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The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court Paperback – September 9, 2008
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“Compelling. . . . Driven by the author's assured narrative voice, The Nine is as informative as it is fascinating, as insightful as it is readable.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times“Smart and entertaining. . . . The Nine is engaging, erudite, candid, and accessible, often hard to put down. Toobin is a natural storyteller, and the stories he tells are gripping.”—The New York Times Book Review“Toobin’s sparkling new work is anecdotally rich and clearly written. . . . A testimony to [his] skill.” —USA Today“Intelligent and even-handed. . . . Toobin’s access to the Supremes and their secret little world is phenomenal.”—Chicago Sun-Times“The Nine not only provides a vivid narrative history of the Court's recent history, but also gives the reader an intimate look at individual justices, showing how personality, judicial philosophy and personal alliances can inform decisions that have huge consequences for the entire country. . . . Driven by the author's assured narrative voice, The Nine is as informative as it is fascinating, as insightful as it is readable.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times“Every decade or so, an enterprising and intelligent outsider like Toobin can come along and shine a muchneeded spotlight on the place. . . . The Nine is engaging, erudite, candid and accessible, often hard to put down. Toobin is a natural storyteller, and the stories he tells are gripping. . . . [He] writes about the court more fluidly and fluently than anyone.”—David Margolick, The New York Times Book Review“The Nine is the latest, and by far the best [book] . . . about the Supreme Court.” —Nina Totenberg, NPR“This is a remarkable, riveting book. So great are Toobin's narrative skills that both the justices and their inner world are brought vividly to life.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin“[An] absorbing group profile. . . . [Toobin] deftly distills the issues and enlivens his narrative of the Court's internal wranglings with sharp thumbnail sketches”—Publishers Weekly“A compelling look at the power and the politics behind the Supreme Court.” —Booklist“A major achievement, lucid and probing.”—Bob Woodward
About the Author
Jeffrey Toobin is a staff writer at The New Yorker, senior legal analyst at CNN, and the authors of such best-sellers as Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election, A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal that Nearly Brought Down a President, and The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
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The best part of the book is his biographical sketches of the Justices. Toobin really makes them come to life and has some very interesting behind-the-scenes vignettes of them. Especially interesting is his analysis of the Clinton and Bush II nominees - especially the Harriet Miers debacle and the John Roberts nomination.
The book sometimes wanders when it discusses the actual cases and his analysis of Bush v. Gore is too partisan for my tastes (and I am a Democrat). But for someone who didn't take Constitutional Law in law school, this will be a good summary of the most important recent decisions.
The only main criticism I have is the structure. Toobin never gives a roadmap as to what he is going to cover and the chapter headings don't allow the reader to know what the chapter is going to be about (e.g. "Just Deserts" or "Question Presented"). He was being too cute here and took me a while to figure out where the book was heading (it's fairly chronological after the first 50 pages).
In all, I found myself tearing through this book and for a topic that could be potentially very boring, I will tip my hat to Toobin.
I really appreciated the glimpses Toobin gives us of the private lives of the court members. You meet the conservative Scalia, the battle scarred conservative Clarence Thomas, the brilliant and scholarly Sandra Day O'Connor, the reserved and quiet David Souter, the sturdy leader Judge Rehnquist, and the others. You learn about the Ruth Bader Ginsburg nomination process, and the challenges that the Court faced in deliberating cases related to the abortion issue.
I would recommend this book to anyone. Thumbs up.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is highly biased.Read more