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Justice for All: Earl Warren & the Nation He Made


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Just published:

Justice for All: Earl Warren & the Nation He Made

http://www.amazon.com/Justice-All-Earl-War...n/dp/1594489289

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Los Angeles Times editor and reporter Newton delivers the definitive biography of Earl Warren (1891–1974) for this generation. Newton's masterful narrative synthesizes Warren in all his contradictory guises: the dynamic and outsized California prosecutor and attorney general whose own father's mysterious murder perhaps derived from that ambitious career; the man of great liberal instinct who (as a three-term Republican governor of California) insisted on the internment of Japanese-Americans following Pearl Harbor; and the hard-driving Supreme Court chief justice (1953–1969) who'd never sat on a bench anywhere, but nevertheless shepherded such historic decisions as that in Brown v. Board of Education. It was also under Warren that the Court articulated the constitutional right to privacy, abolished prayer in public schools, clarified and guaranteed voting rights for minorities and created a right to counsel in state criminal trials. As well, Warren served as head of the commission bearing his name and charged with examining the Kennedy assassination—an exercise Newton reveals as to have been part investigation, part experiment in public relations and damage control. In the course of his research, Newton has garnered extensive interviews with Warren's surviving colleagues and children, and uncovered significant new archival sources, all of which he marshals to great effect. For the first time, Newton portrays an intricately complex Warren who—though liberal in his interpretations of the Constitution and progressive in his agenda for America—remained far from radical in other respects. Using testimony of insiders who knew the man well, Newton brilliantly depicts the many-sided Warren as ferociously ambitious, smartly calculating in advancing his career, prickly and contrary when challenged and eminently attracted to both wealth and power. As Newton shows, the ardent judicial defender of the dispossessed summered at California's Bohemian Grove and made a point of dying a rich man. Warren, writes Newton, "was no Eldridge Cleaver," despite rhetoric by contemporary conservatives who routinely invoke him as the poster boy for "bad behavior" in the form of liberal judicial activism.

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Just published:

Justice for All: Earl Warren & the Nation He Made

http://www.amazon.com/Justice-All-Earl-War...n/dp/1594489289

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Los Angeles Times editor and reporter Newton delivers the definitive biography of Earl Warren (1891–1974) for this generation. Newton's masterful narrative synthesizes Warren in all his contradictory guises: the dynamic and outsized California prosecutor and attorney general whose own father's mysterious murder perhaps derived from that ambitious career; the man of great liberal instinct who (as a three-term Republican governor of California) insisted on the internment of Japanese-Americans following Pearl Harbor; and the hard-driving Supreme Court chief justice (1953–1969) who'd never sat on a bench anywhere, but nevertheless shepherded such historic decisions as that in Brown v. Board of Education. It was also under Warren that the Court articulated the constitutional right to privacy, abolished prayer in public schools, clarified and guaranteed voting rights for minorities and created a right to counsel in state criminal trials. As well, Warren served as head of the commission bearing his name and charged with examining the Kennedy assassination—an exercise Newton reveals as to have been part investigation, part experiment in public relations and damage control. In the course of his research, Newton has garnered extensive interviews with Warren's surviving colleagues and children, and uncovered significant new archival sources, all of which he marshals to great effect. For the first time, Newton portrays an intricately complex Warren who—though liberal in his interpretations of the Constitution and progressive in his agenda for America—remained far from radical in other respects. Using testimony of insiders who knew the man well, Newton brilliantly depicts the many-sided Warren as ferociously ambitious, smartly calculating in advancing his career, prickly and contrary when challenged and eminently attracted to both wealth and power. As Newton shows, the ardent judicial defender of the dispossessed summered at California's Bohemian Grove and made a point of dying a rich man. Warren, writes Newton, "was no Eldridge Cleaver," despite rhetoric by contemporary conservatives who routinely invoke him as the poster boy for "bad behavior" in the form of liberal judicial activism.

Michael,

Sounds like an interesting read.

Warren's an interesting historical character. One striking feature of his role in the JFK saga is the animosity some harbored towards him. When recieving the LBJ 'treatment', Senator Russell said something along the lines of 'I have no faith in Earl Warren and I won't sit on a commitee chaired by him'. Of course, Russell, like Warren, really had no choice at all.

For my part, Warren was a minor villain in a story of major villainy. He knew he was part of a coverup but was performing under the closest scrutiny. He didn't want the job and he knew it would permanently tarnish his contribution to and place in US legal history. When Lyin' Lyndon urged him to consider that 'the fate of the world is in your hands', I bet he felt like saying 'Don't talk xxxx, Mr, President'.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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From The Memoirs of Earl Warren, p. 367:

“Practically all the cabinet members of President Kennedy’s administration, along with Director J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI and Chief James Rowley of the Secret Service, whose duty it was to protect the life of the President, testified that to their knowledge there was no sign of any conspiracy. To say now that these people, as well as the Commission, suppressed, neglected to unearth, or overlooked evidence of a conspiracy would be an indictment of the entire government of the United States. It would mean the whole structure was absolutely corrupt from top to bottom, with not one person of high or low rank willing to come forward to expose the villany.”

Angry indignant defense, or masked mea culpa and indictment of the government?

Rex

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