What this blog needs is more Nixon

With the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation coming up on August 9, there’s a slew of new books about Nixon and his presidency. I wrote recently about several of the new titles: * I interviewed Pat Buchanan for Salon about his new book, The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority. […]

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Roundup of ‘Scalia’ reviews

The initial reviews of Bruce Allen Murphy’s Scalia: A Court of One have largely praised the book as an engrossing intellectual biography of Justice Scalia or criticized it for being grounded more in published materials than in personal interviews. The latter group, including Joshua Hawley’s review in the Wall Street Journal, strike me as criticizing the […]

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An interview with Bruce Murphy on his new biography, ‘Scalia’

Earlier this week, Kirkus Reviews published an abbreviated version of my interview with Bruce Allen Murphy about his new biography, Scalia: A Court of One. In this longer version of the interview, Murphy and I discuss Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s background, legal writing, and judicial philosophy. Let’s start with the basics of originalism vs. textualism. […]

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Why readers love big bios

This is an excerpt of my recent Salon.com article about definitive biographies. Steve Jobs didn’t spend his life punching a clock; he was the creative force behind Pixar Animation, the Macintosh computer and the iPhone. His story and Walter Isaacson’s deft retelling of it were the reasons his Steve Jobs, published in 2011, has been a […]

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