Scorpions by Noah Feldman
The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices

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Synopsis

<!--StartFragment--> <!--StartFragment--> A tiny, ebullient Jew who started as America's leading liberal and ended as its most famous judicial conservative. A Klansman who became an absolutist advocate of free speech and civil rights. A backcountry lawyer who started off trying cases about cows and went on to conduct the most important international trial ever. A self-invented, tall-tale Westerner who narrowly missed the presidency but expanded individual freedom beyond what anyone before had dreamed.

Four more different men could hardly be imagined. Yet they had certain things in common. Each was a self-made man who came from humble beginnings on the edge of poverty. Each had driving ambition and a will to succeed. Each was, in his own way, a genius.

They began as close allies and friends of FDR, but the quest to shape a new Constitution led them to competition and sometimes outright warfare. SCORPIONS tells the story of these four great justices: their relationship with Roosevelt, with each other, and with the turbulent world of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. It also serves as a history of the modern Constitution itself.

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About Noah Feldman

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Noah Feldman is Bemis Professor of International Law at Harvard University and the author of five previous books, most recently Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices. A Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard, Feldman has a bachelor's degree from Harvard, a law degree from Yale, and a doctorate in Islamic thought from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He clerked for Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. In 2003, he served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of an interim constitution. He has been a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and is a columnist for Bloomberg View.
 
Published November 8, 2010 by Twelve. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Scorpions

Kirkus Reviews

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(The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, 2008, etc.) compares the careers and the constitutional visions of four of the most important Supreme Court justices ever.

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The New York Times

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A group portrait of Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, Hugo Black and William O. Douglas.

Nov 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Scorpions: The Battles and Tr...

The New York Times

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A group portrait of Felix Frankfurter, Robert Jackson, Hugo Black and William O. Douglas.

Nov 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Scorpions: The Battles and Tr...

The New York Times

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He studied at Albany Law School but did not graduate — the last justice appointed to the court not to have finished law school.

Nov 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Scorpions: The Battles and Tr...

Publishers Weekly

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As a conservative Supreme Court flexes its muscles against a Democratic president for the first time since the New Deal, a series of recent books has explored the constitutional battles of the Roosevelt era and their contemporary relevance.

Aug 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Scorpions: The Battles and Tr...

The Wall Street Journal

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Mr. Feldman acknowledges these differences—starting with his title (drawn from a Frankfurter law clerk's characterization of the Supreme Court as "nine scorpions in a bottle")—but tries to celebrate all four "great justices" equally, as if their negative estimations of each other were mere person...

Nov 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Scorpions: The Battles and Tr...

Open Letters Monthly

Court watchers can also be reasonably confident that the Court will again find itself under scrutiny when the Defense of Marriage Act, now being argued in Federal Circuit Court, winds its way to the nine Justices.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

House subcommittee to take testimony on Legionnaire's outbreak Leader of group in Westmoreland County torture-slaying case goes on trial Pennsylvania announces new veterans' license plates Monessen woman may have succumbed to CO poisoning ...

Nov 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Scorpions: The Battles and Tr...

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