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)
Although a long listen, this book provides historical and personality descriptions of the 9 justices up to John Roberts. The reader has a melodious and yet engaging voice which helps to show the interplay of the justices, their clerks and the government revealing how sometimes decisions are made. Clear patterns of judgement emerge as justices' tenure on the court matures. Excellent book to listen to in my opinion.
After just writing my Masters thesis on the worldview of the Rehnquist Court, I have to say that this book is not only accurate, but highly entertaining and depicts the true nature of the Supreme Court. The insight Toobin gains into the inner workings of the Court is amazing.
My husband and I both enjoyed this book.
Thought I knew a lot but learned much about the personalities, politics and workings of the Supreme Court.
Well researched and written for the non-lawyer in you, but still covers every legal point of view.
I never got bored during the listen, but must say that I did get "bogged down" a few times. Still it is well worth pushing through.
An excellent and scary view of what has happened to the courts of this country, most especially the supreme court in the past several years under the current administration. We should all be concerned for our future and the future of our children and grandchildren as our rights and freedoms continue to diminish and even taken away by fear tactics and puritanical views being forced upon us all. Toobin does and excellent job of showing us the ultimate force the supreme court holds in this country.
I'm disappointed. When I want to hear biased political views I can turn on the TV News. There is good information in the book but it would be far more captivating if Tobin left his own political views and adjectives out of it.
Because he starts off so very politically biased, the listener is left to wondering how much of the information he presents is actual fact.
My objection is with the very beginning - probably about the first hour. Tobin's basic characterizations of the various judges along with the political parties is unfair and almost caused me to turn it off and rank it as total political drivel. As Tobin moves on to the more personal side of each judge, it's more difficult to sort what is just his political opinion versus accurate depictions.
I had hoped to find insight into the workings and personalities of the Court. Instead I found a diatribe.
The book was poorly written and badly disorganized. Worse, the author had an obvious axe to grind. I realize that Roe v Wade is important and divisive, but it is not the only decision worth discussing, nor does it inform all of US law. Toobin, however, cannot seem to get past it; it is as if abortion was the only thing on the minds of the Justices.
Even more frustrating is Toobin’s arrogance. As a legal analyst for CNN, Toobin seems to believe that he is better able to decide legality and constitutionality than the 9 justices who sit on the Court. His long criticism of decisions is the height of folly.
As has been noted in other places, this work comes off as one (overly) long warning of the dangers of Republicans. Without giving reason or evidence for it, Toobin warns against the impending disaster of a conservative Court. Why it would be a disaster must be assumed as the author never tells us. This is typical of modern social/political writing; assume the truth of what you are saying and hammer ahead. I can’t help thinking of the professor in Lewis’ Narnia series “What are they teaching our children in school these days?”
This book is a waste of time and it is embarrassing that it has received honors. Woodward’s approval isn’t surprising, but I am surprised that Doris Kearns Goodwin isn’t more discerning than to give acclaim.
Finally, I must give praise to the narrator. Don Leslie gave an excellent reading and was probable the only reason I bothered listening all the way through.
Toobin spends the whole book forcing his view down your throat instead of recording meaningful debates among justices over serious and very controversial points of law. As opposed to giving you the reasoning for differing opinions of different Justices from different walks of life, he resorts to name calling and derogatory adjectives to describe Justices who view the law differently from him. I am an attorney with a moderate political viewpoint and I was disappointed with what could have been a good book.
Re-title the book: "What if I Got To Make The Law"
depends on the author. Good reader.
I would never read another Toobin Book.
Most good books, whether fiction or non-fiction, define their time frame. This book doesn't, so there is only a modicum of historic reference to the court, and then some People Magazine-style vignettes about the justices themselves. The narrative jumps back and forth between the 50's and now, with no obvious structure.
The writing, however, is good, and there are some things to be learned about the Court in this book. If I had it to do again, considering all there is to read in the world, I would have skipped this one for something more substantial.
The authors insight into the make-up of the members of our Suprime Court is amazing. He has done his homework. Bush/Gore and Fl, just one of the interesting topics covered. If you are curious about the cout you will enjoy this read.
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