Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas

Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas

by Ken Foskett


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Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas by Ken Foskett

Clarence Thomas, the youngest and most controversial member of the Supreme Court, could become the longest-serving justice in history, influencing American law for decades to come. Who is this enigmatic man?
And what does he believe in?

Judging Thomas tells the remarkable story of Clarence Thomas's improbable journey from hardscrabble beginnings in the segregated South to the loftiest court in the land. Driven by his grandfather's relentless demand that he counter racial injustice with hard work and accomplishment, Thomas has waged an often lonely fifty-year campaign to forge his own American identity against others' expectations of who he should be.

With objectivity and balance, author Ken Foskett chronicles Thomas's contempt for upper-crust blacks who snubbed his uneducated, working-class roots; his flirtation with the priesthood and later Black Power; the resentment that fueled his opposition to affirmative action; the conservative beliefs that ultimately led him to the Supreme Court steps; and the inner resilience that propelled him through the doors.

Based on interviews with Thomas himself, fellow justices, family members, and hundreds of friends and associates, Judging Thomas skillfully unravels perhaps the most complex, controversial,and powerful public figure in America today. Foskett reveals that beneath the silent, often brooding exterior is a man of depth, empathy, and wit, but one still deeply scarred by his humiliating Supreme Court confirmation.

Judging Thomas is a seminal biography of the youngest and most recognizable justice, and the man who may succeed William H. Rehnquist to become the nation's first black chief justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060527211
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/03/2004
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 9.82(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Ken Foskett, an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, covered legal affairs and state politics before serving as the newspaper's Washington correspondent from 1996 to 2001. Prior to joining the Journal-Constitution in 1989, Foskett worked for three years in southern Africa for Save the Children. A graduate of Yale and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, he is married and lives with his wife and son in Georgia.

For his biography of Justice Thomas, Foskett interviewed more than 300 people from every phase of Thomas’ life. Justice Thomas sat for interviews and is quoted in the book, along with Justice Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, two of his closest colleagues. Foskett interviewed Thomas’ family members, schoolmates, college classmates and numerous officials from the Reagan and Bush administrations. “Part of the reason I wanted to write about Justice Thomas is that most people with first hand knowledge of his life were around to talk about him,” says Foskett. “They provided details, nuance and texture that isn’t always available to biographers relying on letters, personal papers or secondary sources.”

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