website statistics Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas

Availability: Ready to download

An instant sensation and a National Book Award finalist on publication, Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas reveals that there was in fact much to doubt about the character of Clarence Thomas and his denial of Anita Hill's accusations during the riveting and fractious Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and scores of documents An instant sensation and a National Book Award finalist on publication, Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas reveals that there was in fact much to doubt about the character of Clarence Thomas and his denial of Anita Hill's accusations during the riveting and fractious Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and scores of documents never seen before, Mayer and Abramson demonstrate that the political machinations that assured Thomas's ascension to the Court went far beyond what was revealed to the public: Several witnesses were prepared but not allowed to testify in support of Anita Hill's specific allegations about Thomas's pronounced interest in sexually explicit materials.; Republican Judiciary Committee members manipulated the FBI and misled the American public into believing that Hill was fabricating testimony during the televised hearings.; Clarence Thomas mythologized certain elements of his upbringing and career to draw attention away fr


Compare

An instant sensation and a National Book Award finalist on publication, Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas reveals that there was in fact much to doubt about the character of Clarence Thomas and his denial of Anita Hill's accusations during the riveting and fractious Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and scores of documents An instant sensation and a National Book Award finalist on publication, Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas reveals that there was in fact much to doubt about the character of Clarence Thomas and his denial of Anita Hill's accusations during the riveting and fractious Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and scores of documents never seen before, Mayer and Abramson demonstrate that the political machinations that assured Thomas's ascension to the Court went far beyond what was revealed to the public: Several witnesses were prepared but not allowed to testify in support of Anita Hill's specific allegations about Thomas's pronounced interest in sexually explicit materials.; Republican Judiciary Committee members manipulated the FBI and misled the American public into believing that Hill was fabricating testimony during the televised hearings.; Clarence Thomas mythologized certain elements of his upbringing and career to draw attention away fr

30 review for Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    This detailed account of the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991 was written by two experienced reporters, Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, then working for the Wall Street Journal. Their research suggests there is every indication that Clarence Thomas lied when asked if he made lewd remarks to Anita Hill, and there are plenty of people who can attest his general demeanor is in line with Anita Hill’s testimony. I read this book now because of a recent article by Jill Abramso This detailed account of the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991 was written by two experienced reporters, Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, then working for the Wall Street Journal. Their research suggests there is every indication that Clarence Thomas lied when asked if he made lewd remarks to Anita Hill, and there are plenty of people who can attest his general demeanor is in line with Anita Hill’s testimony. I read this book now because of a recent article by Jill Abramson in New York magazine making the case for a Thomas impeachment. The authors begin with the news that George H.W. Bush promised his political supporters a conservative would be the next nominee to the Supreme Court after David Souter. It almost sounds quaint now, just twenty-five years later, that politicians at the time wished to preserve deniability when it came to appointing ideologues to traditionally sacrosanct areas of government that required evenhandedness. That is certainly over now, when Mitch McConnell last year withheld interviews for Obama’s SCOTUS nominee so that the GOP could wait for a conservative takeover of the executive and judicial branches. The political behind-the-scenes machinations to appoint a forty-three year-old conservative neophyte to the Supreme Court in 1991 was interesting for what we know now that we did not know then about white people and racism. There was a legal requirement for government agencies and offices to diversify, and Bush had every intention of trying to find a minority or a woman for a place on the bench to replace retiring Thurgood Marshall, but finding a conservative black lawyer was, to say the least, difficult. White people were not considered for the post. But Clarence Thomas calculated and concluded that conservative Republicans were going to give him more opportunities than liberal Democrats. There was so much more competition among the Democrats. This is all documented, by the way, by speaking with Thomas’ classmates when he was trying to figure out his future. Thomas himself would often go into the story of his upbringing, “dirt poor and neglected,” and although he had help at various stages in his life which allowed him access to the upper echelons of the white world, he forever discounted that help and claimed a kind of self-reliance that does not appear to be objectively true. The first portion of the book deals with Thomas growing up and the next section deals with Anita Hill working with Thomas before the hearings. Then comes the machinations behind the scenes to get a minority in place for a confirmation. The judiciary committee and the White House didn’t care who it was as long as he/she was a person of color. And this is the sharpest cut of all: Thomas didn’t want to work for government, but had a hard time finding work in the private sector after law school. He definitely did not want to work for any office commonly associated with black people or headed by blacks. He did not want to be an affirmative action selection. He wanted a job unassociated with race. Every job Thomas got in Washington after law school was racially oriented, i.e., took a job with Missouri’s Republican attorney general Jack Danforth who went to Yale to recruit a minority lawyer, took a top civil rights post at the Education Department, and then moved to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with it’s responsibility for policing racial and other forms of discrimination in the workplace. Thomas was only considered for SCOTUS because he was African American. The truth is that being the affirmative action hire is nothing to be embarrassed about: all candidates are eligible with good qualifications. The hire of a minority is redressing an imbalance and diversifying for the strength and welfare of the organization. It is requiring attention to racial diversity. All of this says more about corporate America and top government than about Clarence Thomas; it should be noted that we were (are still?!) at such a rudimentary place when discussing race that many white lawmakers were unwilling to confront Thomas when he called challenges to his nomination a “high-tech lynching.” Even today there would be legislators unwilling to speak up about the inappropriate behaviors of a person of color, unwilling or unable to escape an unstated white guilt to speak credibly on racial justice issues. Clarence Thomas may have been damaged as a result of his upbringing. He identified deeply with the Richard Wright novels, Native Son and Black Boy. Mayer and Abramson quote Thomas: "these novels of trapped and violent racial rage 'capture[d] a lot of the feelings that I had inside that you learn to repress.'" When speaking of Native Son, bell hooks in Salvation: Black People and Love tells us that "Wright offered to the world in his protest novel Native Son an image of blackness that made it synonymous with dehumanization, with the absence of feeling. His character Bigger Thomas embodied a lovelessness so relentless it struck a chord of terror in the minds of black activists who had been struggling to counter similar images of blackness emerging from the white imagination. In his autobiography, Black Boy, Wright dared to tell the world that he believed dehumanization had happened to many black folks, that ongoing racial genocide had left us damaged, forever wounded in the space where we would know love."Anita Hill wrote her own book about the hearings from her point of view, called Speaking Truth To Power. This book is a good companion, for while Hill gives her motivations and how things looked to her, Mayer and Abramson cover the whole process from many perspectives in detail. I have no idea if it would be possible now to bring a notice of intent to impeach Thomas but I would support it. I feel sure there was cause in 1991 to throw out his nomination but the need to ram it through was too great. Clarence Thomas may be damaged, and for that we can forgive him (and perhaps take some responsibility), but we do not need to further subject ourselves to him. It was wrong to put him on the bench, knowingly. If we cannot get justice done with Clarence Thomas before he leaves the bench of his own accord, we can always take comfort in the fact that history will not be kind to him. He will continue to be reviled and his story told long past his time on earth.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    Vividly I remember, in the fall of 1991, walking back to my college dorm room one afternoon and turning on my tiny dorm-room TV. There was certainly no cable in dorm rooms back then, at least not at my school, so there was only one thing on: the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings—specifically, the part of the proceedings where Anita Hill was being questioned. As I recall it, I put the TV on just in time to hear Arlen Specter suggest that Hill’s testimony was an elaborate scheme to get reveng Vividly I remember, in the fall of 1991, walking back to my college dorm room one afternoon and turning on my tiny dorm-room TV. There was certainly no cable in dorm rooms back then, at least not at my school, so there was only one thing on: the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings—specifically, the part of the proceedings where Anita Hill was being questioned. As I recall it, I put the TV on just in time to hear Arlen Specter suggest that Hill’s testimony was an elaborate scheme to get revenge on Thomas for rejecting her romantically ten years prior. Hill seemed baffled by this implication, as most of us would be, because we are actual human beings and not scorned women out of Shakespeare. I remember my jaw literally dropped, and I sank down on my bed to watch as much more of the hearings as I could stomach. There was no internet to speak of back then, so I had to wait a day or two to see if popular consensus matched my own opinion, but I was gratified to learn that many people were just as horrified as I was by the sight of that all-male committee grilling Hill as if she were the one being vetted, as if she were the one whose innocence or guilt was the point of the whole thing. For many years, the sexual harassment aspect of the hearings has loomed so large that it was easy to overlook what else might have been going on at the time. It’s only now that I’ve finally read Strange Justice that all of the other elements in play have become clear: At this particular moment in history, the religious right, emboldened by the Reagan years, was doing everything it could to consolidate its power and become a dominant political force—and the appointment of Clarence Thomas, an unabashed conservative who was often scornful of affirmative action, was exactly what they needed to swing the Supreme Court in their favor. The power of conservative churches, including predominantly black churches in the south, was called upon to bolster Thomas’s case, and senate Democrats, already weakened and cowed by Reagan’s popularity, were too fearful of being called racist to actually fight the nomination. Everyone was prepared to allow it to happen when Anita Hill, with no clue of what she was walking into, turned up on the scene. So of course, the only thing to do was to tar her with as crude and cruel a brush as possible. The excellent documentary Anita: Speaking Truth to Power makes clear how eminently reasonable Anita Hill was, and still is—but it doesn’t tell the whole story, which is mainly one of political backroom dealing, the willingness of one side to get as dirty as possible in order to get their way, and the weakness the other side displays in its feeble attempt at fairness. Some of the bigger names in the conservative movement make appearances here—Ken Starr, John Ashcroft, even good old Citizens United—and the start of a pattern becomes clear. Republicans were emboldened and well organized in those years and they have remained emboldened and well organized. Democrats (led by Joe Biden) were so invested in seeming “fair” that they allowed themselves to be walked all over, and that pattern has certainly continued—not even the immense popularity of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and the razor-thin victories and unpopularity of George W. Bush have caused Democrats to really step up and take back the reins. Indeed, Jane Mayer’s more recent book Dark Money looks to be a natural extension of this one: The seeds planted here have continued to flower for the past two decades. This is how we got to where we are today. There is a glimmer of hope in all this, of course. After watching Anita Hill be painted as crazy and promiscuous for accusing Thomas of harassment, American women were galvanized. A large number ran for office, resulting in much-improved representation in the Senate and House, and the third wave of feminism was born. It was a good lesson in how pushing people to their limits will eventually result in their pushing back. I think we’re seeing the same thing now. Given how little else there is to lose, perhaps our elected officials (the Democrats, anyway) will be on the side of the people this time and some lasting change will be effected.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ms.pegasus

    “Selling” is too benign a term for the 1991 confirmation process of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. “Guerilla war to confirm” might be a more apt description. Revenge was the ruling passion that fueled right-wingers after the failed confirmation of Robert Bork in 1987. Among these were Paul Weyrich, Thomas Jipping, the Rev. Louis Sheldon, and Gary Bauer. Unfamiliar with these names? Unless you are a student of political science, that's possible. Think instead of the Heritage Foundation, th “Selling” is too benign a term for the 1991 confirmation process of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. “Guerilla war to confirm” might be a more apt description. Revenge was the ruling passion that fueled right-wingers after the failed confirmation of Robert Bork in 1987. Among these were Paul Weyrich, Thomas Jipping, the Rev. Louis Sheldon, and Gary Bauer. Unfamiliar with these names? Unless you are a student of political science, that's possible. Think instead of the Heritage Foundation, the Traditional Values Coalition, the Family Research Council, the Free Congress Foundation and the Coalition for the Restoration of the Black Family and Society. After the David Souter confirmation in 1990, President Bush's chief-of-staff, John Sununu reassured Jipping: “'The next one,' he promised, would be a true conservative. They had his word. Bush's chief of staff guaranteed that 'it will be a knock-down, drag-out, bloody-knuckles, grass-roots fight.'” (Location 299) The opening chapter, “The Deal” is a compelling inside view of the political considerations that made Clarence Thomas the only realistic choice for President George H.W. Bush. Promises had been made. Constituencies had to be mollified. Strategists laid out a plan. By focusing on the motives and actions of the individuals involved, the authors, Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, infuse their narrative with drama. They go on to provide a detailed biographical sketch of Thomas in chapter 2, “The Pin Point Reality.” Despite the authors' highly critical account, it is a compelling story of the contradictions and tenacity that have shaped Thomas' ideology. Much of the bitterness underlying his remarks is understandable. He was a graduate of Yale Law School who received zero job offers. The job he was finally offered was head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision (EEOC), in the Dept. of Education, a department Reagan wanted to abolish. Failing that, Reagan employed the tools of underfunding and filling it with unqualified personnel (chapter 5, “The Turkey Farm”). The authors state: “In his first year at the EEOC, he [Thomas] tried to take a principled stand in favor of keeping extant affirmative action plans on the books [despite his own opposition to affirmative action], only to be publicly dressed down by the White House.” (location 2068) Thomas' name will, of course, forever be linked with the allegations of Anita Hill. The authors provide statements from scores of associates of both people. Those statements draw a characterization of Thomas that supports Hill's testimony (as if there is still any doubt). What will resonate with present day readers are Thomas' enraged complaints of his own victimization, the truncated timeline for the scheduled vote, an unofficial swearing-in ceremony designed to create the image of a fait accompli, and an official swearing-in ceremony moved up from November 1 to October 23. The authors published this book in 1994 and conclude optimistically with a description of feminist backlash. They quote numerous Thomas supporters expressing after-the-fact buyer's remorse. Nevertheless, Thomas' candid statement, “'if you are yourself, like Bob Bork, you're dead'”(location 5891) is perhaps even truer today than it was over 25 years ago. The moral is: Perjury Pays. This book will be extremely depressing for anyone with hopes for a future independent judiciary.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Almost ten years ago, millions of Americans sat in front of their television sets watching the Senate Judiciary Hearings. At issue was whether or not to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas for a seat on the Supreme Court. The viewing public sat on the edge of their seats taking sides, whether to believe the charges Anita Hill brought forth. Was Clarence Thomas guilty of sexual harassment? Who was telling the truth. I, too, couldn't decide and like many African Americans, I cringed at the sight of a bl Almost ten years ago, millions of Americans sat in front of their television sets watching the Senate Judiciary Hearings. At issue was whether or not to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas for a seat on the Supreme Court. The viewing public sat on the edge of their seats taking sides, whether to believe the charges Anita Hill brought forth. Was Clarence Thomas guilty of sexual harassment? Who was telling the truth. I, too, couldn't decide and like many African Americans, I cringed at the sight of a black man and a black woman airing their dirty laundry in public. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, wasn't it more important to have an African American on the highest court in the land than to have the seat go to someone of another race? Some time ago I read Strange Justice, The Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson. Published in 1994, shortly after Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court, the book details Judge Thomas’s life from childhood in Pin Point, Ga. through law school, his work at EEOC, and finally his nomination. Likewise it chronicles Anita Hill’s life beginning in Oklahoma up to her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee at Judge Thomas’s confirmation hearing. What will strike the reader is the political machinations that went on behind the scenes to firstly, push Clarence Thomas's career forward, and secondly, to secure his confirmation to the Supreme Court. More alarming is the length to which his proponents go to dispose of any opposition to the nomination, in particular, to discredit Anita Hill. The investigative reporters did a thorough job presenting a detailed picture of this event whose impact we have yet to know.* The book is intriguing and moves with the speed of a good suspense novel. Even knowing the outcome does not take away from this compelling account. It is a must-read for those interested in politics, and recent history. It is also a must-read for those of us who sat before our television sets choosing up sides, trying to decide who was telling the truth, Judge Thomas or Anita Hill. *When I wrote this review several years ago, shortly after Thomas was confirmed, I didn't know the impact of his presence on the court. Now, after lo these many years since he has been on the highest court of the land, all I can say is he's no Thurgood Marshall.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Clif

    We've all seen the statue of justice blindfolded, eyes covered so that the accused cannot be seen. If only justice worked that way! What "Strange Justice" gives the reader is an account of how a process, some might call it a circus, works. While it's true that the rules of a Congressional inquiry are lax compared to those in a court of law, the same factors come into play. Which party, the prosecution or the defense, is more clever in making a case? Read this book to understand why "justice" is s We've all seen the statue of justice blindfolded, eyes covered so that the accused cannot be seen. If only justice worked that way! What "Strange Justice" gives the reader is an account of how a process, some might call it a circus, works. While it's true that the rules of a Congressional inquiry are lax compared to those in a court of law, the same factors come into play. Which party, the prosecution or the defense, is more clever in making a case? Read this book to understand why "justice" is seldom that because the side with the more capable (for you or me, more expensive) help is almost sure to win a case. In this event, the Republicans ran rings around the Democrats. In the case of vetting candidates for office, the only issue should be the qualifications of the candidate for the job to be done. For a judge, an open mind would be the top requirement. Because the cases that come before a judge call upon careful reflection, good reasoning would be much preferred to strong opinions. The ideal judge would have no prejudices and a respect for the law. Clarence Thomas was just the opposite with his strongly held (almost to the point of bitterness) views, his minimal legal experience and the sexual harassment that he engaged in that was against the law. Most unfortunately, the opinions of a Supreme Court candidate are often what lead to his or her nomination, as administrations attempt to fill the Court with people who hold views that find favor with the party in power. Would the race, the sex or the age of a candidate be important? Would any characteristic that would not be detected with a blindfold on be important? Ideally, such things would be irrelevant, but we all know better. What counted for Clarence Thomas were his conservative views and his race, most appreciated by the Republicans because the combination countered the usual association of African-Americans and liberal views. By nominating Thomas, the Republicans could appear to be honoring a commitment to integration, while actually opposing the views of the great majority of black people. This book is about how spin works, about how impressions and imagery are important. Reality comes second to appearance. The reader sees how those giving evidence can be framed in ways that undercut their testimony. There's a wealth of personal detail on many people, their temperaments and how they handle duty, confrontation and accusation. You will see how politicians can be pushed this way and that due to their fears about how they will be perceived by the public. The authors believe, along with the evidence, that Clarence Thomas was a poor candidate for Supreme Court Justice, one who squeezed through the confirmation process by the cleverness of his defense, principally his contention that Anita Hill was a liar whose charges he had absolutely no obligation to address. The success of his stonewall defense worked and we have an unqualified, opinionated conservative on the Supreme Court for the rest of his life, a man noted for his silence in Court hearings. From early on, Thomas wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice, but reviled racial preference and even went out of his way to avoid associating with African-American groups. Ironically, racial preference not only helped him in his earlier career, but landed him the seat on the Court from where he could act to close the gates for others.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    The fascinating story of how Clarence Thomas ended up on the Court, and how our new Vice President Joe Biden (then chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee) helped him get there.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    This was a thorough, well-researched account of how Clarence Thomas became a Supreme Court (SC) justice - the answer is he opportunistically became a thoroughly compromised conservative Republican in the era of Reagan/Bush and just managed to get nominated & confirmed in the year before President Bush the First's term of office ended, and the Clinton "era" began. This is a fascinating book detailing Thomas's ambition from a young age, the fact that affirmative action programs did enable him to g This was a thorough, well-researched account of how Clarence Thomas became a Supreme Court (SC) justice - the answer is he opportunistically became a thoroughly compromised conservative Republican in the era of Reagan/Bush and just managed to get nominated & confirmed in the year before President Bush the First's term of office ended, and the Clinton "era" began. This is a fascinating book detailing Thomas's ambition from a young age, the fact that affirmative action programs did enable him to gain entry to educational institutions, although he then turned against the idea of affirmative action, and how he saw that it would be advantageous for him to become a conservative, in an era of the ascendancy of the right, so that the right-wing administrations of Reagan and Bush could appoint him - as a fig-leaf "proving" they were pro-African American - various positions, most preposterously, to the EEOC Directorship, even though he had no interest in enforcing the law on affirmative action or acting on complaints of sexual harassment. He was the fox guarding the hen-house, which is exactly what the right-wing ideologues in the White House under Reagan and Bush wanted. The book is illuminating as to the arrogant Thomas's treatment of women - arrogant, sexist, male chauvinist, backward, crude. The vast majority of the women he hit on simply brushed off his comments since there once was a time when male bosses hitting on female underlings was a fact of life, a time before it was considered sexual harassment. He hit on Anita Hill the way he hit on other women he employed, but Anita Hill and one other former employee, Angela Wright, were hurt by his crude comments - comments coming from the head of the EEOC no less. When Thomas was nominated by Bush to the SC Justice position vacated by Thurgood Marshall (and there can be no contrast more extreme than that of the just, towering Marshall vs. the backward, sell-out, intellectually bankrupt Thomas) a choice cynically engineered by an army of right-wing operatives to guarantee that the Senate would confirm an unqualified candidate, who was parlayed into the SC position on the basis of his rise from poverty in Georgia, but little else - Anita Hill's friends remembered what she had told them about her boss in the 80s, at the EEOC, that she had been sexually harassed by Thomas at the EEOC. The story got back to the Senate Judiciary Committee, headed at the time by an ineffectual Sen. Biden, and Hill was belatedly called to testify. The media circus that ensued made sexual harassment and her name a household word - but also spelled the end for Bush's re-election chances, as 1/3 of the electorate - women of voting age, sharply turned against Bush the following year and voted for Clinton instead. The choice of Thomas backfired, if Bush thought the "gift" to his base would translate into votes - it did not, instead Hill became a sympathetic figure, crucified as it seemed by the Bush administration and the right, abetted by ineffectual Senators and Bush's support melted away. The Thomas appointment "caper" is thoroughly described in all its sickening complexity in this book, which I would recommend to anyone who is interested in finding out about the reach and sophistication of the right in the US. Thomas was made to seem exactly what he is not to vast numbers of hapless activists throughout the US, they were influenced by right-wing front organizations to call or write to their Senators in support of the Thomas nomination. This created the impression that Thomas was popular to the electorate - despite holding backward, anti civil rights ideas, basically, being against the African American community, despite being an African American himself. Thomas was a reliable puppet, who was ready to join the heartless right wing of the Republican party, when he saw that was where the money was - after having been a Malcolm X quoting separatist wannabe in the 60s. Thomas's life is all about success - making money, no matter how much he has to compromise. As much as he disrespects women, he disrespects principles - he has no integrity, he simply trades on received ideas. It's no surprise he is now considering retiring in his late 60s, now that his "brain" on the SC (Scalia) is gone it's hard to know how he can manage to write opinions, since his friend Antonin wrote so many that he just signed on to. Thomas must be the biggest travesty to have ever hit the SC - a complete sell-out, and unqualified, with little to no intellectual brilliance, but simply ambition to sit on the SC, no matter what it took. The book is a searing condemnation of politics as it's been practiced since the time of Reagan up until the present, with the rise of consultants assisting administrations, and the influence of big financial backers, mega-churches, right-wing radio ideologues, and so forth. The "old boy" network the book describes is probably still in effect - despite the 8 years of Obama, or maybe even more so among the right because of the 8 years of Obama. Thomas thought he was untouchable in being a sexist boor all his life, but some women did eventually complain about his boorish behavior - and the complaints resonated with women all over the country. The cynical way the Thomas appointment was engineered by Bush, fell flat. It alienated the African American community, which abandoned Bush, as well as women - and led to the Clinton years. This is a well-written, clearly-written book about the machinations that went into the nomination and confirmation of SC Justice Thomas. It should be required reading - is it really surprising that not a single public library in NYC currently holds this book? Essentially, the book skewers the entire political class and system, which worked so smoothly to ensure that an African American man who is opposed to many of the advances of African Americans (civil rights, affirmative action) actually got confirmed by the Senate to sit on the SC. Although it should be available in all the libraries as a most instructive book, interestingly, it is not.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    I was in grade school when the Clarence Thomas hearings took place, so I didn't pay attention to them at the time. Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson do a phenomenal job of researching these events and creating a thorough historical record. They also create a very compelling narrative of the hearings as well as the events preceding them. It got so intense at times that I had to put the book down and take a short break. Although Strange Justice covers a Supreme Court confirmation process, it serves as a I was in grade school when the Clarence Thomas hearings took place, so I didn't pay attention to them at the time. Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson do a phenomenal job of researching these events and creating a thorough historical record. They also create a very compelling narrative of the hearings as well as the events preceding them. It got so intense at times that I had to put the book down and take a short break. Although Strange Justice covers a Supreme Court confirmation process, it serves as a great example of what Bismarck meant when he said, "Laws are like sausages - it's better to not see them being made." It was quite nauseating to read about all of the behind-the-scenes machinations that took place among all parties involved. The Bush administration and Senate Republicans looked unprincipled, Democrats came across as naïve, ineffective, and timid, and Clarence Thomas wrapped himself in the cloak of feigned victimhood. The only person who emerged with any dignity and honor was Anita Hill. It was also difficult for me to read this book and not draw parallels to more recent events, particularly the Trump presidency, the Kavanaugh hearings, and the 2020 presidential race. The Bush administration's lack of reservations about smearing a private citizen, as well as violating her privacy and civil rights, in pursuit of a political goal was about as vile as anything the Trump administration has done. I also have a better understanding of why so many people view Democrats as toothless and unhelpful, as well as why so many people view Joe Biden with scorn for his role in these hearings. And the Senate Republicans' pull-out-all-the-stops campaign to discredit Hill and get Thomas confirmed can be seen as a dress rehearsal for their performance in the Kavanaugh hearings. It's difficult to not let my opinions about current events influence how I evaluated things that happened about thirty years ago, but I tried to be as impartial as possible. And after reading this book, I believe that Hill was telling the truth.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    Back in 1991, the televised Senate confirmation hearings on Clarence Thomas's candidacy for the Supreme Court were as gripping as they were bizarre. After all, how often do you get to hear senators solemnly discussing a porn star and a passage from The Exorcist? Still, as the hearings unfolded, it seemed natural to suppose that there were significant developments taking place behind the scenes. And indeed there were, as is confirmed by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson in their terrific and thoroughl Back in 1991, the televised Senate confirmation hearings on Clarence Thomas's candidacy for the Supreme Court were as gripping as they were bizarre. After all, how often do you get to hear senators solemnly discussing a porn star and a passage from The Exorcist? Still, as the hearings unfolded, it seemed natural to suppose that there were significant developments taking place behind the scenes. And indeed there were, as is confirmed by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson in their terrific and thoroughly-documented book on this sorry episode in American history. Nominated by George H. W. Bush, Clarence Thomas possessed credentials that were mediocre at best. He was a middling student in law school; he had very little judicial experience; and he had never written a Constitutional opinion. But Republicans were hell-bent on securing a conservative nominee for the Court, and as an African-American with an Ivy League law degree and a heart-warming life story (greatly enhanced by spin and major omissions), Thomas would be difficult for Democrats to oppose, even though he would be replacing Thurgood Marshall, a highly distinguished liberal justice. Realizing that the largely unknown Thomas might be a hard sell, Republicans put significant energy and money into his confirmation -- resources almost worthy of a presidential campaign. Mayer and Abramson do an admirable job of unearthing the details. When Anita Hill, then a law professor in Oklahoma, learned of Thomas' nomination, she had no inclination whatsoever to get involved with it even though she had known Thomas from their days together at the Department of Education, and subsequently, at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where Thomas was the director. However, several friends, to whom she had previously confided that Thomas had sexually harassed her at both agencies, urged her to make her concerns known to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Very reluctantly, Hill eventually did so while trying valiantly to preserve her anonymity and avoid the public spotlight. It took some time for Hill's carefully-composed affidavit to attract any significant attention -- it languished on various staffers' office desks -- but eventually she was called to testify, losing her anonymity along the way. Acutely aware that Hill's testimony represented a serious threat to Thomas' nomination, Republicans went to extreme lengths to discredit her (several of them later admitted that, at the time, they never gave any thought to the possibility that Hill was actually telling the truth). Hill's explicit testimony regarding Thomas' sexual advances was ridiculed by prosecutorially-minded Judiciary Committee Republicans, and was, of course, vehemently denied by Thomas himself. Aside from Thomas, Orin Hatch stands out among the more unsavory characters in this drama. Hatch's (now documented) lies and innuendos helped to create the impression that Hill was an untruthful, deranged, and jealous "scorned woman". Senator John Danforth (an ordained Episcopal priest), declared "war" on behalf of Thomas, his protégé. And Alan Simpson predicted that Hill "will be injured and destroyed and belittled and hounded" (p. 272), a fate to which he himself contributed. Unfortunately, some of the Committee Democrats didn't come off much better. Ted Kennedy, who might have been a formidable questioner of Thomas, was about to testify at his own nephew's rape trial, and Kennedy's earlier peccadillo at Chappaquiddick was an elephant in the room; both circumstances effectively prevented him from cross-examining Thomas about sexual improprieties. Following the hearings, Kennedy did manage to deliver a fiery speech in the Senate just prior to the confirmation vote, shaming his colleagues for their shabby treatment of Hill. But Hatch's response makes Kennedy's own vulnerabilities quite apparent: "We do not need characterizations like shame in this chamber . . . Anybody who believes that -- I know a bridge up in Massachusetts that I'll be happy to sell them" (p. 348). (Hatch subsequently expunged his remark from the record, and implausibly explained that he had misspoken, having intended to say "Brooklyn" rather than "Massachusetts".) Joe Biden, who presided over the hearings, represented himself as a paragon of fairness, but in pursuit of that ideal he clearly gave significant procedural and substantive advantages to his Republican colleagues. In fact, Biden seems to have been more concerned with his own image than with getting to the truth about Thomas. In the final analysis, Thomas was very likely the one who was untruthful. Some of his acquaintances were very much aware of Thomas' "dark side", although his public supporters expressed shock over the very idea that he might ever have been anything but upright. At the same time, Hill had corroborating witnesses who, for various reasons, were never called to testify. And three Washington Post reporters uncovered proof of Thomas' abundant interest in pornography just when word of Thomas's confirmation reached them; consequently, their account was never published. Hill passed a polygraph test, but Thomas refused to take one. So, conservatives won the day, and the Court acquired a member ideologically dedicated to representing their perspective -- a justice who expresses disdain for the very affirmative action policies from which he benefited significantly, who has displayed little originality, and who has to date made only one brief comment from the bench in more than twenty years of serving on the highest court in the land. Published in 1994, Strange Justice (the title is apropos) is hardly new. But it's fascinating, fast-paced, and extremely well written, and it serves as a vivid reminder of how important first-rate investigative reporting -- now endangered as newspapers become entertainment centers -- is to the preservation of democracy. Moreover, despite its age, some passages are striking for their contemporary relevance. Here's one: The Democrats not only lacked discipline; by 1991 most of them also lacked courage. Since losing the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan, liberal Democrats in particular had come to feel like an endangered species. That election had marked a national shift away from their ideology and had also proven beyond a doubt the power of right-wing attack politics. The very word "liberal" became an embarrassment. Senators formerly described as liberal began calling themselves progressive Democrats or, better yet, moderate. They lived in constant fear of being targeted with negative campaigns focusing on single divisive issues such as abortion and gun control. (P. 203) Sound familiar?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    I didn’t realize the depth of the evidence against Thomas or how poorly Hill was treated. Sadly, so many sentences in the book could have been applied to Kavanaugh/Ford. It’s depressing that nothing has changed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    This is a very thorough book. It fills out a lot of the information that I was pretty sure about, especially why so many things were kind of understood or unclear. It details not just what happened during the confirmation hearings, but even the politicking that led to Thomas being nominated in the first place. The story is well-told, but it is a story that is pretty uniformly awful. There is so much deception and viciousness on the side promoting Thomas, and so much incompetence on the side that This is a very thorough book. It fills out a lot of the information that I was pretty sure about, especially why so many things were kind of understood or unclear. It details not just what happened during the confirmation hearings, but even the politicking that led to Thomas being nominated in the first place. The story is well-told, but it is a story that is pretty uniformly awful. There is so much deception and viciousness on the side promoting Thomas, and so much incompetence on the side that wasn't so much opposing him but trying to keep things fair, that the hearings ended up being the last thing from fair for Hill. It wasn't so much Strange Justice as injustice, but I always knew that. One interesting aspect is that the book was written just two years after the incident. Not only was everything fresh, but a lot has happened since then. So here Joe Biden is a young senator, but now he is Vice President. Here is young John Ashcroft. Here is Monsanto. Here are the roots of Citizens United. We see what people have become. Even one of the authors, Jill Abramson, has been in the news lately for her recent dismissal from the New York Times. There is a lot to be disgusted with. I know the main things that I remember from the hearings were feeling that it wasn't so much that they did not believe Hill as that they did not want to deal with it, and utter contempt for Orrin Hatch. Those things are filled out, but not changed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    Very informative -- and disturbing -- relation of how Clarence Thomas becoem a jusitce of the Supreme Court. The book was written in 1994, so we can see Thomas today with not so much different eyes, but with clearer vision. As someone who reacalls hearing the Thomas confirmation hearings on a car radio while en route to Washington, and being incensed at the treatment Anita Hill received, this book puts facts into clearer perspective. It's ideal reading for anyone who cares about politics, justice, Very informative -- and disturbing -- relation of how Clarence Thomas becoem a jusitce of the Supreme Court. The book was written in 1994, so we can see Thomas today with not so much different eyes, but with clearer vision. As someone who reacalls hearing the Thomas confirmation hearings on a car radio while en route to Washington, and being incensed at the treatment Anita Hill received, this book puts facts into clearer perspective. It's ideal reading for anyone who cares about politics, justice, governmental operations, and how the world really works.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Bateman

    Perhaps the single best (and best-researched) tell-all books of all time. When you consider this hit shelves in '94 or so, and Thomas had been on the Court for three years...why didn't people care more that this man wallpapered his room in pornography? Or at least, why didn't more people care that this guy was a genuinely weird son of a gun? Ah Joe Biden, greatest Judiciary Committee chairman ever, who gave us such jurists as this! Perhaps the single best (and best-researched) tell-all books of all time. When you consider this hit shelves in '94 or so, and Thomas had been on the Court for three years...why didn't people care more that this man wallpapered his room in pornography? Or at least, why didn't more people care that this guy was a genuinely weird son of a gun? Ah Joe Biden, greatest Judiciary Committee chairman ever, who gave us such jurists as this!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Peace

    Hypopptuniguiler-noun- a hypocritical opportunist full of guile-see- governmental tenure of Clarence Thomas. Sad book about a sad, sad man

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mayre

    I cannot believe how much this book and its content, mirror what's happening now I cannot believe how much this book and its content, mirror what's happening now

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clay

    Confirms my low opinion of Bushes, conservatives, and especially of Thomas.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    [Anita Hill] will be injured and destroyed and belittled and hounded and harassed - real harassment - different than the sexual kind. ------Republican Senator Alan Simpson, threatening Ms. Hill before she testified about sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, page 272 This, I think, is a one-sentence summation of what was most vile about the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas. That Senators espousing Thomas's cause showed no compunction about bragging of their intended bullying [Anita Hill] will be injured and destroyed and belittled and hounded and harassed - real harassment - different than the sexual kind. ------Republican Senator Alan Simpson, threatening Ms. Hill before she testified about sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas, page 272 This, I think, is a one-sentence summation of what was most vile about the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas. That Senators espousing Thomas's cause showed no compunction about bragging of their intended bullying is shocking. Perhaps even more shocking is that these men - and all the members of the Judiciary Committee were, in fact, male - did not regard sexual harassment as real harassment. (I should add that the authors of this book just quote Simpson in passing, without commenting on his scurrilous statement.) The authors are careful to give fair consideration to all the parties involved in this affair. Thomas and Hill were both children of poor working-class families. Both overcame huge difficulties; both graduated from Yale Law School. Both went to work at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thomas was the head of the agency. Hill stated later that during this period, Thomas repeatedly tried to get her to see him outside of work and often brought up sexual matters, both with reference to pornography and to his own life. His behavior toward Hill at that time later became the principal subject of this book. Years later, Thomas was being considered for an appointment to the Supreme Court, replacing the retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall. Marshall, like Thomas and Hill, was African-American, and the then president, George Bush, knew that it would be politically astute to fill Marshall's vacancy with another African-American. Bush had committed to making his nominee a true conservative. "Thomas's stormy tenure as the head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also won him points with conservatives. Not only had he opposed affirmative action as belittling to minorities, he had gone so far as to castigate members of the black civil rights establishment in harsh language no white opponent would have dared to use, accusing them of 'watching the destruction of our race' as they 'bitch, bitch, bitch, moan and moan, whine and whine.'" Thomas's appointment was opposed by political liberals, by members of black organizations, such as the NAACP, reacting to Thomas's disdain for their basic principles, and by those who simply felt that he was unqualified to sit on the Supreme Court. But those were not the only obstacles in Thomas's way. I had thought that most of this book would concern Hill's allegations about Thomas and attempts to refute her testimony. In fact, that part of the story does not begin until page 220. Hill was clearly reluctant to testify at the hearing and went ahead only after agonizing about doing so. Thomas totally denied her allegations. Republican Senators, including John Danforth, Arlen Specter, Alan Simpson, and Orrin Hatch, along with others supporting Thomas's nomination, determined that they would do anything - anything - possible to cast doubt on Hill's veracity, her morals, and even her sanity. As Simpson had stated, they followed a policy of doing whatever possible to "injure.. destroy... belittle.. hound... and harass" Hill. Added to that was the cowardice and ineptitude of Senators opposing Thomas's Supreme Court appointment. Edward Kennedy was hampered by his own reputed history of sexual misconduct; when he attempted to defend Hill against dishonest attacks, Specter and Hatch responded by criticizing Kennedy's own morality. Joe Biden, then the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, later Vice-President, made a number of odd, unfortunate decisions. He "made a strategic decision not to go after Thomas on the issue of either his character or his competence." On the opening day of the hearings, Biden "gave assurances in words that later made [Thomas's mother, Leota] William's blood boil. 'Judge Thomas,' she remembered Biden saying with his trademark, lighting flash of a brilliant smile, 'don't worry about a thing. I'm in your court.'" More importantly, Biden refused to let other witnesses accusing Thomas of sexual impropriety testify at all. If there is a moral in the story, it is two-fold. First, political figures - elected, appointed, hired, or just hanging on - are, largely, not to be trusted. Secondly, women's allegations of sexual misconduct were so little respected at the time of Thomas's nomination that they could easily be dismissed - not disproved, just dismissed. That was in 1991. As I write this in 2019, it appears that things may be (very gradually) changing.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jack Wolfe

    Briefly: An inexperienced, gross right-wing extremist is nominated for one of the most powerful positions in the United States. He is credibly accused of sexual harassment by a woman of almost unimpeachable character. A combination of heartless Republican cunning and heartless Democratic ineptitude ensure that the extremist gets his job-- a lifetime role fucking with everyone's life-- and the woman is thoroughly tarnished in a feat of political assassination so brazen... That it's totally famili Briefly: An inexperienced, gross right-wing extremist is nominated for one of the most powerful positions in the United States. He is credibly accused of sexual harassment by a woman of almost unimpeachable character. A combination of heartless Republican cunning and heartless Democratic ineptitude ensure that the extremist gets his job-- a lifetime role fucking with everyone's life-- and the woman is thoroughly tarnished in a feat of political assassination so brazen... That it's totally familiar to us all, in 2020. "Strange Justice" is a page turner, thanks to Jane Mayer's reliably terrific prose, an inherently interesting story, and a cast that features some of the slimiest and most worthless cretins in American political history. Some of those imps have been forgotten, and some have re-branded themselves as "Never Trump" moderates (you liberal boomers sharing Bill Kristol articles might wanna flip thru the last third of this book and see just how very reasonable he is), and some are still with us, still ruining lives, still somehow commanding the respect of an American electorate that they couldn't care less about. Clarence Thomas is of course one of these people... still writing his pissy little opinions insisting that affirmative action is the worst thing to ever happen to black people (obviously didn't help him get a job as a Supreme Court justice at the age of 43 with next to no experience practicing law!); still refusing to ask questions during oral arguments or show that he's in any way engaged with the problems of democracy beyond the confines of his insane reactionary mind; still drinking Cokes covered in his own pubic hairs. Another one of these people is Joe Biden. I thought I liked Joe Biden... and then I started reading about him. Joe Biden is not a good man. Joe Biden is obviously very concerned with appearing to be a good man, coming back again and again throughout the Thomas hearings to this idea of "fairness." But what is fair to Joe Biden? Fair is trying to be all things to everybody... Which predictably makes him nothing to nobody. He left Anita Hill to die, and therefore played as big a role in giving Clarence Thomas power as Specter or Danforth or Bush or anyone else. Now why do you suppose Joe Biden would insist so hard on walling off Thomas from questions about his private life? Do you think it might have had something to do with Joe Biden's concerns about his own private life?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Reading this book was like reading an exceedingly good and painstakingly detailed New Yorker article, which makes sense, since Jane Mayer is one of the authors. She's always been among my favorite journalists and this, the first of the books she's authored or co-authored I've read, is more than a worthy example of her immense talent. It is, likewise, and much more importantly, a rigorous telling of the politicking and mendacity that surrounded the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, which ult Reading this book was like reading an exceedingly good and painstakingly detailed New Yorker article, which makes sense, since Jane Mayer is one of the authors. She's always been among my favorite journalists and this, the first of the books she's authored or co-authored I've read, is more than a worthy example of her immense talent. It is, likewise, and much more importantly, a rigorous telling of the politicking and mendacity that surrounded the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, which ultimately forfeited Anita Hill any chance at having her testimony fairly received. And her testimony was damning, certainly damning enough to rightfully call Thomas's character into question and justify his being denied a seat on the highest court in the nation. Another of the guilty, certainly, was Joe Biden, whose continued missteps in the wake of his failure as head of the judiciary committee that questioned Thomas and Hill offer more than enough evidence for why he, too, does not showcase the character necessary to hold an office like President of the United States, no matter how low that bar has been set with its present occupant. People must remember the Anita Hills, just as I hope they don't forget the Blasey Fords. Our system has been corroded by years of assuming the righteousness of an individual based on some superficial characteristic or another and the consequence has been a weakened or out and out flagrantly biased political system. A country that claims to be a democracy cannot long endure while such considerable evidence of these institutional failures persist. Read this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    This read was part of a resolution to get to some very long-neglected books on my TBR: we're talking more than 20 years this one traveled about from home to home, country to country with me. Worth the wait, as it were? Very much so. Extensively reported and intelligently synthesized, and honestly galling. Though I was a 20-something during the Thomas confirmation hearings and followed them somewhat, there is so much more to the effort to place him on the court than I ever knew. Even now, the fact This read was part of a resolution to get to some very long-neglected books on my TBR: we're talking more than 20 years this one traveled about from home to home, country to country with me. Worth the wait, as it were? Very much so. Extensively reported and intelligently synthesized, and honestly galling. Though I was a 20-something during the Thomas confirmation hearings and followed them somewhat, there is so much more to the effort to place him on the court than I ever knew. Even now, the fact that he lied to congress, the FBI, the whole shebang, about his unambiguous harassment of Hill is more or less accorded a shrug. The parallels between how Thomas prevailed over Hill, in effect, and how Trump prevailed over Clinton are pretty astounding. In the epilogue we learn that Thomas vowed to remain on the court for 43 years. So we've got some 13 years left of this vicious, unqualified, hypocritical and intellectually mediocre man's tenure to endure.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dennis McCrea

    Jane Mayer’s book ‘Dark Money’ from January 2016 is what introduced me to Mayer’s excellent research journalism. She is a co-author here and the book precedes ‘Dark Money by 13 years. And the offensive theme of ‘Dark Money’ one sees as well in this book and the question begs, is it little wonder? This book is but a continued reference to what has transpired in this country via the Reagan Revolution, the Religious Right and what has come to pass today with Trumpism. Those that want to idealize Re Jane Mayer’s book ‘Dark Money’ from January 2016 is what introduced me to Mayer’s excellent research journalism. She is a co-author here and the book precedes ‘Dark Money by 13 years. And the offensive theme of ‘Dark Money’ one sees as well in this book and the question begs, is it little wonder? This book is but a continued reference to what has transpired in this country via the Reagan Revolution, the Religious Right and what has come to pass today with Trumpism. Those that want to idealize Reagan and all that era has wrought really don’t know history. If there is one bright spot of the horror of the Thomas-Hill hearings, it is the rise of the strength of women in 1992 and again since 2016 with the 2018 elections. I am to the point in this election cycle leading up to 2020 where nothing but one of the women candidates will suffice for me. After reading this book, Joe Biden is definitely not at the top of my list of candidate hopefuls.

  22. 5 out of 5

    K Kriesel

    I'd been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it during the Kavanaugh hearing, and I put it off because I knew it would be heavy & intense. It's more intense than I imagined. Roughly the first third of the book is a semi-biography of Thomas and Hill, their time working together, and their lives after they went their separate ways. Once Thomas starts heading towards the Supreme Court, the book becomes more horror. I already knew about Hill's allegations, the hearing itself, and I'd been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it during the Kavanaugh hearing, and I put it off because I knew it would be heavy & intense. It's more intense than I imagined. Roughly the first third of the book is a semi-biography of Thomas and Hill, their time working together, and their lives after they went their separate ways. Once Thomas starts heading towards the Supreme Court, the book becomes more horror. I already knew about Hill's allegations, the hearing itself, and the aftermath. The disgusting machinations to get Thomas there were new to me, and it's all slime. I listened to the audiobook, which was well done.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    In some ways, this book was extremely dated - there were some glaring copy errors that made me wince, and I think Mayer and Abramson were unwilling to engage with the racism surrounding Hill and Wright in the same way that they did about Thomas. (Not to mention the subtitle, which is ... quite wincy.) Still. There is so much that we don’t know about the Thomas confirmation hearings and it is so clear that this person does not belong on the Supreme Court - and that Joe Biden’s cowardice may mean t In some ways, this book was extremely dated - there were some glaring copy errors that made me wince, and I think Mayer and Abramson were unwilling to engage with the racism surrounding Hill and Wright in the same way that they did about Thomas. (Not to mention the subtitle, which is ... quite wincy.) Still. There is so much that we don’t know about the Thomas confirmation hearings and it is so clear that this person does not belong on the Supreme Court - and that Joe Biden’s cowardice may mean the overturning of Roe v Wade sooner rather than later.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    This was fascinating and maddening. Shows the behind the scenes machinations of Clarence Thomas’s nomination. Horrifying to see the lengths both political parties went to protect themselves and their power. (“Fake news” is not new.) Biden clearly cared more about his own reputation and political future than a fair process. Reading in 2020 the language was jarring at times, particularly the use of “blacks” as a noun. (For example “Bush was anxious to include blacks in his 1988 campaign...”). Ick.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Renee Taylor

    A well written book that gives you the inside story of what went on to sell the idea of Clarence Thomas taking on the role in the Supreme Court. It was an interesting look at the character of Thomas by looking at his background and the basis of the allegations raised by Anita Hill. It is strange justice when all these details are taken into consideration and the end results as they relate to Thomas.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pie Resting-Place

    There's something cute about this book. While Clarence Thomas was relevant again in the light of Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the supreme court, the real value of this book lies in the snapshot it gives of the state of American politics in the nineties. You can already see the tendencies that would lead the Americans to where they are now, but you can also see that so many norms and democratic institutions were working much better than they have in years. There's something cute about this book. While Clarence Thomas was relevant again in the light of Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the supreme court, the real value of this book lies in the snapshot it gives of the state of American politics in the nineties. You can already see the tendencies that would lead the Americans to where they are now, but you can also see that so many norms and democratic institutions were working much better than they have in years.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I've heard the testimony of Anita Hill referenced so many times in the last year as the "me too" movement has captured society's imagination. I have no memories of her testimony and so found this account fascinating and important to understand. Now I fully understand Rebecca Traister's argument that without Anita Hill, there is no "me too" movement. I've heard the testimony of Anita Hill referenced so many times in the last year as the "me too" movement has captured society's imagination. I have no memories of her testimony and so found this account fascinating and important to understand. Now I fully understand Rebecca Traister's argument that without Anita Hill, there is no "me too" movement.

  28. 5 out of 5

    DJ Cheek

    I was quite young when the Thomas confirmation hearings happened, so I had only a cursory understanding of Anita Hill's story. This is a compelling read on its own, and especially so in light of our current situation. Mayer and Abramson have compiled an exhaustive and damning account of Thomas's misdeeds, and the smearing of Anita Hill. I was quite young when the Thomas confirmation hearings happened, so I had only a cursory understanding of Anita Hill's story. This is a compelling read on its own, and especially so in light of our current situation. Mayer and Abramson have compiled an exhaustive and damning account of Thomas's misdeeds, and the smearing of Anita Hill.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    During the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, I naively could not wrap my mind around the idea that one of these two people--Clarence Thomas or Anita Hill--was telling bald-faced lies under oath and on national television. And yet one of them obviously was. This book, a deep dive of investigative journalism, documents quite clearly who the liar was.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    An important read; especially around the political scheming to secure Thomas' nomination, not to mention shame on Democrats & Joe Biden for allowing Hill's reputation to be trashed. I wanted to hear more about Anita Hill & less about Clarence Thomas. An important read; especially around the political scheming to secure Thomas' nomination, not to mention shame on Democrats & Joe Biden for allowing Hill's reputation to be trashed. I wanted to hear more about Anita Hill & less about Clarence Thomas.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.