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Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation…
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Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made (vuoden 2007 painos)

– tekijä: Jim Newton

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2013105,822 (3.95)11
Earl Warren played a key role in nearly every defining political moment in American history in the latter half of the twentieth century. He began as an aggressive county prosecutor offended by graft and vice, then rose through California politics. As attorney general and governor, he led the country's fastest-growing state during a time of enormous change, his support for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II one of the few blemishes on an otherwise progressive record. From his historic governorship to his pivotal years as Chief Justice to his role as chairman of the commission that investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Warren traversed the Depression and the Cold War, the struggles to defend America against foreign enemies, and the emergence of a muscular commitment to individual liberty.--From publisher description.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Myrriam
Teoksen nimi:Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made
Kirjailijat:Jim Newton
Info:Riverhead Trade (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 624 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Aion lukea
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:History

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Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made (tekijä: Jim Newton)

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näyttää 3/3
5 stars: An exceptionally good book

From the back cover: Drawing on unparalleled access to governmental, academic, and private documents pertaining to Warren’s life, Newton illuminates both the public and private Warren. As attorney general and then governor of California, and as chief justice of the United States from 1953 to 1969, Earl Warren changed the lives of millions of Americans and reshaped the role of the Supreme Court in American life. By overseeing landmark cases that desegregated schools, established a constitutional right to privacy, outlawed prayer in public schools and revolutionalized police procedure, Warren became a target for conservative idealogues. But he also carved a place in history for himself as one of the Supreme Court’s most respected justices. This is a monumental biography of a complicated and principled figure and a seminal work of twentieth century American history.

I don’t have adequate words to express what this book meant to me. A fabulous engaging biography of a man who was difficult to characterize. Perhaps thought of as a liberal, he was in fact a lifelong Republican, or the era (and in fact put on the court by) Eisenhower. He was personally conservative, but felt that society needed to progress. (one notable area that he struggled with this was pornography/ first amendment rights). I felt I could relate to Warren so well; and I found that my reactions to things was very often similar to his.
So many good quotes in this book and things I want to remember:

Once he had gone [to Berkeley from Bakersfield] Warren largely shut the door on his youth. Though he was tragically summoned back to his hometown in 1938 and though he appeared for high school class reunions in 1958 and 1973, life would rarely bring Warren back to Bakersfield. It remained a part of his past, and Warren was not inclined to dwell there. He preferred to move ahead.

Warren would sometimes be confounded by those who enjoyed the clamor of clashing views, of debate as intellectual exercise. His uneasiness with that style of argument would cause some to conclude he was less intelligent than he actually was. They were wrong to underestimate him.
[Gov Warren was the one who signed the orders for Japanese internment in WWII, the one true black mark on his career. The following anecdote in particular moved me]:
For Hideo Murata, the order to report was too much to bear. Murata was the proud recipient [of an award by Monterey County, for his service in WWI] ‘Our flag was assaulted and you gallantly took up its defense’. When the order to evacuate came, Murata presented the certificate to the county sheriff, hoping his military service and honorary citizenship would protect him. He was informed that it was serious and the order applied to him. So Murata paid for a hotel room and checked in. In his room, alone, he held his certificate in one hand. And then he killed himself.

“There is no place today for the so called reactionary, the person who still thinks the government exists only to protect the power of a successful few against the demands of plain people for a greater measure of health, comfort, and security in their daily lives. .. Our people want the opportunity to work, they want decent working conditions, they want their own homes and gardens, they want available education and vocational training for their children…. We must never forget that government is the instrument set up by the people to preserve their security and their freedom and that, therefore, it must never neglect the one nor destroy the other. The primary obligation of government is to develop policies that will advance the welfare of the people as a whole in their efforts to live decently under modern conditions. [speech running for governor, 1942].
[Anecdote about Warren being sick for a few weeks, after which he found sympathy for others who were felled, with little support financially]. “What does a fellow on a fixed income do when he has to go to the hospital? And then he told me what had happenhed to him when he was attorney general and having trouble stretching his salary from payday to payday. His check was late one month and so his health insurance was cancelled. He called the company and got it reinstated but he couldn’t help wondering what an ordinary working man would have done in a case like this.

By June 1947, the sections were struck from the code [allowing segregation in California] upon the signature of California’s Governor, Earl Warren. … Like much of Warren’s building legacy, it was accomplished with little fanfare. By the end of 1947, racial segregation in California schools was illegal; by the end of 1954 it would be for the nation as well. The same man was responsible for both.
“Where there is injustice, we should correct it; where there is poverty, we should eliminate it; where there is corruption, we should stamp it out; where there is violence, we should punish it; where there is neglect we should provide care; where there is war, we should restore peace, and wherever correctons are achieved we should add them to our storehouse of treasures.”

Like other experiences that deeply upset Warren, he responded by minimizing it, in this case pushing it out of his official history altogether. … Earl Warren liked order—depended on it, in fact—and it was [his wife]Nina who brought order to his life.

Reacting to Brown v. Board of Education, Martin Luther King, Jr wrote “came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of human captivity”. The Court’s opinion had effectively written the Declaration of Independence—and its long neglected promise of equality—into the Constitution. With one unanimous opinion, the Warren court was born. Over the next 16 years the nation embarked on what would prove an uneven, controversial, halting and noble drive to imbue the Constitution with the values of the Declaration. The urgent pursuit of American equality, so long promised, so long avoided, was under way. Earl Warren was at its head.

Analyzing the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment, Warren wrote, “The Amendment must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” Rarely has the idea of an evolving Constitution found better expression.

“It is neither sacrilegious nor antireligious to say that each separate government in this country should stay out of the business or writing or sanctioning official prayers and leave that purely religious function to the people themselves and to those the people choose to look to for religious guidance”—Justice Hugo Black

In 1953, segregation was legal and the accepted practice of much of the nation. Exposing Communists for the sake of degradation was a popular pastime, its wreckage strewn across ruined careers and lives. Police routinely violated the Constitution’s orders that they respect the security of home and papers. Five states sent poor defendants to jail without ever giving them the chance to speak with a lawyer. Schools opened their days with prayers and dared children who did not believe to separate themselves from their classmates. By 1963 all this had ended, and without an act of Congress or a presidential decree. It had changed because Warren and his colleagues had determined that a just country required more.

[Regarding the Warren Commission into the JFK assassination] Coincidences may not be satisfying to the conspiratorially minded, but there was no evidence that Ruby’s arrival at the driveway at just that moment was anything but a coincidence.

There was no reasonable evidence in 1964 that anyone helped Oswald carry out those murders or cover them up afterward. There is no such evidence today. For many, Earl Warren’s chairmanship of the Warren Commission would stand as the most momentous act of his large life. And for those inclined to see conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, the Commission’s report has marked Warren as a dupe or even a fraud. Even some of his admiring biographers have tended to view the Warren Commission as an aberration from a grand career, a blemish standing alongside Warren’s advocacy of the Japanese internment. The criticism of Warren for abrogating the rights of those Japanese and Japanese Americans is more than upheld by history. But the attack on his Warren Commission service is manifestly unfair, as time and sober reflection have made clear. The Warren Commission was not perfect, nor was its chairman. But they were right.

“Periods of domestic dissension and of foreign war are especially liable to produce tendancies to disregard established rights in the name of national safety”—(1955)
[After resigning as Chief Justice, Justices Douglas and Brennan went to visit Warren in the hospital. This was during Watergate]. Warren took Douglas by the hand:” If Nixon is not forced to turn over tapes of his conversation with the ring of men who were conversing on their violations of the law, then liberty will soon be dead in this nation. If Nixon gets away with that, then Nixon makes the law as he goes along—not the Congress or the courts. The old Court you and I served so long will not be worthy of its traditions if Nixon can twist and fashion the law as he sees fit.” Brennan assured him that he would not be disappointed in the court. Warren died that night, and less than a month later, Nixon resigned.
Warren’s legacy is a perplexing one. To a polarized society whose leading cultural and political figures seem in constant search of affirmation, Warren offers both sides a little and neither side all it wants. Too straight and too establishment to fit the liberal model, too devoted to an expansive civil libertarianism for conservatives to honor him, Warren falls between our modern cracks. He is a reminder that centrism today is a lonely idea, honored mostly in the breach. ( )
  PokPok | Apr 12, 2014 |
Jim Newton has written an exceptionally readable, fascinating and fair biography of a man who had a significant impact on American life. The narrative is exceptionally strong, taking us from childhood to the end, and never losing the reader's interest for a second. Newton does an exceptional job in terms of balance; he validates Warren's greatest decisions and calls him to task for his mistakes and limitations (such as Warren's support for the Japanese internment and his sexual prudishness). There are several interesting subplots that play out over the years, none more interesting than Warren's ongoing struggle with the phenomenon of Richard Nixon. The discussions of the Supreme Court decisions are fascinating, with just enough attention to the legal details to inform the reader without getting bogged down in legalese. Like Warren, Newton emphasizes the human impact of these decisions and how they have played out in the lives of Americans. Given the strength of his study of Eisenhower's presidency, I will definitely pre-order whatever book Jim Newton decides to write next. He is an author of the highest caliber. ( )
  robertmorrow | Feb 1, 2013 |
4285 Justice for All Earl Warren and the Nation He Made, by Jim Newton (read 15 Mar 2007) This is an extremely satisfying book, a biography of Earl Warren by a Los Angeles Times journalist. I know I read other Warren biographies:
1827 Super Chief: Earl Warren and his Supreme Court A Judicial Biography, by Bernard Schwartz (read 19 Feb 1984)
3114 Chief Justice: A Biography of Earl Warren, by Ed Cray (read 26 Sep 1998)
and liked them but this is better than either of those. Warren was born in Los Angeles on Mar. 19, 1891, and died in Washington, D.C., on 9 July 1974. The book is very sympathetic to him, though decrying his mistakes (the biggest--going along with internment of Japanese-Americans in 1942). Warren's work on Brown v. Board of Education alone makes him the greatest Chief Justice in history. The book does not overly dwell on cases, and is concerned only with the most important. Warren's personal life is covered in good detail, and so are the political years before 1953. This is a really outstanding biography, which should win the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for biography but probably won't. ( )
1 ääni Schmerguls | Oct 28, 2007 |
näyttää 3/3
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (4)

Earl Warren played a key role in nearly every defining political moment in American history in the latter half of the twentieth century. He began as an aggressive county prosecutor offended by graft and vice, then rose through California politics. As attorney general and governor, he led the country's fastest-growing state during a time of enormous change, his support for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II one of the few blemishes on an otherwise progressive record. From his historic governorship to his pivotal years as Chief Justice to his role as chairman of the commission that investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Warren traversed the Depression and the Cold War, the struggles to defend America against foreign enemies, and the emergence of a muscular commitment to individual liberty.--From publisher description.

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