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Authors: Jim Newton

Justice for All

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“This tough-minded but essentially admiring book is itself an act of considerable courage. Warren's enthusiasm for locking up the state's Japanese and refusing to apologize for so doing (he sincerely thought he was acting in California's best interest) makes praising him politically incorrect, especially among liberal Democrats. He is an unmentionable anathema to today's ruling Republicans. So, the legacy of Bakersfield's Earl Warren, who died in 1974, remains suspended in silent limbo. Newton's book is a loud protest against that silence.”—
Los Angeles Times Book Review
“The great scope of ‘the nation he made' as chief justice from 1953 to 1969 is an extraordinary one to consider, as is the man himself. In
Justice for All
, both receive a vivid and distinguished account.”—
The Boston Globe
“Deeply researched . . . provides insight and a timely reminder into the character of the most consequential justice of the last half-century.”
Chicago Tribune
“Incisive and highly readable.”—
San Francisco Chronicle
“Excellent . . . scrupulous . . . subtle . . . Newton's comprehensive and balanced political history usefully cuts through the technical details and casts fresh light on Warren's legacy.”—
The Washington Post
“A thorough and enlightening biography.”—
The Atlantic
“Meticulously researched and well-written.”—
The Dallas Morning News
“[Newton's] reconstructions of the dickerings, compromises, and psychological gamesmanship that went into forging each ruling under Warren's guidance are fascinating, exceptionally lucid in laying out the legal issues and political context of every major case, and organized with compelling narrative momentum.”—
Los Angeles
“An enjoyable and informative read. Newton combines academic scholarship with journalistic writing.”—
Daily Journal
(Los Angeles and San Francisco)
“Newton does [Warren's legacy] more than ample honor in his fine biography.”
The (Durham, NC) Herald-Sun

Los Angeles Times
editor and reporter Newton delivers the definitive biography of Earl Warren (1891-1974) for this generation. Newton's masterful narrative synthesizes Warren in all his contradictory guises. . . . Using testimony of insiders who knew the man well, Newton brilliantly depicts the many-sided Warren.”—
Publishers Weekly
(starred and boxed review)
“It will be a long, long time before someone writes a better biography of Earl Warren than Jim Newton has written. Newton's choices for the Court years are judicious and show a sure hand in understanding what was important and what was not. For anyone with an interest in either twentieth-century American history or the U.S. Supreme Court,
Justice for All
is a must.”
—Lucas A. Powe, History Book Club, Book-of-the-Month Club
“This is exemplary biography—readable, intellectually keen, authoritative, and when appropriate, moving. It captures the anguish of an America struggling with racial injustice, the Kennedy assassination, and other national travails. At the heart of the story is a middle-of-the-road Republican from California who, when tested, proves anything but ordinary.”
—John S. Carroll, former editor,
Los Angeles Times
“A thorough and thoughtful view of Warren and his place in American legal and political history.”—
Library Journal
“Ours is a golden age of political biography, and nowhere is this more evident than in Jim Newton's new and ambitious reassessment of the life of Chief Justice Earl Warren and Warren's pivotal role in the making of contemporary America. Only a skilled and seasoned reporter with a comprehensive command of Warren's California background could have produced this definitive study.”
—Kevin Starr, professor of history, University of Southern California, and author of
California and the American Dream
“The best judicial biography I have read. A compelling and masterfully written account of one of the most important figures in twentieth-century America.”
—Erwin Chemerinsky, constitutional scholar and Duke University law professor
“A superb new biography . . . Highly readable prose . . . Newton mined archival and other material on Warren with the same thoroughness that the Forty-Niners once devoted to California gold fields.”—
Washington Lawyer
“[Newton] is . . . a writer capable of making history read like good literature.”
Orange County Register
Published by the Penguin Group
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(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
The author gratefully acknowledges permission to quote from the following:
Excerpts from the Earl Warren Oral History Project. Courtesy The Bancroft Library, University of
California, Berkeley.
“The Gift Outright” from
The Poetry of Robert Frost
, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright
1969 by Henry Holt and Company. Copyright 1942 by Robert Frost, copyright 1970 by Lesley Frost
Ballantine. .
Copyright © 2006 by James S. Newton
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form
without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in vi-
olation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
RIVERHEAD is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The RIVERHEAD logo is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Newton, Jim, date.
Justice for all : Earl Warren and the nation he made / by Jim Newton.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
eISBN : 978-1-594-48270-0
1. Warren, Earl, 1891-1974. 2. Judges—United States—Biography. 3. United States. Supreme
Court—Biography. I. Title.

To Karlene and Jack
THE GOVERNOR WAS ASLEEP, and those who knew him knew he did not like interruption. So when California's First Lady snatched the receiver from its cradle at dawn on September 8, 1953, she assumed it was urgent.
“I'd like to talk to the boss and it's really important,” Bartley Cavanaugh said as she answered. Nina Warren was a gentle woman but a tough guardian, protective of her husband and children. She did not put callers through casually. This time, she heard the tightness in Cavanaugh's voice and relented. “I'll wake him up.”
Cavanaugh had known Earl Warren for more than thirty years. They'd been acquaintances first, their lives crossing occasionally in the years just after World War I, when they both worked in the hustle and grab of California's legislature, Warren as a young prosecutor with occasional business in Sacramento, and Cavanaugh as the district manager for a cement company with government work. In 1939, when Warren's career was just taking off and he was confronted with a tough first test of his new position as California attorney general, he'd hauled Cavanaugh before a grand jury to make him testify about political contributions to Frank Merriam, who had left the California governorship just weeks earlier and whom Cavanaugh had served as a campaign manager.
Time had papered over that indignity, and suffering had fused their lives—in late 1950, both had children fall victim to polio. Their youngsters recovered slowly, and the two men had leaned on each other for comfort in those difficult weeks.
Now they were close, unusual for Warren, who was friendly with many people but intimate with few. Warren had an extraordinary capacity for names and personal details—a self-taught and much-practiced politician's skill for recalling a constituent's alma mater or the name of his oldest son, for absorbing the interest and attention of the person with whom he was speaking, and, for that moment, drawing that person to his intense attention. But for all that bluffness, Warren was a private man with few ardent associations outside his family. He was formal and reserved—he stood whenever his wife entered a room, looked good in a tux, held up his end of a receiving line—but he shared little of his inner self. He rarely sought or accepted help. Cavanaugh was one of those few who could so presume.
When Warren's voice, a voice known to every Californian of his generation, came sleepily on the line, Cavanaugh blurted out the news: “Did you know that the chief justice has just died?” he asked.
BOOK: Justice for All
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