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Saving Justice: Watergate, the Saturday Night Massacre, and Other Adventures of a Solicitor General Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 158 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


“Bork deserves to be remembered by a grateful nation for the services he rendered in preventing disarray in the Justice Department at a moment of unprecedented assault on the rule of law, and for facilitating the removal of a president during Washington days that were darker than most people today can imagine. His book confirms the axiom that our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times.”

George Will

“Robert Bork was a remarkable American patriot. … Absolutely a fascinating book.”

Mark Levin

While certainly Judge Bork’s confirmation struggle was an important political inflection point, what he did for the life of the law in this country and in defense of the Constitution greatly overshadows that one moment.

Leonard A. Leo, Federalist Society

About the Author

Robert H. Bork, who died December 19, 2012, was the author of two New York Times best sellers, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline and The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law, and several other books, including A Time to Speak, Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges, and The Antitrust Paradox: A Policy at War with Itself. A Distinguished Fellow of Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., and formerly the Tad and Dianne Taube Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Bork served as the United States solicitor general from 1973 to 1977. Before becoming a partner in the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, Bork served in the United States Marine Corps. He taught for nineteen years at Yale University Law School and was named to the Alexander M. Bickel Chair of Public Law in 1980. Bork was the circuit judge of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1982 to 1988, and a distinguished scholar at the American Enterprise Institute from 1988 to 2003. At the time of his death, he was a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute.

Product Details

  • File Size: 531 KB
  • Print Length: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books (March 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 5, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,842 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered Saving Justice when I learned Judge Bork left us with a final book before his passing away this past December. I eagerly awaited the book's arrival and it did not disappoint. Bork's account of his time in the Solicitor General's office and how he had to hit the ground running upon his arrival is fascinating reading. The book doesn't claim to be a history of the Nixon administration or a history about Richard Nixon. It's simply a retelling of episodes that occurred while Bork was a member of the Nixon Administration during 1973-1974. Bork notes: "For those who find their vocation in the law, the solicitor general position is truly a dream job, and is particularly pleasant in quiet times. I, however, was to hold the position in the most interesting of times." This book recounts those times and is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Humorous anecdotes about Richard Nixon almost visibly recoiling at the first sight of Bork's reddish beard, which resembled those that anti-war protesters wore at the time are particularly amusing. Nixon prodding Bork about teaching at Yale, equally amusing: "A Yale professor with a beard, that's worth a body search right there!" Fortunately Bork talked Nixon out of the search. Bork goes on to give his firsthand accounts of Watergate, the Saturday Night Massacre and other adventures.

The Epilogue is a nice finish to the book. In it, Judge Bork writes about the farcical nature of Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and discusses how he responded to Senator Alan Simpson on the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings: "I would like to leave a reputation as a judge who understood constitutional governance and contributed his bit to maintaining it in the ways I have described before this committee.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whatever one may think about Judge Bork (who died on December 19, 2012), and believe me I have had my moments, the core essential truth about him shines throughout this brief book: he was first of all always a teacher, whether at Yale, while in the Department of Justice, on the D.C. Circuit bench, or while serving in conservative think tanks. I found this, presumably his last book, extremely fascinating. This is because he writes with his usual clarity and precision; injects some examples of his infectious and subversive sense of humor; and makes sure the reader understands what in his view the actual facts were, let the chips fall where they may.

While the book is obviously concerned in part with Watergate, there is much more to indulge in here as well. He first takes the time to educate the reader a bit on the office of the Solicitor General, about which I have found few non-Washington types are familiar. Bork then discusses how he got the job of SG, including his few interactions with President Nixon. Bork observations on Nixon, throughout the book, I found extremely interesting and much more perceptive that most of the material I have read on the President. A particularly interesting discussion involves when Justice Douglas (no hero to Bork) enjoined the continued bombing of Cambodia and how SG Bork was able to neutralize this action with the help of the remainder of the Supreme Court.

While the main event, Watergate, is developing, SG Bork becomes involved in the investigation and resignation of Spiro Agnew. The possibility of dual impeachments of the President and VP is the background overhanging Bork's actions during this episode. Even more pressure arises when he is invited to undertake the role of Nixon's lead defense counsel. When it rains, it pours, as they say.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read an excellent excerpt of this in the Feb New Criterion magazine (my favorite periodical) and loved it. Had to have it. The writing was elegant, and straight forward, and I didn't get the feeling that there was any BS. Very exciting to read about what was going on behind the scenes in the Capital in the 70s.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had been looking forward to reading Bork's take on his tumultuous several years immediately before, during, and after Watergate, especially since I worked in the Justice Department in the late 1960s with many of the persons he mentioned.

But, life is too short to read a book that in its first thirty-seven pages gets three things wrong:

(1) Bork writes that Elliot Richardson, who succeeded John Mitchell as Attorney General hired William D. Ruckelshaus to be Deputy Attorney General after Ruckelshaus "had just lost an election bid to the U.S. Senate." Not true. Ruckelshaus lost his senate bid (against Birch Bayh) in 1968. He then became an assistant attorney general in charge of the Civil Division (where I worked), and stayed there until be became the first Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, where he remained until he became acting FBI Director in 1973 and, later that year, Deputy Attorney General.

(2) Ruckelshaus succeeded Joseph Sneed as Deputy Attorney General, whom Bork says was a "Duke Law School graduate." Not true. Sneed (a long-serving federal appellate judge on the Ninth Circuit, and the father of Carly Fiorina) graduated from from the University of Texas Law School, and, before his appointment to be Deputy Attorney General was Dean of the Duke Law School. He was not a "Duke Law School graduate."

(3) Bork writes that Vice President Spiro Agnew's corruption as Maryland governor was being investigated by "U.S. Attorney Griffin Bell in Baltimore." Not true!!
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