SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Partisan: The Life of William Rehnquist

. October 2012. 336p. 978-1-58648-887-1. 28.99.
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Jenkins (president & publisher, CQ Press) has written a brief but well-researched biography of William Rehnquist, former chief justice of the Supreme Court. Not a comprehensive story of the chief justice’s decisions, the book explores Rehnquist’s conservative values and how his views shaped his career. Jenkins explores Rehnquist’s life by placing it in historical context. Rehnquist was exposed to politics from an early age by his parents, who were ardent Republicans. After serving in the military during World War II, he attended Stanford Law School. Rehnquist then began his career as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Henry Jackson. The book is most interesting when it discusses Rehnquist’s career path, including an inside look at the Nixon White House where he worked as a deputy attorney general. ­
VERDICT Rehnquist never completed a memoir, and his personal life is largely unknown to the public. Not only the story of the justice’s life and career, this book is also a portrait of 20th-century American politics. Recommended for readers interested in the Supreme Court and U.S. politics.

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