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Q&A | February 27, 2014

Rene Denfeld: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Rene Denfeld



Describe your latest book. The Enchanted is a story narrated by a man on death row. The novel was inspired by my work as a death penalty... Continue »
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Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas

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Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

SUPREME DISCOMFORT originated from a much-commented-upon profile of Clarence Thomas that appeared in an August 2002 issue of The Washington Post Magazine. In it, Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher, both Post staffers, both black, crafted a haunting portrait of an isolated and bitter man, savagely reviled by much of the black community, not entirely comfortable in white society, internally wounded by his passage from a broken family and rural poverty in Georgia to elite educational institutions to the pinnacle of judicial power. He has clearly never recovered from the searing experience of his Senate confirmation hearings and the "he said/she said" drama of the accusations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill.

SUPREME DISCOMFORT tracks the personal odyssey of perhaps the least understood man in Washington, from his poor childhood in Pin Point and Savannah, Georgia, to his educational experiences in a Catholic seminary and Holy Cross, to his law school years at Yale during the black power era, to his rise within the Republican political establishment. It offers a window into a man who straddles two different worlds and is uneasy in bothand whose divided personality and conservative political philosophy will deeply influence American life for years to come.

Review:

"The conservatism of the nation's second African-American Supreme Court justice has made him a pariah in the black community, an irony that centers this probing biography, expanded from the authors'Washington Post Magazine profile. Thomas's rise from disadvantaged circumstances to Yale Law School, a meteoric government career and appointment to Thurgood Marshall's Court seat, Merida and Fletcher note, seems an affirmative action success story. Yet Thomas has opposed affirmative action, prisoners' rights, abortion and other planks of the liberal agenda, leading to ubiquitous complaints — the authors cite black leaders, prison inmates, even Thomas's relatives — that he's forgotten his roots. Merida and Fletcher present a lucid, well-researched account of Thomas's controversial life and jurisprudence, including evidence supporting Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations, and a nuanced discussion of the politics of black authenticity. They portray Thomas as a conflicted man: a committed conservative with an ethos of self-reliance, who took advantage of affirmative action only to have his achievements tarnished by his own insecurities and others' suspicions of incompetence or hypocrisy. The authors' attempts to link his convictions to his psyche — they make much of his alleged resentment of light-skinned black professional elites — don't always click, but Thomas still emerges as a fascinating and emblematic figure." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Justice Clarence Thomas is the Supreme Court's most reclusive member, which is saying something. Deeply distrustful of the media, the justice also almost never speaks from the bench. As a powerful official who remains opaque to the public, he is a prime candidate for a careful, fair-minded biography. In delivering it, Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher have done some quiet justice of their own.

... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Two journalists track the personal odyssey of Thomas and offer a window into a man who straddles two different worlds and is uneasy in both--and whose divided personality and conservative political philosophy will deeply influence American life for years to come.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385510806
Subtitle:
The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas
Author:
Merida, Kevin
Author:
Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher
Author:
Fletcher, Michael
Publisher:
Doubleday
Subject:
General
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Judges
Subject:
Lawyers & Judges
Subject:
cultural heritage
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070424
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.50x6.40x1.24 in. 1.64 lbs.

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Related Subjects

» History and Social Science » Law » Biographies and Memoirs

Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385510806 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The conservatism of the nation's second African-American Supreme Court justice has made him a pariah in the black community, an irony that centers this probing biography, expanded from the authors'Washington Post Magazine profile. Thomas's rise from disadvantaged circumstances to Yale Law School, a meteoric government career and appointment to Thurgood Marshall's Court seat, Merida and Fletcher note, seems an affirmative action success story. Yet Thomas has opposed affirmative action, prisoners' rights, abortion and other planks of the liberal agenda, leading to ubiquitous complaints — the authors cite black leaders, prison inmates, even Thomas's relatives — that he's forgotten his roots. Merida and Fletcher present a lucid, well-researched account of Thomas's controversial life and jurisprudence, including evidence supporting Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations, and a nuanced discussion of the politics of black authenticity. They portray Thomas as a conflicted man: a committed conservative with an ethos of self-reliance, who took advantage of affirmative action only to have his achievements tarnished by his own insecurities and others' suspicions of incompetence or hypocrisy. The authors' attempts to link his convictions to his psyche — they make much of his alleged resentment of light-skinned black professional elites — don't always click, but Thomas still emerges as a fascinating and emblematic figure." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Two journalists track the personal odyssey of Thomas and offer a window into a man who straddles two different worlds and is uneasy in both--and whose divided personality and conservative political philosophy will deeply influence American life for years to come.

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