St. Louis, MO United States | Member Since 2004
The basic premise of this book is that Supreme Court justices' decisions are better understood as the result of personality and politics than of judicial philosophy. The book is a detailed explanation of how the dynamics of nine personalities, and the internal politics of assigning decisions and recruiting "opinions" to build a majority, drives the final outcome of decisions. The work is in the same mode as "The Brethren" by Woodward and Armstrong but deals with a very different time on the court.
The in-depth profiles of each justice are fascinating, detailed, and little gossipy. The author is most interesting when tracing how time on the court changes the justices themselves.
The profile of Scalia is interesting for its depth and respect, especially for a judge whose judicial philosophy the author clearly disagrees with. The profile of Thomas reads as shrill and one-sided. I don't actually know enough to judge the accuracy of the information but the tone is so disdainful, it made me skeptical.
The rest of the justices are addressed with reverent attention, and the author's assessment of their careers is supported by so much detailed information that you will be able to decide for yourself how much you agree.
Overall, the descriptions of the history and the central conflict at the center of each case provide a compelling view of the work of the court and how it ultimately gets done.
Put this book next to the Corrections, Don Delilo's White Noise or Underworld, or Salman Rushie's Shalamar the Clown, as a book that connects suburban domestic soap opera to global forces. The story never distances itself for the minute motivations of everyday suburban white reality, and yet it connects realistically with massive global social and economic forces. Want to know where we are? Read this book.
Details the complex web of circumstances that allowed Hitler to rise to power. Clearly his personality was unique in the combinations of his passions, his ruthlessness, and his political savvy, but the circumstances he took advantage of had to foster certain fears and desires among wide segments of society. This makes sense of it.
This series is so strong, each book asks a little more of the reader and complicates the situation further. Very satisfying.
This books adds a level of complexity to the characters and a mature emotional depth that heightens the emotional impact of the entire series.
Can't imagine how Nazi achieved and held that level of power? This book explains it.
I have to say this kind of works. Postmodern combination of YA, ancient myth, and video games, more satisfying to me than Rick Riordan, but just as fast paced and read able.
Awful. Reads like a confused dream not a novel. Like a story made up be 11-year-olds on a play ground at recess..."They have giant wings that fold-up and hide under their clothes so you don't notice them...and then they find and ATM card and guess the PIN #...And then the computers in the electronics story start talking to them...And then they discover a science lab in the subway..."
I have to support the "Best Ever" audio book award for this reading of this book. The vivid narration is so essential to the characterization it's hard for me to imagine that the author himself didn't direct the reading. I've been listening to two books a month for 18+ months, and I love this book, but I love this reading of this book more.
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