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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


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  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 06-12-10

Interesting Non-Fiction

Our local library series finished the season with Mr. Toobin and the program was wonderfully entertaining (full of humor and history). I had started reading this book just before he came to speak and was eager to finish it as a result.

The narration is very appropriate. Cliche words are occasionally overused in the writing style. Regardless, any reader should learn much by reading this book.

The story not only describes the justices and the process of their appointments, but also various cases of significance. It is enlightening to know the thoughts of this group of people and how their decisions evolved.

This is well worth the tme and effort to read.

  • Overall

The Supreme Court described

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.

  • Overall
  • Gary
  • greenville, SC, USA
  • 05-22-10


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.

  • Overall

Very interesting!

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.

  • Overall

A good listen

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.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kathy
  • Stone Mountain, GA, United States
  • 11-01-07

a must read

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.

10 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peggie
  • Lansing, KS, United States
  • 06-01-08

Liberal Politics Throughout

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.

6 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Clear bias...

I agree with others' reviews that Jeffrey Toobin doesn't conceal his bias against judges who base their legal opinions on a strict reading of the constitution. I listened for twenty minutes and had to stop. This is not biographical, but editorial. Shame on Toobin and the publishers for publicizing this book as anything but that. If I could get a refund, I would.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bocaboy
  • Boca Raton, FL USA
  • 11-06-08

Rambling and ultimately not very revealing

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Nine

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful