Based on exclusive interviews with the justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Court through personalities, from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas' well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd 19th-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.
The Nine is the book best-selling author Jeffrey Toobin was born to write. A CNN senior legal analyst and New Yorker staff writer, no one is more superbly qualified to profile the nine justices.
©2007 Jeffrey Toobin; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"A major achievement, lucid and probing." (Bob Woodward)
"Absorbing....[Toobin's] savvy account puts the supposedly cloistered Court right in the thick of American life." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is a remarkable, riveting book. So great are Toobin's narrative skills that both the justices and their inner world are brought vividly to life." (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
I'd heard good things about this book, but it's even better than I thought it would be. The author closely examines the history of the contemporary Court, and provides a lot of insight into the personalities and motivations of the justices, as well as those of the presidents who appointed them. His style is that of an animated storyteller, and he's certainly done his homework. Listening to this book is almost as good as sitting next to a guest at a dinner party who has the most marvelous stories and insights. Not for a minute was I bored.
The narrator is excellent.
I teach Business, Economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. My interests are in politics, economics, and philosophy. I hold a BA in English Literature, and an MA in Political Science.
This was an excellent book with loads of information. The major problem I have is that it's not really organized very well. I was happy to see that the politics were kept largely to the side...though it's clear the writer doesn't like the Right.
The book slightly touches on Alito and Robert's appointments, but spends more time on the previous nine. This book is full of Supreme Court history and lore, but the author struggled with perspectives. The perspective of precedents in the court's history or the perspective of the judges and their appointments.
I would get this book again if I had too...even if it were a few hours longer, I enjoyed it that much. I would recommend it as reading before next year's primaries.
Although the book does have its interesting moments -- some factual, some gossipy -- it more reminded me of my law school days (now more than 25 years ago) of listening to a student "briefing a case" to the professor and class. That was uninteresting. What's more, the book makes an argument that a pervasive right wing conspiracy is afoot in the the selection of Justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and other cases of perceived judicial activism. That could be, but I felt the arguments as presented were either weak, unsupported, or did not add up. I thought Woodward's "The Brethren" was far better. This book was quite underwhelming.
Well, as advertised "The Nine" is in fact exciting, even riveting and insightful, but what is not advertised is that the author's strong left wing bias is barely concealed. This is sad. The subject matter is of great importance, and the author obviously put a great deal of sweat into into its writing, but unfortunately, it was titled wrong. It would have better been titled "The Nine: A Leftist's View of the Supreme Court". If your leanings are left, you will love this book. If they are right, you will hate it. If, on the other hand you are apolitical as I am, and you read the book to learn more about this major institution of the american government system, you will be saddened and disappointed, bucause the schloarship cannot be trusted.
THis book is well constructed, it is suspenseful and gives enough personal insight in addition to the bare bones of legal issues needed to understand the major areas of dispute in US supreme court rulings over the last fifty years.
THe narrator is strong, the writing draws you in, but ultimately the status of the court is both depressing and disheartening. I saw Justice Scalia swagger across the screen on SIXTY MINUTES last week and almost wept at his arrogant unwillingness to admit he is a political hack with no shame or sense of honor.Leslie Stahl licked his feet. I felt lost in a circus tent. I was glad I had read the book so I could put Scalia's lies into context but I certainly don't feel more hopeful that things will change.
I'm an attorney, so for me a lot of what was covered in this book was pretty basic, and I got a little bored given its length. I did find some of the behind-the-scenes accounts of the nomination process pretty interesting though. Also, the narrator had an extremely slow manner of speaking, so I recommend playing the book on 1.25 or 1.5 speed.
I really enjoyed this book. IT. is educational and
yet really fascinating. I liked the narrator. He really pulled you into the Supreme Court.
Defiantly has a liberal leaning throughout the book so if you are somewhat conservative and don't want to listen to how the court is bad when it makes a GOP decision and good when it aligns with tech dens I'd say pass this one. Otherwise super awesome book!
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.
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