Resurrection: The Confirmation of Clarence Thomas

Danforth, Senator John

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ISBN 10: 0670860220 / ISBN 13: 9780670860227
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Synopsis: Senator "Jack" Danforth is one of the most respected men in the U.S. Senate. When Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991, Danforth gladly pledged himself to be Thomas's guide and sponsor through the customary rounds of informal interviews with key senators. A three-term senator from Missouri, Danforth believed that despite the political opposition, Thomas's hardwon rise from poverty, his integrity, and his personal record would win the Senate's confirmation. After days of arduous politicking and probing testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Danforth was sure he had the votes and that the Senate would confirm Thomas by a close but safe margin.
Then, when the committee's deliberations were shattered by Anita Hill's explosive charges of sexual harassment, Thomas felt - correctly - that his enemies' goals were now not just to defeat him but to destroy him. Danforth's hopeful confidence turned to bitterness as he watched his fellow senators back off their earlier support of Thomas's nomination and their stated admiration of his character.
In Resurrection, Danforth, an ordained minister, tells this story of inspiration and spiritual regeneration. It is a cautionary tale and an example of how one man and his loyal friends persevered when the world was against them and all seemed lost. But it is also the ultimate insider's own confession: Senator John C. Danforth's deeply personal revelation of how, in a good cause - that of winning a seat on the Court for his friend Clarence Thomas - he himself came very close to losing his own soul, in his anger and rage at Thomas's enemies and his willingness to do whatever it took to get Thomas confirmed.

From Kirkus Reviews: A personal, insider's view of the confirmation process for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, from the justice's chief Senate sponsor. Missouri senator Danforth is an ordained Episcopal priest, and religious metaphors inform both this book's title and its tale of Thomas's eventual confirmation. Given that other authors have explored the context and politics of the Thomas hearings in greater depth, Danforth's account of day-to-day strategizing offers only a few interesting nuggets. Lawyers handling Thomas initially discounted Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment; Danforth backed up his longtime friend and former employee from the start, while Thomas told him--somewhat dubiously--that Hill was ``very ideological.'' When the allegations hit the media, Thomas was besieged. His wife, Ginni, is quoted recounting his anxiety and humiliation, and Danforth describes Thomas sobbing. The author relates his disputes with Senate Judiciary Chair Joseph Biden on handling the hearings and reflects that a longer delay might have allowed Thomas to retain counsel and gain procedural safeguards. He also recalls advising Thomas, who absolutely denied Hill's allegations, to say he'd agree to a lie detector test when Senate staffers were similarly tested about news leaks. Danforth shifted from minister to ``street fighter'' in an attempt to suggest that Hill was fantasizing and destroy her credibility; his own staffers, in fact, argued against some of his efforts, and Danforth himself now regrets playing dirty. The author's contention that the hearing procedures were unfair is worthy, but his account is necessarily slanted. Danforth avoids engaging Thomas's ideas: ``I did not think his political philosophy should be relevant to his nomination,'' he declares--which seems glib, given Thomas's show of hard-line conservatism as a justice. Strictly for the converted. (First printing of 50,000; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Title: Resurrection: The Confirmation of Clarence ...
Publisher: Viking Adult
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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