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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JFK Transformed

This piece originally appeared in my column for Huffington Post on October 27, 2013. On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, with bookstore shelves overflowing with reexaminations and conspiracy theories, John T. Shaw takes a look at an important but under-reported period of President Kennedy’s life in JFK in the Senate: Pathway to the Presidency. Shaw, a […]

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‘Wilson,’ Obama and Congress

This piece originally appeared in my column for Huffington Post on October 10, 2013. Here’s one tried and tested way for a president to deal with a difficult Congress: Go to your private office on Capitol Hill and stay there until a deal is done. Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, lobbied Congress from […]

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