Extended Audio Sample

Download Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir Audiobook, by John Paul Stevens Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (335 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Paul Stevens Narrator: Gregory Itzin Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781611137132
Regular Price: $19.98 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

When he resigned last June, Justice Stevens was the third longest serving Justice in American history (1975-2010)—only Justice William O. Douglas, whom Stevens succeeded, and Stephen Field have served on the Court for a longer time.

In Five Chiefs, Justice Stevens captures the inner workings of the Supreme Court via his personal experiences with the five Chief Justices—Fred Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren Burger, William Rehnquist, and John Roberts—that he interacted with. He reminisces of being a law clerk during Vinson’s tenure; a practicing lawyer for Warren; a circuit judge and junior justice for Burger; a contemporary colleague of Rehnquist; and a colleague of current Chief Justice John Roberts. Along the way he will discuss his views of some the most significant cases that have been decided by the court from Vinson, who became Chief Justice in 1946 when Truman was president, to Roberts, who became chief justice in 2005.

Packed with interesting anecdotes and stories about the Court, Five Chiefs is an unprecedented and historically significant look at the highest court in the United States.

Download and start listening now!

BK_HACH_000738

Quotes & Awards

  • “An informative and appealing new memoir of life on the Supreme Court…Stevens not only shows extraordinary respect for the Court as an institution, but does the same for his former colleagues—even those with whom he often disagreed…[It’s] classic Justice Stevens: understated and generous to those he differs with, but absolutely clear on where he believes justice lies.”

    Time

  • “A gentle memoir by a decent and accomplished public servant. Stevens opts not for jabs or evening scores but rather for reminiscences…Laced with observations on the court’s architecture, traditions, and even its seating arrangements, it is the collected ruminations of a man who has served his country in war and peace, across the decades…His memoir is as gracious as its author and a reminder that Stevens is more than a longtime member of the nations’ highest court. He is a national treasure.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Coming from the last of a dying breed of jurists who genuinely believe you can learn something from everyone if you just listen hard enough, it is a lesson in how, at the Supreme Court, civility and cordiality matter more, even, than doctrine.”

    Washington Post

  • Five Chiefs is a 248-page bow-tie; like its dignified author, and his famous sartorial flourish, an unpretentious but important addition to American history…At its core, the book is not just another memoir from yet another judge. It marks instead the end of an era on the Supreme Court and in the broader swath of American law and politics…Stevens’ focused eyes gives way to a hundred or so smaller points, some densely legal, some historical, some even funny…Five Chiefs is the right book at the right time.”

    Atlantic

  • “Engaging…The pleasure of Stevens’ writing is the way in which he relates the broader dialogue of the development of law to the individuals who deliberations and discussions have shaped it.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Gregory Itzin captures Stevens’ dignified unassuming manner while matching the book’s tonal shifts…Passionate and candid. Itzin’s rendering of the author’s memories of Thurgood Marshall and his civil rights legacy are particularly poignant…A compelling listen.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 2/20/2014

    " Honestly, I gave up on this one. I couldn't follow it when he jumped around between people and years. Maybe it's just an inability to focus lately.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Dillickrath | 1/24/2014

    " Very honest account of Stevemns' interactions with the Chiefs. As a legal history geek, found it fascinating. Could have been a bit more in depth and appending the text of the Constitution was lame b "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alyssa Crawford | 1/11/2014

    " Interesting history, but the book lacked cohesion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 1/10/2014

    " Interesting but not always compelling. The focus on the cases decided in the terms was an interesting framing device but the information was often too compacted to get a true understanding of the impact of the cases and a read on the Chiefs who presided over them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 1/9/2014

    " Great insight into the mind of Justice Stevens. Also, a good history of the Supreme Court. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rory | 1/5/2014

    " A calm, comfortable, even-handed look at a life spent in law, and experiences on the Supreme Court under five Chief Justices, as well as history of the twelve Chief Justices who came before. It's accessible to those who don't know a great deal about the Supreme Court, and may spark even more interest for those who do. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nelly | 1/2/2014

    " I had pretty high expectations for this book, I liked the concept and I have a lot of respect for JPS. Unfortunately the book felt rushed, directionless, and dry. Some of it was interesting, of course, but I felt as though it was poorly put together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stuart | 12/29/2013

    " A brief, quirky memoir that flows with Justice Steven's warmth. Partly on the inner workings of the court, some on his views on jurisprudence (you certainly learn his thoughts on the 11th amendment!), and a fair bit on his assessments of the chief justices. Not groundbreaking, and no surprises, but still an enjoyable tour of his thoughts on the last fifty years of the Court. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Conchetta | 12/27/2013

    " Easy read except sometimes following his opinions was hard. He dissented from the majority opinion that over turned a judgement that invalidated etc. That was too many negatives for me. I liked the historical view and the look into the workings of the court. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marcelus Cooperino | 12/19/2013

    " 2012. I had high hopes for this book. It is just not as interesting as I hoped it would be. I've always liked the Steven's opinions even when I didn't agree with his ruling. I found myself extremely bored with this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt Pollicove | 12/10/2013

    " A great view into the supreme court! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 11/29/2013

    " Parts of this book were interesting but it wasn't necessarily an easy read. I learned alot though! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 11/10/2013

    " Provided some interesting insights as to how the Supreme Court functions and how some cases were decided, but didn't explain the legal issues as well as I'd hoped. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Larry | 7/29/2013

    " academic and dull, didn't finish "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Klus-Salisbury | 4/11/2013

    " A good, quick read, but it never completely delivered for me. I think I may have been hoping for too much dirt! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heidi Chajka dwyer | 1/12/2013

    " Bore "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jack | 11/3/2012

    " Not necessarily a bad book, but just one I wasn't very interested in. It's full of discussions of constitutional issues in much more detail than I was interested in, and not very much about personalities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Al Menaster | 6/11/2012

    " Terrific book. Easy to read, clear explanation of complex cases; amazingly clear. Lots of insight into Justice Stevens, and a nice history of the court. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 George Irwin | 4/17/2012

    " Interesting - didn't understand 10% of the cases he was talking about or the decisions, but interesting takes on personalities "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Jo | 3/27/2012

    " A look behind the robes. Stevens adds a touch of humanity to the Supreme Court. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Kramer | 3/15/2012

    " The book focuses on the five Chief Justices that Justice Stevens had met, but also provides a short bio on all Chief Justices of the United States. The book gives a nice, behind the scenes look at the Supreme Court. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annette | 1/25/2012

    " Too much of an 8th grade history lesson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 11/18/2011

    " This is a terrific book about Justice Stevens' dealings with Chief Justices. It contains some legal analysis, a good deal of discussion of the daily workings of the Supreme Court, and a little gossip. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 11/7/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, but then I like books like this and Rehnquist's The Supreme Court. I would recommend this to anyone also interested in the topic. It should be noted that Stevens uses a lot of legal language. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nelly | 10/18/2011

    " I had pretty high expectations for this book, I liked the concept and I have a lot of respect for JPS. Unfortunately the book felt rushed, directionless, and dry. Some of it was interesting, of course, but I felt as though it was poorly put together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leonard | 10/17/2011

    " Enjoyable book, although it felt like Stevens wanted to reiterate why he voted as he did on cases he felt were wrongly decided rather than write an objective history. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author John Paul StevensJohn Paul Stevens served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1970-1975. President Ford nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat December 19, 1975. Justice Stevens retired from the Supreme Court on June 29, 2010.
About the Narrator

Gregory Itzin is an American film and television actor. He is best known for his role as President Charles Logan in the series 24, a role for which he was twice nominated for a Primetime Emmy. He has had appearances in a number of television’s most popular shows during the span of his career, including, Matlock, ER, CSI, Friends, The West Wing, and three different Star Trek series. He’s also had roles in numerous films including, Adaptation, The Ides of March, and Lincoln. Most recently he’s had recurring roles in The Mentalist and Covert Affairs.