It’s a provocative thesis, but one of the marvels of Robin’s razor-sharp book is how carefully he marshals his evidence. He doesn’t have to resort to elaborate speculation or armchair psychologizing, relying instead on Thomas’s speeches, interviews and Supreme Court opinions. Just as jurists make ample use of the written record, Robin does the same ... rigorous yet readable, frequently startling yet eminently persuasive ... I’m not sure I wholly agree with this diagnosis, but it isn’t every day that reading about ideas can be both so gratifying and unsettling, and Robin’s incisive and superbly argued book has made me think again.
To his great credit, Robin’s aim is to avoid facile critiques from the left of Thomas’s political and legal philosophies ... Robin engages in a close reading of Thomas’s writings in the hopes of providing a coherent description of Thomas’s political and legal philosophies as well as their historical and personal contexts ... What’s most fascinating about the book is watching Thomas’s thoughts evolve, seeing him move to the right in real time ... Corey Robin has done all US citizens a great service by reading Thomas with such care, and by providing a fascinating and original interpretation of the man who, in many cases, quietly determines the direction we are taking.
The remarkable achievement of Robin’s thoroughly researched, cogently argued work is that it makes a compelling case for what is, initially, a startling argument ... Robin, without critical commentary, displays Thomas’s many contradictions.