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Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas Paperback – April 8, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, I don't think this is the right book to pick up coming in with little to no knowledge of Thomas. The book is based on an accumulation of interviews, speeches and Thomas' writing and court decisions. It's interesting to note that Thomas declined to be interviewed for this book.
In a nutshell here is what I learned: Thomas is a Conservative. He benefited from affirmative action but he denies that he did, except to bring it up when it suits him, and he refuses to support it. He idolized his Grandfather. He is in the group of justices who believes his job is to interpret the Constitution as the founders would have intended, rather than adjust to the attitudes of the time. He rarely participates in oral arguments. Anita Hill really hurt him emotionally. He's sensitive. If you get on his bad side he'll hold a grudge and you'll be off his list ~ FOREVER. Most black people think he's a sellout. He's really a personable guy who would love to know you - yes YOU, who are of little significance, and once you get to know him, you actually like him! (And what's not to like? He's not off spewing hatred). He's simply a man in power armed with an opinion that goes against the majority minority, which people see is in sharp contrast from his deprived upbringing, which really wasn't that bad actually, only people tend to ignore that fact. All of this is discussed in the book and become points of contentions, and to me reading about it felt like sitting on a fence where the arguments could go either way.Read more ›
About the first 1/3 of the book, the focus seemed to be on what African-Americans who knew Thomas at various stages of his life think or thought of him. This is quite a unique perspective, both authors being black, because it has not been so much the focus in other books on Thomas I have looked at. Then later the focus seemed to be what anybody and everybody thought of Thomas, from his fellow Justices to people he meets as he drives his motorcoach around the country on vacation. The problem with this approach are the views of all the folks whom the authors didn't interview. I found some chapters unimpressive ("Silent Justice" re his lack of questionning at oral argument) and others quite good ("Scalia's Clone?").
I think you do learn a good deal about Justice Thomas; I certainly feel a better grasp on his character and attitudes especially after having read the book.Read more ›
What emerges also is a picture of a man who has almost always lived a dual life, and so the book is aptly named. Thomas is, according to Fletcher and Merida, "a welter of conflicting personas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Since the death of Antonin Scalia, I've resolved to learn more about the US Supreme Court. This is the first book I read. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Walt Maguire
Sometimes views diverge widely. The "quota system" is seen by Thomas as questioning his abilities to achieve on his own merit. Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by rose 3
A decent book but it still didn't give me any real insight as to why this man "hates himself so much"...Published on December 2, 2013 by Kirk Henry
Express and trusthed service. Very happy and loved your express service, I will recommend all my friends. Keep up the good relations with all your customers.Published on May 15, 2013 by Gerard A. Igyor
I bought this book because it was the book that our book club choose to read that month. I kind of knew what kind of person Clarence was, but this book just really confirmed it.Published on February 23, 2011 by Jewels
There is perhaps no other Supreme Court Justice is recent memory who has remained as enigmatic and inscrutable as Justice Clarence Thomas. Read morePublished on January 12, 2010 by Todd Bartholomew
Clarence Thomas is an enigma. Reportedly garrulous and engaging with people he trusts, on the Court he is notoriously silent and disengaged, playing with a pencil, cleaning his... Read morePublished on July 24, 2009 by Robert Carlberg
Rather than repeat what many of the reviews have said, I would just say that the focus should be on some of the cases decided by the Supreme Court and where Justice Thomas fits in... Read morePublished on March 20, 2009 by Ricardo Salas
The authors show how Thomas is divided to the point of having a compartmentalized personality. This is especially, but by no means limited to, his use of sexual language, as... Read morePublished on August 10, 2008 by S. J. Snyder