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Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court | [Sandra Day O'Connor]

Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court

From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court, comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land. Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today.
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Publisher's Summary

From Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court, comes this fascinating book about the history and evolution of the highest court in the land.

Out of Order sheds light on the centuries of change and upheaval that transformed the Supreme Court from its uncertain beginnings into the remarkable institution that thrives and endures today. From the early days of circuit-riding, when justices who also served as trial judges traveled thousands of miles per year on horseback to hear cases, to the changes in civil rights ushered in by Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall; from foundational decisions such as Marbury vs. Madison to modern-day cases such as Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, Justice O’Connor weaves together stories and lessons from the history of the Court, charting turning points and pivotal moments that have helped define our nation’s progress.

With unparalleled insight and her unique perspective as a history-making figure, Justice O’Connor takes us on a personal exploration, painting vivid pictures of Justices in history, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., one of the greatest jurists of all time; Thurgood Marshall, whose understated and succinct style would come to transform oral argument; William O. Douglas, called "The Lone Ranger" because of his impassioned and frequent dissents; and John Roberts, whom Justice O’Connor considers to be the finest practitioner of oral argument she has ever witnessed in Court. We get a rare glimpse into the Supreme Court’s inner workings: how cases are chosen for hearing; the personal relationships that exist among the Justices; and the customs and traditions, both public and private, that bind one generation of jurists to the next - from the seating arrangements at Court lunches to the fiercely competitive basketball games played in the Court Building’s top-floor gymnasium, the so-called "highest court in the land".

Wise, candid, and assured, Out of Order is a rich offering of inspiring stories of one of our country’s most important institutions, from one of our country’s most respected pioneers.

©2013 Sandra Day O'Connor (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“In this delightful collection of tales, Sandra Day O’Connor shows us the personal side of the Supreme Court while reminding us of the critical role the Court plays. It’s a lovely book - and a valuable treasure for all Americans.” (Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs)

“A maker of history, Sandra Day O’Connor proves herself an engaging historian in this fine book, taking us inside perhaps the most important and least understood institution in American life: the Supreme Court. With her characteristic clear-eyed common sense and a natural talent for storytelling, Justice O’Connor has given us a valuable and entertaining gift.”(Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power)

“We have always known that Sandra Day O’Connor was a wise and thoughtful Justice of the Supreme Court. But we haven’t always appreciated what a talented storyteller and historian she is as well. This, her most recent book, contains succinct and readable stories from the history of the Supreme Court, and it nicely demonstrates that remarkable talent.” (Gordon S. Wood, author of The Idea of America)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (100 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Beth 05-13-13
    Beth 05-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "Boring."
    What would have made Out of Order better?

    The beginning of this book seemed like just a list of the Supreme Court justices in order. If I wanted that I could just google it. Like another reviewer mentioned, there is nothing linking the stories in this book together.


    Has Out of Order turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes. I was hoping to learn a bit more about the Supreme Court, but just a random assortment of facts is not memorable.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The book was very informative, but I was hoping for a bit more entertainment and not just a history lesson.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert CHICAGO, IL, United States 03-29-13
    Robert CHICAGO, IL, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Disappointed. Justice O'Connor "mailed it in"."
    Would you try another book from Sandra Day O'Connor and/or Sandra Day O'Connor?

    This book lacked insight into the Court and how they make decisions. (What I expected I guess.)


    What was most disappointing about Sandra Day O'Connor’s story?

    It was an elementary history of the Court and offered little new insights to the history. I had expected much more out of Justice O'Connor, someone I admire greatly.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Justice O'Connor narrates the book and may have been the most compelling aspect of the enterprise. It seems her strength and toughness come through from her "style" of speaking.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Out of Order?

    Hard to say what you'd leave in.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't believe she will get a second chance nor do I believe she had any desire to expose the inner most views on the Court or individual justices. I was not looking for a "tell all" or "snarky" details of personal habits. Rather, I felt short changed on insights of how the Court worked, decision making process or application of legal "logic".
    How about showing two opposing interpretations of the Constitution and how an attempt to reconcile may have happened. For example, is Gay marriage equal protection? If not, why not. All in the context of the Constitution.
    She could have left us with a better understanding of how reasonable people could disagree or whether predisposition of ideas and concepts cannot be changed.
    That did not happen; it was "paint by numbers" sadly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen 03-26-13
    Helen 03-26-13 Member Since 2015

    running2remake

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    "Love anything to do with the Supreme Court!"

    Totally enjoyed this book! It was simple to learn a bit more about the Court thorugh this light presentation.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Temmie Sadow 03-12-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not a great reader, surprisingly"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    would be good for legal scholars


    What was most disappointing about Sandra Day O'Connor’s story?

    too historical, not enough personal story


    How could the performance have been better?

    better reader, more personal story


    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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