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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

4.2 (665 )
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Performance
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  •  
    elizabeth United States 04-22-12
    elizabeth United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    7 of 11 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 2001
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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
  •  
    Dustin 07-11-14
    Dustin 07-11-14 Member Since 2014
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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
  •  
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 07-27-13
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 07-27-13 Member Since 2011

    Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.

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    "Absolutely Excellent Assessment of Modern History"

    This is not fiction, by any stretch of the imagination. It is straight-forward fact and observation. While a fair and through assessment, it also offers some relevant character study, which is cleverly done and sets the scenes for appointment to this elite body. It has some elements of what sounds like a novel, but after some research on my part, it is appears that there is no exaggeration. The humanity, humor, strongly held beliefs of the Chief Justices and how they influence other members of the court is particularly interesting. Above all, while this review is probably dull, the book is not! It is a learning experience, even for the already learned and should be required reading for anyone interested in the law.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Declan FitzPatrick St. Louis, MO United States 10-01-12
    Declan FitzPatrick St. Louis, MO United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2004

    High School Reading and English Teacher

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    "Gossipy but ultimately insightful and satisfying"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Melody Munson-McGee 04-19-12 Member Since 2009

    I listen on my commute home.

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    "Relevant, timely, interesting"

    I have followed the politics of the Supreme Court for years, and this book really fed my craving for inside info. A great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Asli 09-23-11
    Asli 09-23-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great read, great for an audiobook"

    most engaging reading of an audiobook I've ever had -- I really enjoy Don Leslie's appropriately dramatic narration, which is best when complementing dramatic plots and narratives such as Toobin's relatively creative nonfictional account of the Supreme Court

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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