The New York Times Book Review
Sexual Mccarthyism: Clinton, Starr, And The Emerging Constitutional Crisisby Alan M. Dershowitz, Allen Dershowitz
The greatest threat to the future of the office of the American Presidency may turn on whether William Jefferson Clinton told a lie, under oath, and then triedunsuccessfullyto keep secret his sexual relationship with a twenty-two-year-old White House intern. The media's feeding frenzy and the public's voyeuristic prurience have been fueled by
The greatest threat to the future of the office of the American Presidency may turn on whether William Jefferson Clinton told a lie, under oath, and then triedunsuccessfullyto keep secret his sexual relationship with a twenty-two-year-old White House intern. The media's feeding frenzy and the public's voyeuristic prurience have been fueled by almost daily disclosures, making The Starr Report itself an instant #1 national bestseller. Yet all of this obscures the very real matters of state that lie at the heart of the Starr investigation.In Sexual McCarthyism, bestselling author Alan M. Dershowitz addresses the key issues at stakeissues that transcend the titillating daily headlinesand what their long-term effects may be. Among the many important questions Dershowitz raises and then answers are these:Why the President's private life actually is the business of the American people.Why the independent counsel law is a necessary evil, but why the appointment of Kenneth Starr was improper.Why the Supreme Court was right in requiring the President to submit to the Paula Jones lawsuit.Why Kenneth Starr's leaking of testimony and evidence are at least as serious obstructions of justice as anything alleged against the President.What the lasting constitutional, historical, and political legacies of this case are likely to be.Long after the buzz and sizzle of “Monicagate” have subsided, readers will still be looking to Sexual McCarthyism as a substantive, clear, and definitive analysis of the underlying importance of one of the most serious, yet entirely avoidable, crises in modern American Presidential politics.
The New York Times Book Review
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Meet the Author
Alan Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Known as a defense lawyer, he is also a litigator, columnist, lecturer, book reviewer, and prolific author. His recent books include Sexual McCarthyism, on the Starr investigation, and Reasonable Doubts, on the O. J. Simpson case. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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As usual, the author strikes a great commercial and intellectual balance in crafting a book that is pleasing to read and yet intellectually stimulating, a rare combination, indeed. This book is, quite frankly, a surprise. At first, I thought that the author had an obvious agenda. The author, a proud liberal and registered Democrat, obviously has personal views and political 'bagge.' Yet, in this book, he courageously manages to bash 'feminists' who stood silently during the Paula Jones and Lewinsky issues and he even sides with the American Civil Liberties Union in believing that the President's civil trial should have occurred (as it did, of course) during his Presidency. He bashes the President's often shaky civil liberties record. Good for him. Yet, he also exposes the hypocriscy of the Republicans and conservative movement in general in regard to the Clinton scandal, all while noticing the moral issues involved therein - once again, a rare and yet key balance. I, like the writer, am a strong Democrat. And I, like the writer, try to be as unbiased as possible. Nice to see this book.