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A Time to Speak: Selected Writings and Arguments (American Ideals & Institutions) [Hardcover]

by Hon. Robert H. Bork
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 15, 2008 1933859687 978-1933859682 1st Edition
Since at least 1971, when he published a seminal article on constitutional interpretation in the Indiana Law Journal, Robert Bork has been the legal and moral conscience of America, reminding us of our founding principles and their cultural foundation. The scourge of liberal ideologues both before and after Ronald Reagan nominated him for the Supreme Court in 1987, Bork has for fifty years unwaveringly exposed—and explained—the hypocrisy and dereliction of duty endemic among our nation’s elites, the politicization and adversary activism of our courts, and the consequent degradation of American society.

Now, for the first time, Judge Bork has gathered together his most important and prophetic writings in A Time to Speak, including a foreword and commentary by the author. The volume includes more than sixty vintage Bork contributions on topics ranging from President Nixon to St. Thomas More, from abortion to antitrust policy, and from civil liberties to natural law. It also includes several of his judicial opinions and transcribed oral arguments. A Time to Speak is an indispensable book for all who have harkened to the truths spoken so forthrightly, in season and out, by this great American original.

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A Time to Speak: Selected Writings and Arguments (American Ideals & Institutions) + Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline + The Tempting of America
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert H. Bork is 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 Coercing Virtue: The Worldwide Rule of Judges. A Distinguished Fellow of the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Tad and Diane Taube Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Bork served as the United States Solicitor General from 1973 to 1977 and as Circuit Judge of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1982 to 1988.

Product Details

  • Series: American Ideals & Institutions
  • Hardcover: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st Edition edition (November 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933859687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933859682
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coerced into Virtue January 5, 2009
This hefty tome (715 pages) brings together essays and legal opinions written by Bork over a period of 45 years. It will undoubtedly help to seal Bork's standing as one of our era's foremost commentators on law and culture--particularly the struggle to preserve Western culture against its postmodern detractors.

Bork identifies one of the foundations of the postmodern attack as the uneasy alliance of individualism and egalitarianism. As he writes in his essay "Hard Truths About the Culture War" (1995):

"Individualism and egalitarianism may seem an odd pair, since liberty in any degree produces inequality, while equality of outcomes requires coercion that destroys liberty. If they are to operate simultaneously ... [they] must operate in different areas of life, and that is precisely what we see in today's culture. Radical egalitarianism advances, on the one hand, in areas of life and society where superior achievement is possible and would be rewarded but for coerced equality: quotas, affirmative action, income redistribution through progressive taxation for some, entitlement programs for others, and the tyranny of political correctness spreading through universities, primary and secondary schools, government, and even the private sector.

Radical individualism, on the other hand, is demanded when there is no danger that achievement will produce inequality and people wish to be unhindered in the pursuit of pleasure. This finds expression particularly in the areas of sexuality and violence, and their vicarious enjoyment in popular entertainment."

The union of radical individualism and radical egalitarianism have succeeded handsomely, says Bork, in eroding the foundations of our society. Authority is absent where it should be present, and vice-versa.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable and intellectually stimulating January 4, 2009
A Time to Speak is a terrific book. Anyone interested in constitutional law should immediately pick this up. Judge Bork engages in profound, fascinating discussions with other brilliant legal minds on natural law, the meaning of Constitutional provisions and amendments, the independent counsel act, antitrust law, and other very important issues. I should point out that the five stars I have given A Time to Speak does not mean I agree with Bork on every issue; I disagree with him on gay marriage and the minimum wage, for example. But I do strongly agree with his main argument: that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the original intentions of the people who wrote it. He opposes the doctrine of "the living Constitution," which changes according to the whims of judges. His main complaint is that since the early 1900s, the Supreme Court has invented rights that do not exist in the Constitution, starting with Lochner in the early 1900s up until the present time. He is--too put it mildly--not much of a fan of Roe v.Wade.

I respect Judge Bork's intellectual honesty even more after reading this book. He often reprimands fellow conservatives for judicial overreaching, and has the independence of mind to break with other conservatives' knee-jerk opposition to antitrust lawsuits. A Time to Speak is an indispensable book, not just for lawyers but for anyone who wants to better understand Constitutional law.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time for You to read "A Time to Speak" November 29, 2008
In "A Time to Speak" Judge Bork includes some of his most insightful, controversial and original articles, decisions, arguments and essays that span over half a century as a public intellectual. From his writings that revolutionized thinking about antitrust law to his defense of original intent against political judging, this book is a treat for those who have long admired or are just discovering Judge Bork. Perhaps we would all be better off if you bought a copy for yourself and sent four more to Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter and Stevens.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary May 5, 2009
Put aside Bork's politics and enjoy his penmanship.

It is masterful. Each article/essay possesses perfect structure. Every position is set-up, laid out, and decisively concluded. The language is simple and clear yet conveys sophisticated concepts fluently. Reading his work is both enjoyable and invigorating---and quick.

Simply stated, the book is exemplary for its superior writing, structure and argument.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Constitutional Passion February 5, 2010
By Bill H
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I finished this book and it's nice to know someone in the judiciary is (or at least was) clear and forceful in their legal reasoning; from cases to articles. Judge Bork is not political and never has been. He's one of the staunchest supporters and defenders of our U.S. Constitution of anyone in our government in my lifetime. This becomes very clear when reading his writings.

It is a long book but the read is much quicker than expected. His defense of the Constitution is powerful against attacks by social and economic justice theorists. These rabble-rousers have way too much time on their hands and Judge Bork dispatches their arguments with aplomb. In today's world, where neighbors consider my rights and property subject to their personal jurisdiction, it is refreshing to see someone, anyone, fight against such totalitarian tendencies.

Judge Bork, along with France's J.Revel, sees the value of resisting these social tendencies; Revel morally, Bork legally. The U.S. Constitution is a document of the highest order of human accomplishment, and Judge Bork uses it deftly to defend man against the tyranny of small collections of people determined to exert their influence on other peoples lives.

There are several on the U.S. Supreme Court who should be reading this book and paying attention to the clarity, brevity, and restraint it offers. It's a shame that the likes of Ted Kennedy could steer Judge Bork's path to confirmation (in 1987) like he did an Oldsmobile over a bridge near Martha's Vineyard in 1969. We're all a lot worse off because of the results.
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