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Clarence Thomas: A Biography [Hardcover]

By Andrew Peyton Thomas (Author)
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Item description for Clarence Thomas: A Biography by Andrew Peyton Thomas...

In this unauthorized biography, the author explores the remarkable rise of the Supreme Court Justice from a childhood of poverty in segregated Georgia to the nation's highest court.

Publishers Description
In this unauthorised biography, the most authoritative ever written about the controversial Supreme Court Justice, Andrew Peyton Thomas (no relation) explores Clarence Thomas' remarkable rise from a childhood of poverty in segregated Georgia to the nation's highest court. In his attempt to understand what drives the elusive and sometimes enigmatic Justice, the author located and conducted the first-ever interview with Clarence Thomas' father, as well as interviews with his mother, sister, and other relatives and friends. He follows Thomas up from Jim Crow and traces the important decisions of his youth -- why he chose not to become a Catholic priest, why he engaged in radical protests as a college student. We see Clarence Thomas in the full as a young lawyer in Missouri and then as a rising star in Washington. This book peels away all the cliches about its subject in giving us a vivid and balanced account of a remarkable American life.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Clarence Thomas: A Biography by Andrew Peyton Thomas has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Reference and Research Bk News - 02/01/2002 page 159
  • Kirkus Reviews - 08/15/2001 page 1200
  • Publishers Weekly - 09/03/2001 page 73
  • Booklist - 10/15/2001 page 362

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Encounter Books
Pages   661
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.34" Width: 6.28" Height: 2.19"
Weight:   2.58 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 25, 2001
Publisher   Encounter Books
Edition  New  
ISBN  1893554368  
ISBN13  9781893554368  

Availability  0 units.

More About Andrew Peyton Thomas

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Thomas graduated from Harvard Law School. He is the district attorney of Maricopa County in Arizona. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Andrew Peyton Thomas currently resides in Phoenix, in the state of Arizona.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > African-American & Black
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > General
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Political
5Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Biographies
6Books > Subjects > Law > General
7Books > Subjects > Law > Procedures & Litigation > Civil Procedure
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > African American Studies

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Reviews - What do customers think about Clarence Thomas: A Biography?

The Man, Not Just the Controversy  Apr 24, 2007
Finding a good biography is hard to begin with. This is even more true if the subject is the human lightning rod of Clarence Thomas, quite possibly the most polarizing figure out there. Indeed, Thomas Sowell once wrote something to the effect that one can tell a white liberal's level of commitment to his beliefs by how much he despises the man. I am therefore happy to say that CLARENCE THOMAS: A BIOGRAPHY is a true joy to read.

A major reason for this book being so good is because the author Andrew Peyton Thomas (no relation to the Justice) is so balanced. Other writers would either disparage Justice Thomas or act as little more than a literary cheerleader for the man based on ideological disposition. While the author A.P. Thomas obviously is an admirer of Justice Thomas, he nonetheless portrays the Justice warts and all. In fact, one of my friends, a white liberal who cannot discuss anything related to race without wallowing in white guilt and who simply cannot grasp the fact that blacks are responsible for their own lives, upon hearing that I was reading this book, asked me, his voice dripping with condescension and even hostility, whether the author goes over Justice Thomas having benefitted from affirmative action only to try to end such policies now. I was able to respond that, yes, indeed the author does cover this. In fact, quite extensively, while placing Justice Thomas' change of direction in the proper context and discussing the man's turmoil that others would focus on him rather than on the issues themselves (if my friend caught the irony, he did not let on).

CLARENCE THOMAS covers the Justices' early life extensively. I was initially hesitant that so many pages were devoted to what I considered to be basically an introduction. I was wrong. Thomas' early life and the influences upon him by his relatives, nuns and others with whom he came into contact is absolutely captivating.

As the book enters Thomas' adult years, the book loses none of its steam. Again, it is not just the facts of Thomas' life that are so captivating (though that is true), but that the author presents a vivid portrait of a man determined to stay true to himself in a context in which others want to use him for their own purposes and in the face of often seemingly insurmountable odds. We also get a focused picture of really just what kind of man Thomas is, as we read about his determination in the face of frustration after frustration. The author is not so much a fan of the Justice as to fail to acknowledge that Clarence Thomas, like many of us, has not always been able to live up to his ideals and that in some circumstances, subtle truths gave way to expediency.

The reader also understands how Thomas was able to rise so high so fast. This is a man, after all, who came to the helm of the EEOC when it was the worst run administrative agency of the federal government only to turn it into the crown jewel by the time he left, all the while laughing, having a good time and without the heads-will-roll attitude others would have brought to the task. And while others voiced the opinion that the cloistered life of a federal judge would not suit Thomas' personality, Thomas proved them wrong as well.

But again, CLARENCE THOMAS is not just a brightly colored paint job. The author also writes powerfully not only of Thomas' rough spots, but of the effect these had on the man and his approach to others. Justice Thomas was, not surprisingly, deeply seared by the attacks upon him during his confirmation hearing and with the insight that others would destroy every scrap of his good name simply for ideological purposes. Given the controversy surrounding the man, this book is probably the best source a reader could ask for to gain a good insight into Clarence Thomas, one of the more interesting figures to grace the American public stage.
The liberal that liked it!  Jul 21, 2005
Okay, there are several books on Thomas out there. This is my first. That said, the author is a gifted writer. This book is as accessible as a novel. Really. Non-lawyers don't have to beware.

Liberals need not beware, either. Is the author sympathetic toward his subject? Well, I suppose so. This book is MOSTLY free of editorializing, though. Mostly, the author just relates what happened in a pretty impartial manner. Most of the editorializing is done when the author is criticizing his subject.

The author recognizes that his subject has a strain of bathos, self-pity and exagerration. He includes several anectodes that portray Thomas as socially awkward, constantly seeking love and approval from EVERYONE, but unexpectedly lashing out at co-workers with cruel and unwarranted comments or intentionally setting subordinates against each other.

All in all, he portrays a hardworking, reasonably smart politician who acended to the Supreme Court through an odd combination of luck, affirmative action, political connections, gladhanding, politicking, genuine administrative ability, and a Puritan work ethic. I don't think anyone will walk away from this being impressed by Thomas as a genius, a trendsetter, or a role model in particular. For those liberals that are predisposed to hating him, however, just by virtue of his politics, this book will likely engender a feeling of understanding and compassion for Thomas. After all, how can you hate someone for being socially awkward. How can you ridicule someone for being competent, hardworking, and able, even if that person isn't a genius? How can you blame a guy for coming from literally nothing and rising so highly even if he's not one of the 9 best legal minds in the country? So he's just "a man." That's okay, right?

The book does make a case against Anita Hill.... I'm not the type to assume I know "what happened" in cases like that. Suffice it to say that the case against Hill is pretty convincing and it rings true.

Despite the length of the book (like 600 pages!), it's a quick and enjoyable read.

My one huge criticism is that you don't get to the court years until like page 450. I'd rather the background constitute a 1/3 of the book than 3/4s. I bought it to read about JUSTICE Thomas, you know?
One of the best biographies I've read  Apr 24, 2005
From page 1 to the last you won't be able to put down this book. If you are interested in reading something that will lift your spirits and give you back some faith in individual honesty you need to read this.

It should be a genre of its own. I mean, it's the ages-old odyssey of a person who makes it through all the obstacles of his environment to the top of that society. Not without scars. It's the story of a modern hero, the only kind that subsists today: the ignored one. A person who fought for his ideals, his beliefs, against all odds (economic, social, whatever).

Mr. Thomas is a living monument to faith in a Divine Author against the tendency to idolize social and liberal causes.

This is also a worthy reading for growing Christians.

Shame for those who want to use God for their political persuasions, like those who blame the Pope for not being liberal. They can't admit being atheists, they prefer to destroy His Kingdom from inside.

Thanks Clarence.
Buy this book in spite of the biased review Amazon provides  Jun 9, 2002
It is quite simply a masterpiece. Justice Thomas is portrayed as a real human being who has survived the castigation of the far Left... with a dignity that speaks loud and clear above the wailing of the extreme left Liberals who cannot believe a man of color exists who they cannot control. Read how this man of incredible intellect and courage overcomes all odds to become the first black intellectual to occupy the bench. Unlike Thurgood Marshall who knew political correctness before it became the defacto "law of the land", this biography portrays a true independent thinker and voice for judicial freedom that will not be silenced. The depths to which the Left will sink in its outrage when anyone escapes from the plantation is well documented. The viciousness of the Left and NOW during the Hill debacle is nicely contrasted with their mute impotent silence during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. It is well written and well researched, and most importantly unbiased unlike other competing biographies. Somehow this bio was allowed to be published. Do not forgo the opportunity to read and own your own copy.
Riveting  Jun 3, 2002
At first I was worried that I would not be able to get through Thomas' early life to get to his Supreme Court years, by about 75 pages in, I wondered how the Supreme Court years could be as good as the first part of the book was turning out to be. This book is great and, amazingly, a quick read, not to mention well researched and very unbiased. The author takes Thomas to task for his occational self-indulgence, and yet paints a picture of Thomas that leaves me hoping I just read a biography of the next Chief Justice.

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