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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
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Very long and kind of basic

I'm an attorney, so for me a lot of what was covered in this book was pretty basic, and I got a little bored given its length. I did find some of the behind-the-scenes accounts of the nomination process pretty interesting though. Also, the narrator had an extremely slow manner of speaking, so I recommend playing the book on 1.25 or 1.5 speed.

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I learned so much about SCOTUS. Fascinating,

I really enjoyed this book. IT. is educational and
yet really fascinating. I liked the narrator. He really pulled you into the Supreme Court.

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Really interesting for people who like political history

Defiantly has a liberal leaning throughout the book so if you are somewhat conservative and don't want to listen to how the court is bad when it makes a GOP decision and good when it aligns with tech dens I'd say pass this one. Otherwise super awesome book!

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Very liberal book

This was a good book. It was very informative.
It has a very liberal bias though.

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Masterful prose, enthralling narration

Listening to, and reading, the book simultaneously, I got the most out of it. As a reader, I felt like the driver of a slightly out-of-alignment car with a barely noticeable drag to the left, which served as a constant reminder that the writer is a journalist, for New Yorker, who happened to be a Harvard Law graduate. I shall read The Nine again before listening to The Oath the third time. These are essential complements to the Justices' books, opinions, and oral arguments, a reading of which would be helpful in better understanding of the functioning of the Supreme Court.

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Supreme Court as a political institution

I bought this book several years ago and never got around to reading it. I finally had the opportunity to listen to it as an audiobook. The reader was quite good and the premise of the author that the Supreme Court is a highly politicized institution where the make up of the court and the ideology of its members is the most important factor in decision-making is still as valid today as it was when the book was first written.I especially enjoyed the vignettes of each of the court's members and the concise but accurate synopsis of the court's major cases during this period.


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Quite Fascinating

I found this to be a very thorough and interesting look that one often does not get at the Supreme Court. I would, and have recommended this book quite a few times.

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Interesting book but

Would you try another book from Jeffrey Toobin and/or Don Leslie?

too bad Mr Toobin's bias was so apparent.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jeffrey Toobin? Why or why not?

No, if all his books are so slanted to the left.

Have you listened to any of Don Leslie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I do not know but the performance was just fine.

Did The Nine inspire you to do anything?

Yes, research the author before buying the book. lol

Any additional comments?

No, but thanks for asking.

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Interesting story. Too political.

I learned a lot from this book about how the Supreme Court functions. I also really enjoyed the personal stories about the various justices. However, the author's frequent demonization of conservatives often seemed gratuitous and subtracted from the dignity of the subject.

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Skillful Sorting of Fact from Fiction, Must Read!

What did you love best about The Nine?

Toobin uses his vast knowledge of the U.S. Supreme Court to sort fact from fiction. His engaging book cuts through the mystery and superstition surrounding the judicial branch to give us a rare portrait of the Supreme Court in all its humanity, nuance, ideology and intelligence. He seems to always take his sources with the grain of objectivity, questioning the subjective motivations of each and working to provide the counter-argument. Similarly, he tries to reserve his own judgement from most every subject except the Bush v. Gore ruling, and the evangelical christian political phenomenon more generally. The books greatest value is that it lays out the information in a readable and engaging way so that we can shape our own opinions and beliefs with care.