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Extended Audio Sample The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, by Jeffrey Toobin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (8,101 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffrey Toobin Narrator: Don Leslie Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin takes you into the chambers of the supreme court and reveals the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land.

Just in time for the 2008 presidential election—where the future of the court will be at stake—Toobin reveals an institution at a moment of transition, when decades of conservative disgust with the court have finally produced a conservative majority, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, presidential power, and church-state relations.

Based on exclusive interviews with the justices themselves, The Nine tells the story of the court through personalities—from Anthony Kennedy’s overwhelming sense of self-importance to Clarence Thomas’s well-tended grievances against his critics to David Souter’s odd nineteenth-century lifestyle. There is also, for the first time, the full behind-the-scenes story of Bush v. Gore–and Sandra Day O’Connor’s fateful breach with George W. Bush, the president she helped place in office.

The Nine is the book Toobin was born to write. He is a bestselling author, a CNN senior legal analyst, and New Yorker staff writer. No one is more superbly qualified to profile the nine justices.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Compelling. . . . Driven by the author's assured narrative voice, The Nine is as informative as it is fascinating, as insightful as it is readable. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times“Smart and entertaining. . . . The Nine is engaging, erudite, candid, and accessible, often hard to put down. Toobin is a natural storyteller, and the stories he tells are gripping.
  • The Nine is engaging, erudite, candid, and accessible, often hard to put down. Toobin is a natural storyteller, and the stories he tells…are gripping.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Intelligent and even-handed…Toobin’s access to the Supremes and their secret little world is phenomenal.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • The Nine is the latest, and by far the best [book]…about the Supreme Court.”


  • “Toobin’s sparkling new work is anecdotally rich and clearly written…A testimony to [his] skill.”

    USA Today

  • “[An] absorbing group profile…[Toobin] deftly distills the issues and enlivens his narrative of the Court’s internal wranglings with sharp thumbnail sketches.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A compelling look at the power and the politics behind the Supreme Court.”


  • “This is a remarkable, riveting book. So great are Toobin’s narrative skills that both the justices and their inner world are brought vividly to life.”

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor RooseveltL The Home Front in World War II

  • “A major achievement, lucid and probing.”

    Bob Woodward, New York Times bestselling author of The Price of Politics

  • A 2007 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2007 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • One of the 2007 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by LeeLee | 2/11/2014

    " hmph. sober up, learn you're ABC's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bruce | 2/6/2014

    " "The Nine" is the last of three books I've read recently about the Supreme Court ("The Brethren" and "A Court Divided" were the others). It was a tough slog sometimes, but it provided a fairly comprehensive understanding of the works of our highest court over the past forty years, effectively my entire adult life. Or, measured from the end of the Warren Court to the ascendancy of the Roberts Court, moving inexorablely rightward all the while until finally flopping entirely over the line into rank partisanship. Clearly, Gore v Bush was a landmark between the court's reputation for (mostly) principled interpretation of the constitution to one of party line hackery. Remember the film "Judgement at Nuremberg"? It might pay to be reminded that it was the judges who were being tried for war crimes in that movie, for abetting the Third Reich by rubber stamping its 'laws'. When faith in the justice system is totally gone, so is the last remnant of anything that even resembles 'democracy'. And I'm not sure that wasn't the goal of the so-called 'Federalists' all along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cheryl | 2/3/2014

    " I was so surprised at how much I liked this book! Thanks Merilyn! I could not put it down, it was really fascinating. It was written like a John Grisham thriller in a way, compulsively readable, but there was more depth and information. I think I have never paid much attention to the Supreme Court because the whole process is incredibly slow, with a capital S, and a lot of their legalese is over my head. The author translated it all and gave such insight into different cases and battles that has defined the Court in my generation. I wish there could be such a thing as a neutral non partisan judge. Isn't that the idea, that a judge weighs the arguments and evidence without passion or prejudice and makes a decision impartially without giving any weight to their own religious beliefs or political beliefs? Some of the justices did seem to lean more towards the left with time, thankfully, since there was a potential conservative majority in the past that could have done intense damage. Their opinions sometimes would change, making them the swing vote, and they could go either way. Look at Roe v. Wade. If you have no religious belief about it, and no political hardline about it, and just look at it on its legality, it is clear that there is no reason to try to overturn it. All of the arguments against abortion is that it is "murder" as defined by the religious, but if you take religion out of the equation, as necessary in a democratic separation of church and state country, then what is the argument? As President Obama says, "Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all . . . Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what's possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It's the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God's edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one's life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing." Barack Obama So if any of the other justices retire soon, Obama can appoint their successors, please, please! I really recommend this book to everyone, it is fascinating and important to read... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Liz | 2/1/2014

    " Excellent book about the nine Supreme Court justices who served together for the longest time in the Court's history (Rehnquist, Stevens, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Souter, O'Connor). This book almost reads like a novel. It has a really wonderful amount of detail about the justices themselves. Toobin also discusses the major cases from the recent history of the Court, including Roe, Casey, Bush v. Gore. A fascinating read. "

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