shaped how the Supreme Court throughout the 2000's progressed.
Don Leslie, the narrator, is a magnificent voice that brings energy to a very information heavy read.