President Kilcannon resolves to nominate Caroline Masters - a brilliant jurist shadowed by a personal secret - as the next chief justice. In the Senate, two men who hope to succeed Kilcannon hold the key to her nomination: Majority Leader Macdonald Gage, and his bitter rival, Chad Palmer, a former military hero noted for his political independence. A hidden alliance between Kilcannon and Palmer is threatened when Mary Ann Tierney's inflammatory, nationally televised lawsuit thrusts the issue of abortion to the forefront of the Senate battle over the Masters nomination.
As the Tierney case moves to its dramatic climax, it poses a stark choice - between preserving the life of a potentially doomed fetus and putting Mary Ann's fertility at risk. The trial's legal and political dangers are equally clear: to the future of the pro-choice and pro-life movements; to the gifted but inexperienced woman lawyer who represents Mary Ann Tierney; to the bitterly divided and politicized appellate court that must review the trial, and on which Caroline Masters serves; to the president who has chosen her; to the powerful forces who wish to defeat her by any means at hand.
©2000 Richard North Patterson; (P)2000 Random House, Inc.; Random House AudioBooks, a Division of Random House, Inc.
It's only fair to be correct on the central issue of the legal fight in this book - protecting the teenager's ability to have future children, not racing the calendar before the probably-nonviable fetus was beyond 6 months old and permanently damaged the mother's ability to have more children.
The legal arguments on both sides of the law requiring teenagers to obtain parental consent to abortion were interesting. In addition, the political maneuvering over the appointment of a Supreme Court judge were too realistic for comfort. I recommend this book with the caviat that you will examine your personal philosophies on abortion, right to privacy, rights of teenagers versus parents, and lifestyle choices of public officials because of the content.
As a father and grandfather I can see the parent's point of view, but I can also see amd understand the daughter's side of the issue. If we are at a pont where we can only write politically neutral books, it's become a sorry state of affairs. All in all it was simply a great political mystery thriller that kept me wishing I could spend more time in the car listening to it to see what would happen next.
This was a great book. I was sorry it had to end. It kept me on the edge, I could not wait to find out what was going to happen. At night I would listen to it for hours. I would recomend to to everyone. Take a chance would will be glad you did. No character is safe, not even the president.
I love the suspense of these books and I found myself having a hard time to turn this off. I can see how some people with right leaning politis might find the book a bit offensive but to me it is real and maybe an opportunity for to take a long hard look at the other side of the argument.
Don't read this book for its stance on politics, only as a good story. I read for enjoyment and this book was very enjoyable. It made you think about the stance between "no abortion" and "justifiable abortion". It was a great read. I watch movies and read books for enjoyment only and don't let any of the theorizing or politicing influence my opinion of a well written script.
Out of the more than 1,000 books which I have read over the past 20 - 30 years, I would rate this book as number one.
Those reviews which state that they stopped reading this book because they disagreed with Patterson's politics remind me of the Catholic Church's response to Galileo and Copernicus. This book is inappropriate for closed minded people unwilling to consider the validity of other points of view which differ from their pre-conceived positions. Whether or not you find Patterson's positions persuasive, the presentation is spellbinding.
Fully addresses all of the issues in an intelligent, caring and insightful discourse. We could only wish our good politicians were as good as the good ones in the book. Superb reading.
With "Protect and Defend" -- the second in what became his Kerry Kilcannon series -- Richard North Patterson returns to his protagonist from "No Safe Place." I recommend listening to that previous audiobook before beginning this one, although Patterson does attempt to fill in the back-story for us. All of Patterson's novels have intricate plots that cannot be briefly summarized; so that you will enjoy "Protect and Defend" more if you have listened to its predecessor. Also, you probably won't want to listen to "Protect and Defend" at all -- nor any of Patterson's other novels, for that matter -- if you have strong anti-abortion or strong conservative Christian beliefs. "Protect and Defend" deals frankly with abortion and women's right-to-choose issues. Contrary to what some previous reviewers have claimed, this novel does not rant rabid left-wing sentiments; but, rather, gives pretty un-biased, articulate voice to both sides of the abortion issue. Yes, Patterson does, ultimately, settle slightly left-of-center, on the side of the women's rights; but, prior to doing so, he clearly shows the agony of both sides. I am coming to respect Richard North Patterson, not only for his extraordinary writing skills, but also for his unabashed feminist stance. He writes controversial novels that illuminate important contemporary issues. "Protect and Defend" not only explores the undeniably painful abortion question; it also takes us behind the scenes of Washington politics, into the back rooms where deals and decisions are made. I kept wondering: How did Patterson learn about all these underhanded, sub-rosa wranglings? Yikes! It's scary in those back rooms! I fear that I wouldn't make a very good politician. Patterson portrays these ruthless guys doing whatever it takes to enhance their careers. In his Kerry Kilcannon series, Patterson posits an ethical man thrown into this nest of vipers. Through an admittedly unlikely concatenation of events, this ethical man -- the eponymous Kerry Kilcannon -- eventually rises to the American Presidency, where he finds that he must use the same under-handed techniques that his unethical opponents use, in order to combat their greedy self-interest. What a job! The narrator, Patricia Kalember, has a nice voice, and does make some attempt to distinguish the characters from one another with accents; but she lacks the range of voices that a really good audiobooks actress needs to do full justice to a complex book like "Protect and Defend."
This book is about abortion, in the main, and to a lesser extent about other politically-charged issues. Although conservative and Christian, I am not a pro-life advocate. I would have enjoyed a work of fiction that explored these issues in an even-handed way, even if from a liberal perspective. However, there was nothing even-handed in this book. It is self-indulgent propaganda.
The author lionizes every character who supports his pro-life or other liberal positions. They act only from the purist of motives and with the utmost integrity. By contrast, he demonizes every character who ultimately contends against his positions. They are corrupt tools of evil special interests. They are narrow, judgmental, morally-bankrupt, and without honor or integrity. In addition, he belittles religion and religious people in general.
As to the issues, the author carefully designs fact situations to give himself the best possible platform to advance his arguments. Moreover, each confrontation between his characters on the issues is a setup. He makes the best arguments he can on behalf of his position. The characters who support his arguments are prepared, eloquent, and nimble in facing questioning. Then, when the opposing characters speak, he avoids obvious counterarguments, truncates any good arguments they make, and then leads them off into silly arguments or extreme positions that leaves them wide open for the cross-examination for which they are inevitably, and inexplicably, unprepared.
Don't read this book if you consider yourself a conservative. You will only be irritated. Don't read this book if you are interested in honest and healthy debate on these issues. Only read this book if you believe, as the author apparently does, that every liberal is virtuous and everyone who voted for Bush (or who might have voted for a conservative democrat such as Lieberman) is not only stupid and misguided, they are evil.
You will fall in love with the characters as you walk through their plights. I had two favorite characters Sarah and Caroline, both had to stand behind their convictions while others tried to undermine the values they had established for themselves. My next two favorite characters were Senator Palmer and President Kilcannon, again both of these men had secretes that undermined their stated values but in the end each had to decided what was right.
Patricia was an incredible story teller and made the characters some to life.
The book is excellent and you will enjoy the story and it might even challenge your beliefs. The only complaint I have is that in section 1 and section 2 several hours of the audio are duplicated and trying to figure out what parts were re-recorded versus new was troublesome. Hopefully someone will fix the error in the recording.
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