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The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court | [Jeffrey Toobin]

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Supreme 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Just in time for the 2008 presidential election, where the future of the Supreme Court will be at stake, Jeffrey Toobin reveals an institution at a moment of transition. Decades of conservative disgust with the Court have finally produced a conservative majority, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, presidential power, and church-state relations.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    elizabeth United States 04-22-12
    elizabeth United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Very interesting book on the Supreme Court"

    I enjoyed reading this book about the supreme court. It gave a personal look at the judges and how that effects their votes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 10-30-07
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 10-30-07 Member Since 2004

    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.

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    "Keep a 30 Year Calendar Handy"

    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.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Wichita, KS, USA 01-24-08
    Jenny Wichita, KS, USA 01-24-08
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    "Excellent and engaging"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dc Englewood, OH, USA 10-04-07
    Dc Englewood, OH, USA 10-04-07 Member Since 2005
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    "The Nine"

    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.

    25 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 05-12-15
    Eric 05-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Brasília, Brazil 03-22-15
    Marcus Brasília, Brazil 03-22-15 Member Since 2010

    mvrb

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    "The U S Supreme Court at Work"

    Jeffrey Toobin account of the U S Supreme Court gives the reader a clear perception about its works and its role in the american political system. The composition of the Court, especially in recent time, and the way its works are exposed with reference to particular events in the Justices lifes. The process of nomination and confirmation of the Justices is explained, in order to show how the Constitution wisdom is perceived by the three branchs of government. The author makes a case for the argument that the ideology of each Justice ultimately determines the outcome of the cases they see.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent Collins 03-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great subject matter and scope, decent book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 02-08-15
    Richard 02-08-15
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    "Interesting Material Undermined by the Writer"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dustin 07-11-14
    Dustin 07-11-14
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    "Fantastic"
    What did you love best about The Nine?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Don Leslie, the narrator, is a magnificent voice that brings energy to a very information heavy read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaime North Miami, FL, United States 10-25-13
    Jaime North Miami, FL, United States 10-25-13 Listener Since 2004
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    "The political court"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Understanding the Supreme Court decisions of the last 20 years and the personalities within the court.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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