Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.95
  • Save: $2.11 (12%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Secret Lives of the Supre... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: ELIGIBLE FOR *FREE* SUPER SAVER SHIPPING. AMAZON CUSTOMER SERIVICE WITH DELIVERY TRACKING. Book may have moderate wear to corners and edges. CD may or may not be included. Could be ex-library.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Secret Lives of the Supreme Court: What Your Teachers Never Told You about America's Legendary Judges Paperback – March 1, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.84
$3.76 $0.01

"I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies..."
The new book from the New York Times bestselling authors of "Nice Is Just a Place in France." Learn more | Kindle book
$15.84 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Secret Lives of the Supreme Court: What Your Teachers Never Told You about America's Legendary Judges
  • +
  • Secret Lives of the Civil War: What Your Teachers Never Told You about the War Between the States
  • +
  • Secret Lives of the First Ladies
Total price: $46.15
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Schnakenberg is the author of several nonfiction books, including Secret Lives of Great Authors and Distory: A Treasury of Historical Insults. He lives in Brooklyn.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Series: Secret Lives
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books; First Printing edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594743088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594743085
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I was excited to find and read another "Secret Lives" book, this one was not up to the standards of the previous ones on presidents, first ladies, and civil war personalities. Maybe the subject matter is a little less interesting, but this is a different author (and a different artist -- not nearly as good as the previous artist for Cormac O'Brien's books) and I think that has at least something to do with it.

What's more, I had to return this book twice, the second time for a refund instead of a replacement -- the cover kept coming detached/unglued from the book. I am a careful reader, persnickety even about not cracking the spines on paperbacks, so this was not rough handling but poor manufacturing, which is obviously a knock on the publisher/printer, not the author, but still annoying and something that has never happened to be before (I own at least 1,000 paperbacks).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In general, I love books like this. They typically take obscure figures from history and make them human. Some others in this genre I've liked include Veeps: Profiles in Insignificance and Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence.

I can't include this book among those unfortunately. It starts off surprisingly negative and snarky. Here are some examples:

- A crabby, slave-owning, anti-Catholic bigot [John Jay]
- A crook and a tool of the rich [James Wilson]
- [Trying to rehabilitate Roger Taney is] a bit like saying that apart from the Holocaust, Hitler was a swell guy
- An abrasive boor and virulent anti-Semite without an ounce of common decency [James Clark McReynolds]
- A blustering, imperious phony [Warren Burger]
- A physical oddity more suited for a Victorian-era specimen box [Ruth Bader Ginsburg]

Along those lines are the topics he deems fit to discuss. For example, Schnakenberg has a little blurb about Olive Wendell Holmes' purported impotency. Though he speculates that it resulted from being wounded in battle, that doesn't stop him from playing it up in a nudge-nudge, wink-wink style that seems positively embarrassing (to Schnakenberg):

Shooting Blanks

The "Yankee from Olympus" was no love god ... Holmes had a strictly platonic relationship with his wife, Fanny Dixwell Holmes. (Insert your salacious pun here.) ... problems "down below." ... Whether his flag was flying or not ...
Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amazingly funny and interesting book about the people who wear the robes. The funny stories and trivia facts keep you coming back for more! This would make a great gift for anyone who is interested in law!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Secret Lives of the Supreme Court: What Your Teachers Never Told You About America's Legendary Justices
The subtitle of what is basically another waste for downing hundreds of trees to form into a 288 page book is "What Your Teachers Never Told You About America's Legendary Justices".
Of all the information (and conjecture) a teacher can offer his or her students about the justices of the US Supreme Court the kind offered in Mr Schnakenberg's goes under the heading 'Useless tidbits holding no particular value other than gossip and bathroom humor'.

After reading this tome does one get into the reasoning (or emotion) why this justice viewed a case one way or the other? No.
Does Mr Schnakenberg's 'fact' that Mr Justice Holmes "was impotent and had a strictly platonic relationship with his wife, Fanny [Dixwell Holmes]" (p. 41) give us insight behind one of the famous jurist's aphorisms, "If my country wants to go to Hell, I am here to help it" (p. 40) or what is behind "Leany" Holmes's distrust of the idea of equality ("I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy" (p. 46) , true as that might seem)? No.

I was gifted this little book because the donor knew me as a SCOTUS historian and thought it might add some levity to my heavy reading and study, but whilst taking a couple of hours out to lick through these pages I noticed the information provided nothing to my knowledge of these justices. [Just after this brief 'review' my copy will be donated to a local charity's flea-market efforts, with the approval of its original donor.
Read more ›
3 Comments 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few realize that only nine people have such an enormous effect on the lives of all Americans ... quirky, suprisingly human, yet somewhat mystical in their operation ... a good study in civics, politics, and human nature...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: biography books