Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made

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Overview

In Justice for All, Jim Newton, an award-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times, brings readers the first truly comprehensive consideration of Earl Warren, the politician-turned-Chief Justice who refashioned the place of the court in American life through landmark Supreme Court cases whose names have entered the common parlance — Brown v. Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut, Miranda v. Arizona, to name just a few. Drawing on unmatched access to government, academic, and private documents pertaining ...

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Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made

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Overview

In Justice for All, Jim Newton, an award-winning journalist for the Los Angeles Times, brings readers the first truly comprehensive consideration of Earl Warren, the politician-turned-Chief Justice who refashioned the place of the court in American life through landmark Supreme Court cases whose names have entered the common parlance — Brown v. Board of Education, Griswold v. Connecticut, Miranda v. Arizona, to name just a few. Drawing on unmatched access to government, academic, and private documents pertaining to Warren's life and career, Newton explores a fascinating angle of U.S. Supreme Court history while illuminating both the public and the private Warren. One of the most acclaimed and best political biographies of its time, Justice for All is a monumental work dedicated to a complicated and principled figure that will become a seminal work of twentieth-century U.S. history.

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Editorial Reviews

Jeffrey Rosen
In his excellent new biography, Jim Newton, a reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times, argues that Warren was indeed among the greatest chiefs in history precisely because there was little divergence between his politics and his jurisprudence. As the Republican governor of California from 1943 to 1953, he had been a centrist progressive who devoted himself to building consensus among ideological opponents; on the court, he did much the same thing. Although not all readers will share Newton's admiration for Warren's jurisprudence, Justice for All argues convincingly that the most effective chiefs are the most politically savvy—and are more concerned about unanimity and consensus than about ideological purity.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Los Angeles Times editor and reporter Newton delivers the definitive biography of Earl Warren (1891-1974) for this generation. Newton's masterful narrative synthesizes Warren in all his contradictory guises: the dynamic and outsized California prosecutor and attorney general whose own father's mysterious murder perhaps derived from that ambitious career; the man of great liberal instinct who (as a three-term Republican governor of California) insisted on the internment of Japanese-Americans following Pearl Harbor; and the hard-driving Supreme Court chief justice (1953-1969) who'd never sat on a bench anywhere, but nevertheless shepherded such historic decisions as that in Brown v. Board of Education. It was also under Warren that the Court articulated the constitutional right to privacy, abolished prayer in public schools, clarified and guaranteed voting rights for minorities and created a right to counsel in state criminal trials. As well, Warren served as head of the commission bearing his name and charged with examining the Kennedy assassination an exercise Newton reveals as to have been part investigation, part experiment in public relations and damage control. In the course of his research, Newton has garnered extensive interviews with Warren's surviving colleagues and children, and uncovered significant new archival sources, all of which he marshals to great effect. For the first time, Newton portrays an intricately complex Warren who though liberal in his interpretations of the Constitution and progressive in his agenda for America remained far from radical in other respects. Using testimony of insiders who knew the man well, Newton brilliantly depicts the many-sided Warren as ferociously ambitious, smartly calculating in advancing his career, prickly and contrary when challenged and eminently attracted to both wealth and power. As Newton shows, the ardent judicial defender of the dispossessed summered at California's Bohemian Grove and made a point of dying a rich man. Warren, writes Newton, "was no Eldridge Cleaver," despite rhetoric by contemporary conservatives who routinely invoke him as the poster boy for "bad behavior" in the form of liberal judicial activism. (Oct. 5) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Newton (city-county bureau chief, Los Angeles Times) offers a wide-ranging study of Earl Warren's life, both political and personal. He presents Warren, whose tenure as chief justice of the Supreme Court spanned 1953 to 1969, as someone of personal moderation and ideological centrism and offers a balanced view of the complexity of Warren's legal career. Warren moved from local district attorney to attorney general and then governor of California to serving as Thomas Dewey's running mate on the 1948 presidential ticket to his time as chief justice, the latter being the focus of about half of the book. President Eisenhower made Warren chief justice, anticipating an appointment in line with his own Republican views, but Warren took the Court in unanticipated directions: Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and Mapp v. Ohio (1960), which outlawed school segregation and expanded the protection of individual rights, respectively. Newton is appropriately thorough in analyzing Warren's rhetoric and political decisions, including his support for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and his chairmanship of the commission charged with investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. The clear and concise writing results in a thorough and thoughtful view of Warren and his place in American legal and political history. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594482700
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 402,833
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Newton has written hundreds of newspaper and magazine stories and is the recipient of numerous awards. He shared in the Pulitzer prizes awarded to the Los Angeles Times for coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

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Table of Contents


Prologue: First Vacancy     1
Made by California
Young Man of California     15
Away from Home     35
Prosecutor, Father     45
Politician     69
Murder     89
Progressive     98
Duel for Power     110
"The Best People of California"     121
In Command
Victory     145
Assumption of Power     166
California's Fair Deal Governor     185
In Command     198
Loyalty     217
"Traitor in Our Delegation"     239
American Justice
The Chief and His Court     261
Smear     279
All Men Are Created Equal     292
Justice     309
Resistance     326
"Dumb Swede"     345
Kennedy, King, and a New Era     382
The Longest Year     409
An Enforced Code of Decency     451
The End     491
Epilogue     516
Acknowledgments     521
Notes     526
Bibliography     582
Index     597
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2007

    Law cannot be divorced from life

    Mr. Newton's book is of course a detailed history of Chief Justice Warren's ascent to the High Court, and the CJ's influence on American legal history. I thoroughly enjoyed the fruit of Mr. Newton's labors. A main theme: a Justice's jurisprudence cannot be divorced from life experience.

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