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Saving Justice: Watergate, the Saturday Night Massacre, and Other Adventures of a Solicitor General Hardcover – March 12, 2013
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Robert Bork was a remarkable American patriot. Absolutely a fascinating book.”
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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It remains to be seen if justice is going to be saved. Justice Bork has attempted to do that.Published 12 months ago by stereotypo
Although I have long admired judge Bork, I was not convinced that he had the temperament to be a Supreme Court justice. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
Enjoyed the firsthand insight
Tired of teachings of Bork, lacks humility
Thank God he never got confirmed for the Supreme Court, the original ism of the... Read more
I always wanted to know more about the background of this great person and Judge, and found the book very informative. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Carol
I am not a fan of the politics of Robert Bork, but frankly revisited some of my thoughts after reading this. Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Sas
This is a fascinating glimpse into recent history. It reveals the all-too-humanness of some of the major political players of the era. Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Mazda 6
This book details interesting insights into the mind and actions of a person who should have been confirmed for the US Supreme Court. It is a quick read.Published on December 14, 2013 by irishrogue
Bork's book is a relatively short and quick read centering on his time at the Justice Department and ultimately his role in the infamous a Saturday night firing of Archibold Cox as... Read morePublished on December 12, 2013 by Rex
I found the book to be interesting if not a little self-serving. I recognize that Justice Bork was in a difficult situation during the Watergate era and especially on Black... Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by Barbara Pratt