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Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas
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Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published September 18th 1997 by Houghton Mifflin (first published November 3rd 1994)
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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 ...more
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: own, american-history
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.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adults.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
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
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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,
Jerry Peace
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hypopptuniguiler-noun- a hypocritical opportunist full of guile-see- governmental tenure of Clarence Thomas. Sad book about a sad, sad man
Apr 25, 2011 is currently reading it
Confirms my low opinion of Bushes, conservatives, and especially of Thomas.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, chronics
This is a book that shows in detail how a government makes things happen when they want to. Bush's administration wanted to have Clarence Thomas in the Supreme Court, so they started a meticulous campaign to accomplish just that. They sold Thomas as a poor black boy who accomplished the american dream. They were prepared for everything, even the sexual harassment accusations that befell Thomas for the part of Anita Hill who, in the end could not have a fair hearing of her side of the story

This i
Jul 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-my-library
This was an important book for me and would be to others if there were any vehicle to remove Thomas from the Supreme Court. It details, and do I mean details, the confirmation hearings of Thomas. From the introduction to the new edition:

"Probably the most interesting response to our work was inside the United States Senate, where Justice Thomas had been confirmed by only a 52-48 vote margin, the narrowest for any Supreme Court nominee in the nation's history. According to a report that ran on AB
Jul 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was fascinating. A grim reminder of a time when democracy didn't work very well. Liberals shackled by racist guilt and a vague desire to cling to some poorly defined notion of civility, Conservatives hungry for revenge with no regard for collateral damage, and a man on the court who doesn't belong there, no matter what his race. And of course the rather horrifying underlying theme that inappropriate sexual behavior by men in positions of authority is something many, many people don't think ...more
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Clarence Thomas has no business sitting on the Supreme Court. His confirmation was a carefully orchestrated fleecing of the American people by the religious right and Republicans. The way Anita Hill was treated by Republicans - and the way she was left hung out to dry by Democrats - was and is beyond shameful. And Joe Biden did a terrible job as the head of he Senate Judiciary Committee. He either let the Republicans roll right over him or he, too, thought Hill was lying. There was so much evide ...more
Oliver Bateman
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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!
Kay Miller
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: American history fans
Great reporting on how flawed Clarence Thomas is. You will find out exactly what Anita Hill was up against. Thomas should never have been allowed to join our highest court.

There is a U.S. Supreme Court case in my book Jews of the Wild West a Multicultural True Story involving the jicarilla Apaches, my ancestor Robert Nordhaus, U.S. oil companies and Thurgood Marshall.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating look at one of the most politicized judicial appointments in modern history. What the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee did to Anita Hill, and the country, is disgusting. I hope Joe Biden looks back on that time as the low point of his career.

With Trump having at least one, possibly two, appointments to SCOTUS, it is a timely reminder of what the near future may hold.
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
347.73 M A retelling of Clarence Thomas' rise to the Supreme Court. Well researched and detailed.
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pretty interesting for me to revisit this chapter of history at the dawn of my own political awareness.
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What sexual harassment and coke cans are really all about.
Sep 08, 2007 rated it liked it
Its a good behind the scenes look at politics and the justice system.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Riveting and informative. Depressing to learn how Bush administration made Thomas appointment a political campaign. Reinforced my respect for Prof Anita Hill and disrespect for Thomas.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is probably the best non-fiction book I've ever read. Well-researched, well-written, and fascinating. I could not put it down.
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Jane Mayer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three bestselling and critically acclaimed narrative nonfiction books. She co-authored Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984–1988, with Doyle McManus, and Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, with Jill Abramson, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Her book The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the
More about Jane Mayer...