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The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court

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The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court Cover

ISBN13: 9780385516402
ISBN10: 0385516401
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin takes you into the chambers of the most important — and secret — legal body in our country, the Supreme Court, and reveals the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land.

Just in time for the 2008 presidential election — where the future of the Court will be at stake — Toobin reveals an institution at a moment of transition, when decades of conservative disgust with the Court have finally produced a conservative majority, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, presidential power, and church-state relations.

Based on exclusive interviews with justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the Court through personalities — from Anthony Kennedy's overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas's well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter's odd nineteenth-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore — and Sandra Day O'Connor's fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

The Nine is the book bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin was born to write. A CNN senior legal analyst and New Yorker staff writer, no one is more superbly qualified to profile the nine justices.

Review:

"'It's not laws or constitutional theory that rule the High Court, argues this absorbing group profile, but quirky men and women guided by political intuition. New Yorker legal writer Toobin (The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson) surveys the Court from the Reagan administration onward, as the justices wrestled with abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gay rights and church-state separation. Despite a Court dominated by Republican appointees, Toobin paints not a conservative revolution but a period of intractable moderation. The real power, he argues, belonged to supreme swing-voter Sandra Day O'Connor, who decided important cases with what Toobin sees as an 'almost primal' attunement to a middle-of-the-road public consensus. By contrast, he contends, conservative justices Rehnquist and Scalia ended up bitter old men, their rigorous constitutional doctrines made irrelevant by the moderates' compromises. The author deftly distills the issues and enlivens his narrative of the Court's internal wranglings with sharp thumbnail sketches (Anthony Kennedy the vain bloviator, David Souter the Thoreauvian ascetic) and editorials ('inept and unsavory' is his verdict on the Court's intervention in the 2000 election). His savvy account puts the supposedly cloistered Court right in the thick of American life. (A final chapter and epilogue on the 2006 — 2007 term, with new justices Roberts and Alito, was unavailable to PW.) (Sept. 18)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A major achievement, lucid and probing." Bob Woodward, co-author of The Brethren

Review:

"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

Review:

"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, New York Times

Review:

"[A] fascinating inside look at the most secretive branch of government. Toobin writes beautifully, and the book is impossible to put down." Seattle Times

Review:

"Readers who share the author's left-of-center outlook will likely delight in Toobin's account. Others, looking for a more nuanced, politically neutral analysis may have to search elsewhere." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"The Nine profiles the often quirky justices that make up the members of our most recent Supreme Court. Toobin's access to the Supremes and to their secret little world is phenomenal." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Based on interviews with some of the justices and about 75 of their former clerks, The Nine is anecdotally rich and clearly written." USA Today

Book News Annotation:

Basing his work in no small part on interviews with the justices, Toobin (a CNN senior legal analyst and New Yorker staff writer) has constructed an inside-the-beltway account of the United States Supreme Court under Chief Justices Rehnquist and Roberts. The individual personalities sitting on the bench drive the narrative, in particular the longstanding swing voter Sandra Day O'Connor, and Toobin concentrates his discussion on the more sensationalistic "hot-button" cases decided by the court, such as Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Robert P. Casey, Bush v. Gore, and Lawrence v. Texas. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author

Jeffrey Toobin is the author of such bestsellers as Too Close to Call, A Vast Conspiracy, and The Run of His Life. He lives with his family in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

DavidE, July 10, 2014 (view all comments by DavidE)
Toobin's analysis and insight of the US Supreme in The Nine is brilliantly written. The book provides a glimpse into the world of the US Supreme Court and the personalities behind it. It is a must read for anyone interested in the US judiciary system.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
erickson.bruce, October 2, 2007 (view all comments by erickson.bruce)
An eloquent and insighful insider's account of how the Supreme Court works and how it is driven not only by the Constitution and precedent but also by personality and politics.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(24 of 41 readers found this comment helpful)
Elaine, September 23, 2007 (view all comments by Elaine)
In a nutshell, the message of this extremely interesting and well-written book is that the Supreme Court has enormous power over our lives and yet we typically know very little about the 9 men and women who constitute the court. Toobin provides us with portraits of each of the justices who served during recent years. Some were drawn through what seem to be extensive interviews while others were pieced together from their aides and observations. He underscores the well-known fact that once they are appointed to the Court (for life) a justice may turn out to be something other than expected. We've known that, but his clear assessments serve to make it more concrete.

One interesting (and surprising to me) portrait that emerged was that of Sandra Day O'Connor who Toobin obviously admired greatly. In fact he elevates her to the most important woman in American history. I don't think I buy that - obviously important but what about all those who came before her, like the suffragettes, who allowed her to have any real role? I also found it interesting that her role in the 2000 election didn't entirely sour Toobin in her.

But overall, this is a fascinating look at the "Supremes" written by someone with the perfect combination of impeccable credentials and interesting literary style.
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(24 of 43 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385516402
Subtitle:
Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court
Author:
Toobin, Jeffrey
Publisher:
Doubleday
Subject:
Law
Subject:
Conservatism
Subject:
Courts - Supreme Court
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Law - Political aspects
Subject:
Government
Subject:
General Political Science
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070918
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.42x6.38x1.32 in. 1.38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Business Law
Business » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court Used Hardcover
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$5.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385516402 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'It's not laws or constitutional theory that rule the High Court, argues this absorbing group profile, but quirky men and women guided by political intuition. New Yorker legal writer Toobin (The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson) surveys the Court from the Reagan administration onward, as the justices wrestled with abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gay rights and church-state separation. Despite a Court dominated by Republican appointees, Toobin paints not a conservative revolution but a period of intractable moderation. The real power, he argues, belonged to supreme swing-voter Sandra Day O'Connor, who decided important cases with what Toobin sees as an 'almost primal' attunement to a middle-of-the-road public consensus. By contrast, he contends, conservative justices Rehnquist and Scalia ended up bitter old men, their rigorous constitutional doctrines made irrelevant by the moderates' compromises. The author deftly distills the issues and enlivens his narrative of the Court's internal wranglings with sharp thumbnail sketches (Anthony Kennedy the vain bloviator, David Souter the Thoreauvian ascetic) and editorials ('inept and unsavory' is his verdict on the Court's intervention in the 2000 election). His savvy account puts the supposedly cloistered Court right in the thick of American life. (A final chapter and epilogue on the 2006 — 2007 term, with new justices Roberts and Alito, was unavailable to PW.) (Sept. 18)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A major achievement, lucid and probing."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Driven by the author's assured narrative voice, The Nine is as informative as it is fascinating, as insightful as it is readable."
"Review" by , "[A] fascinating inside look at the most secretive branch of government. Toobin writes beautifully, and the book is impossible to put down."
"Review" by , "Readers who share the author's left-of-center outlook will likely delight in Toobin's account. Others, looking for a more nuanced, politically neutral analysis may have to search elsewhere."
"Review" by , "The Nine profiles the often quirky justices that make up the members of our most recent Supreme Court. Toobin's access to the Supremes and to their secret little world is phenomenal."
"Review" by , "Based on interviews with some of the justices and about 75 of their former clerks, The Nine is anecdotally rich and clearly written."
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