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American Book 431482 Five Chiefs

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A memoir about the inner workings of the Supreme Court during the tenure of Justice John Paul Stevens

About the Author

John Paul Stevens served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1970-1975. President Ford nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and he took his seat December 19, 1975. Justice Stevens retired from the Supreme Court on June 29, 2010.


"There have been many Supreme Court memoirs, but I can safely say his is the most self-effacing. The title itself is other-directed...And it seems to pain the old-school, bow-tied Stevens that, in order to understand his connection to the chiefs 'some autobiographical comments must be tolerated.' ... Stevens can also be winningly wry." "The Boston Globe""

Combining his experiences as a law clerk and prominent litigator with decades of service on the bench, retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens provides in-depth examinations of the five most recent chief justices and offers histories of the careers and legacies of the previous 12 men and women to hold that office. In this audio edition, Gregory Itzin captures Stevens's dignified, unassuming manner while matching the book's tonal shifts; earlier passages are rather academic and professorial while sections in which Stevens recounts the polarization of the court-particularly in regard to hot-button cases such as the disputed 2000 presidential election, gun control, and campaign-finance reform-are considerably more passionate and candid. Itzin's rendering of the author's memories of Thurgood Marshall and his civil rights legacy are particularly poignant. And while some listeners may be confused by the book's legal and technical language, those with a grounding in legal history will find this a compelling listen. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Woodrell's (Winter's Bone) hillbilly noir tale unfolds through Doyle Redmond, a crime writer of little (actually no) acclaim, who chucks his phony intellectual life at a California university when he discovers his wife openly cheating on him for the sole purpose of possibly getting her poetry published. Tossing a few measly possessions into a pillowcase, Doyle takes his wife's Volvo and drives that yuppie-mobile all the way home to the Ozark hills, where he is immediately welcomed with the loan of a .32 caliber "lady stinger" by his dad, General Joe, and cut in on a potentially profitable dope deal by his older brother, Smoke. Woodrell's novels are character-driven carnivals in which plots are incidental although always a wild ride. VERDICT The dialog here is solid and the players unforgettable. Narrator Brian Troxell's accented presentation brings out both the humor and the sometimes deadly seriousness of each episode. The story also has as close to a happy ending as Woodrell musters. Both raunchy and dangerous, this will have listeners demanding a sequel.-Mike Rogers, Babylon, NY (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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