Tuesday, October 2
“..the book is a page-turner…More than three decades after Bob Woodward wrote The Brethren, Toobin is Woodward’s successor as the chronicler of behind-the-scenes details from the Supreme Court. – The Washington Post
The bestselling, prizewinning author of The Nine, Jeffrey Toobin will take the stage on Thursday, October 25, 2012 to will discuss his latest work The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court. Following his presentation, he will be interviewed by Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth,” which will air the segment to NHPR listeners. The book is a gripping account of the momentous ideological battle between the conservative majority on the Supreme Court and the Obama Administration – and the one case in which, improbably, the chief justice joined forces with the president.
“We are thrilled to talk with Jeffrey Toobin, who has been a ‘must-follow’ source for journalists and news junkies for more than a decade. From his breaking story in The New Yorker on the OJ Simpson defense strategy back in 1994, to his unvarnished portraits of what goes on in the chambers of the Supreme Court Justices, Toobin has provided abundant insights into how justice, and justices, get made. He has a clear and compelling ‘take’ on complicated legal fights. Don’t miss this rare chance to meet a man who knows how to tell a gripping story about the pols and powerbrokers we may think we know,” said Virginia Prescott, who will take the stage to interview Toobin. Revelations in The Oath include:
- The full story of why the oath was botched on January 20, 2009 – and the first public disclosure of the key document Barack Obama never saw before inauguration day.
- The behind-the-scenes drama that produced the epic health-care decision – and the single email that kept Elena Kagan in the case to vote.
- Sandra Day O’Connor’s uncensored view of the modern Republican party
- The internal rebellion among the justices that led to the Citizens United decision which transformed American political campaigns.
- The single souvenir that David Souter took with him following his service as a justice.
ABOUT THE BOOK
From the moment John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the United States, fumbled the oath of office at Barack Obama’s inauguration, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the White House has been tense and confrontational. The president and the chief justice are both young, brilliant, charismatic, charming, determined to change the course of the nation - and completely at odds on almost every major constitutional issue. And now they are linked in history because of Roberts’s stunning vote to uphold Obama’s health care plan.
Obama and Roberts have a great deal in common. Each man possesses a powerful intellect and considerable charm. Both are products of Chicago and its environs, and both are graduates of Harvard Law School. Both even served on the Harvard Law Review, the student-run scholarly magazine. Both are married (with no previous marriage) and have young children. But the differences between Obama and Roberts are far more significant than the similarities, and the greatest difference between the two concerns the work of the Supreme Court.
Both men have given considerable thought to the Constitution, and they have reached different conclusions about its current trajectory: One belies in change; the other in stability. One looks forward; the other harkens back. One is, in a real sense, a visionary; the other is, when it comes to the law, a conservative. And in this crucial realm, the roles of the two men are the opposite of what most people believe. It is John Roberts who is determined to use his position as chief justice as an apostle of change. He is ushering in a new understanding of the Constitution, with dramatic implications for both the law and the larger society. It is Obama who is determined to hold on to an older version of the meaning of the Constitution. The surprise is that Obama is the conservative - a believer in incremental change, compromise and pragmatism over ideology. Roberts - and his allies on the Court - seek to overturn decades of precedent. They are both honorable and intelligent men, but they see the Constitution in different ways….
With his signature blend of insider reporting and lucid, entertaining analyses of the legal issues at stake, Toobin brings this relationship to urgent, vivid life. Drawn with indelible portraits of the egos, quirks, and politicking among the justices, The Oath also presents a president slow to realize the greatest threat to his agenda came not from the obstructionist Republican Congress but from the 5-4 majority Roberts led on the Court.
The battle between the two branches of government has often been bitter, and public. In his 2010 State of the Union address, in an unusual breach of protocol, Obama criticized the controversial ruling in the Citizens United case, which removed decades-old restrictions on political spending by corporations freeing them to flood the airwaves with anti-Obama advertising. As Obama spoke, Bush appointee Justice Samuel Alito muttered, “Not true.”
With an election on the horizon – and the possibility that the conservatives may lose their 5-4 majority – the Roberts Court has accepted cases on many issues dear to the heart of the conservative movement. Never in such a short period have so many issues fundamental to the social landscape of the country – women’s rights, the right to sue, gun rights, freedom of speech, the death penalty, the barrier between church and state, and, above all, Obama’s signature health care reform – come before the Court.
No one is better positioned or more qualified to chronicle this dramatic tale than Jeffrey Toobin, whose landmark bestseller The Nine laid bare the inner workings of the Court in riveting detail. In The Oath, Toobin brilliantly portrays the two dominant personalities in the nation engaged in political warfare with the highest imaginable stakes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffrey Toobin is a staff writer at The New Yorker, senior legal analyst at CNN, and the bestselling author of The Nine, Too Close to Call, A Vast Conspiracy, and The Run of His Life.
Book Clubs and High School Guests of The Music Hall
Tickets and Signed Books
Tickets to Writers on a New England Stage: Jeffrey Toobin are $13 ($11 for members of The Music Hall and NH Public Radio). Tickets can be purchased online at The Music Hall box office in the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth or over the phone at 603-436-2400.
About Writers on a New England Stage
Writers on a New England Stage was created by executive producer Patricia Lynch, also executive director of The Music Hall, and is presented with New Hampshire Public Radio in collaboration with Yankee magazine. The series’ companion bookstore is RiverRun, in Portsmouth, NH. Since 2005, the series has spotlighted a broad range of celebrated authors including Mitch Albom, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Dan Brown, Isabel Allende, Stephen King, Ann Patchett, E.L. Doctorow, Madeleine Albright, the late John Updike, Wally Lamb, Jodi Picoult, David McCullough, and Cokie Roberts, among many others. Each author’s presentation is followed by an interview with Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.” Live music is performed by the award-winning house band Dreadnaught. The live shows are rebroadcast on New Hampshire Public Radio.
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