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Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's…

Becoming Justice Blackmun: Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey

by Linda Greenhouse

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My favorite law-related book ever. Excellent biography of one of my favorite Supreme Court justices, and written by an author who really knows her stuff. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Very well written and researched of the Supreme Court Justice ( )
  AnneliM | May 31, 2008 |
A detailed and perhaps overly sympathetic portrait of Justice Blackmun. This is a quick, entertaining read, but it likely overestimates the quality of Blackmun's work on the Supreme Court ( )
1 vote hagertyhartfeldt | Mar 2, 2008 |
4079 Becoming Justice Blackmun Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey, by Linda Greenhouse (read 4 Oct 2005) This book by the very able New York Times Supreme Court reporter is exceptionally well-done, and furnishes a super authentic insight into the workings of the Supreme Court during Blackmun's tenure. Blackmun was born 12 Nov 1908 in Nashville, Ill., grew up in St. Paul, met future Chief Justice Warren Burger in kindergarten. He went to Harvard College and Law, ranking no. 120 out of 451 in his law school class. This book is not really a biography, but only because it leaves out a lot of his life. There is much concentration on Roe v. Wade. The account of the behind the scenes story of that opinion made me feel the justices were acting like legislators--as they were. There was no justification for the Supreme Court to override all the state law, and it is I think generally realized by legal scholars that Roe v. Wade was a brutal exercise of judicial power, done because they could do it. But the behind the scenes account is excellent, based on Blackmun's papers which were opened five years after his death on 4 Mar 1999. I think it is a better book than even Bob Woodward's The Brethern (read 17 Mar 1982) and Closed Chambers by Blackmun's law clerk Edward Lazarus (read 18 Aug 1998) and ranks with the fascinating behind the scenes book The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox (read 15 Feb 2005) by Justice McReynolds' law clerk. This book was a sheer pleasure to read, even tho I disapprove of Blackmun's infamous work in Roe v. Wade. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Oct 18, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805080570, Paperback)

"A fascinating book. In clear and forceful prose, Becoming Justice Blackmun tells a judicial Horatio Alger story and a tale of a remarkable transformation . . . A page-turner."--The New York Times Book Review
In this acclaimed biography, Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times draws back the curtain on America's most private branch of government, the Supreme Court. Greenhouse was the first print reporter to have access to the extensive archives of Justice Harry A. Blackmun (1908-99), the man behind numerous landmark Supreme Court decisions, including Roe v. Wade.

Through the lens of Blackmun's private and public papers, Greenhouse crafts a compelling portrait of a man who, from 1970 to 1994, ruled on such controversial issues as abortion, the death penalty, and sex discrimination yet never lost sight of the human beings behind the legal cases. Greenhouse also paints the arc of Blackmun's lifelong friendship with Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, revealing how political differences became personal, even for two of the country's most respected jurists.

From America's preeminent Supreme Court reporter, this is a must-read for everyone who cares about the Court and its impact on our lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Reveals the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court, as seen through the eyes and writings of Justice Harry A. Blackmun, as he reflects on issues including the death penalty, abortion, and sex discrimination.

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