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Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas Hardcover – November 3, 1994

4.2 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The falsehoods and distortions involved in the selling of Clarence Thomas to the American people neither started nor ended with the treatment of Anita Hill's accusations. From the beginning, the placement of Thomas on the high court was seen as a political end justifying almost any means. The full story of his confirmation thus raises questions not only about who lied and why, but, more important, about what happens when politics becomes total war and the truth--and those who tell it--are merely unfortunate sacrifices on the way to winning.

From Publishers Weekly

New Yorker writer Mayer's and Wall Street Journal reporter Abramson's account of the distortions and manipulations surrounding Clarence Thomas's confirmation to the Surpreme Court and the accompanying smear campaign against Anita Hill was nominated for both the NBCC and the NBA.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; First Edition edition (November 3, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395633184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395633182
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeremy M. Harris on October 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It's no accident that the title of "Strange Justice" is a play on words. In one context, the authors believe Anita Hill encountered strange justice at the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee during her appearance at the 1991 confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas (who prevailed and now sits on the Supreme Court). In a second context, they present ample evidence for considering Mr. Thomas a rather strange man, and hence a rather strange Justice as well.
Hill claimed that Thomas said things to her which most people would consider offensive in any setting. Add to this that the actual setting was the workplace, that Thomas was her boss, and that he was chairman of the EEOC, the agency responsible for nationwide tracking of employment-related sexual harassment complaints.
At the time of the televised hearings, my wife and I had a strong impression that Ms. Hill was telling the truth. Opinion on the Judiciary committee appeared to follow political lines, with Chairman Biden shuttling between the two sides like an amiable ping-pong ball, ever conscious of the risks implicit in taking a stand. Although Ms. Hill's testimony did not prevent Thomas's confirmation, all the senators made it clear that they considered her allegations very serious. Thomas denied everything and Hill retracted nothing, so there's a 100 percent certainty of rampant lying by one of them.
Does this book do anything to clear up the question? I think it does, for one powerful reason. A number of named friends and colleagues of Thomas, both male and female, confirm for the record that he had a prior history of private and public behavior entirely consistent with Ms. Hill's complaints. In an extended investigation, these facts would have come out.
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Format: Hardcover
When re-reading this marvelously researched, reported, and written account of Clarence Thomas's life and his controversial battle for confirmation as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, it was breathtaking to revisit a time and place in the nation's capital not so long ago in which George W. Bush appears NOWHERE in the text or in its index.
As we enter election season, this book is well worth reading (or re-reading) as a cautionary tale about what kind of Supreme Court justices are likely to be added to the nation's highest court as the current justices retire if George W. Bush is elected.
Clarence Thomas comes off vividly as a sullen benefactor of affirmative action at school after school, who turned on that very institution after he had benefited handsomely from an education capped by graduation from Yale Law School. David Brock has since recanted his writing of "The Real [sic] Anita Hill." Witnesses to Thomas's his office behavior whose testimony might have been exceedingly damaging were never allowed to speak publicly until interviewed for "Strange Justice."
And relatively early in Thomas's career, while serving in the Missouri state attorney general's office under John C. Danforth, "Thomas liked to taunt another member of the office, who was prim and painfully shy, by making outrageous, gross, and at times off-color remarks. '...He couldn't help but to needle the guy--he just liked to get under his skin,'" said a co-worker.
"The target of Thomas's taunting was John C. Ashcroft," who, of course, currently serves as our nation's Attorney General.
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Format: Hardcover
I was prompted to read "Stange Justice" after reading the press about David Brock's recent confession disavowing his slander of Anita Hill in "The Real Anita Hill". Interestingly, the interim between the Thomas Supreme Court justice hearings and the present make this study more interesting. Since the president who manipulated Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court is the current president's father, many of those involved in the lobbying and selling of Clarence Thomas are operatives in the present presidential administration. After reading this account readers will find this particularly discouraging, as clearly they have had no accountability for the many miscarriages of justice which are documented.
This chronicle of the Thomas nomination places the Bush and Reagan administratons in an extremely unattractive light. However, as the two authors are senior editors with the "Wall Street Journal" this cannot be dismissed as a one sided liberal diatribe. "Strange Justice" is fair and balanced, and gives appropriate "credit" to the democrats for their timidity in failing to respond to the many opportunities to prevent Thomas's confirmation. There was bittersweet justice in that many of the "moderate" democrats who negotiated with the Bush administration due to imminent relection concerns ultimately ended up being defeated by constituents disgusted by their acquiescence in having allowed Thomas's approval.
"Strange Justice" does engage in a bit of pop psychology, drawing conclusions regarding how Thomas's childhood and career have molded his political philosophy. In summary, they describe an unhappy childhood resulting in a bitter, warped man with an immense chip on his shoulder.
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