Available in paperback for the first time since the 1970s, this totally revised and updated classic is the most comprehensive and accessible history of the first 108 members of the U.S. Supreme Court ever written. Henry J. Abraham, one of the nation's preeminent scholars of the judicial branch, addresses the vital questions of why individual justices were nominated to the highest court, how their nominations were received by legislators of the day, whether the appointees ultimately lived up to the expectations of the American public, and the legacy of their jurisprudence on the development of American law and society. Abraham's insights into the history of the Supreme Court are unrivaled by other studies of the subject, and among his numerous observations is that fully one-fifth of its members were viewed as failures by the presidents who appointed them. Enhanced by photographs of every justice from 1789 to 1999, Abraham's eloquent writing and meticulous research guarantee that this book will interest both general readers and scholars.
Written by one of America's greatest Court watchers, this book is a convenient reference and is chock full of useful information about the Court, the justices, and the behind-the-scenes considerations of selecting justices. -- M. M. Feeley, University of California, Berkeley CHOICE His style is easily accessible for students, the reading public, and scholars alike. My strongest regret regarding this work is that I'm not the author, for it promises to enhance interest and understanding in the appointment process and in the Court itself. There is nothing else out there like it, and there doesn't need to be. Abraham's design was solidly conceived from the beginning, was well executed with his easy prose and solid scholarship, and deserves to be read by a new generation. -- George Watson, Arizona State University Law and Politics Book Review This latest edition of a book that first appeared in 1974 has become an indispensable reference for historians of the Court, and retains its character as a lively and useful examination of Supreme Court appointments and the evolution of the appointments process over time. With commendable even-handedness and good humor, Abraham has recounted the stories of the one hundred eight successful nominations to the Court and the many failed nominations (some obscure, some spectacular). H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online Professor Abraham is a writer of superior talent. His narrative is well-paced, cleanly written, and always accessible. Professor Abraham offers a lively history of our national politics, with a focus on the presidency and the Court. The story is colorful and fast-moving in his hands. The author is never reluctant to offer his opinion while serving up his narrative. His comments surely add to the distinctive flavor of the story. The author is remarkably even-handed in his analysis. There is no partisan bias in his wry comments and choice of wording. Professor Abraham has long been the most respected scholar on this topic. This superlative book in its several editions has helped establish and maintain his reputation. It is highly rewarding and enjoyable reading. Appellate Practice Journal Now in a fully revised and updated edition, Henry Abraham's Justices, Presidents, and Senators: A History of the U.S. Supreme Court Appointments from Washington to Clinton continues to be the most comprehensive and accessible popular history of the first 108 members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Reviewer's Bookwatch