- Title: My Grandfather's Son
- Author: Clarence Thomas
- ISBN: 9780060565558
- Page: 380
- Format: Hardcover
Provocative, inspiring, and unflinchingly honest, My Grandfather s Son is the story of one of America s most remarkable and controversial leaders, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, told in his own words.Thomas was born in rural Georgia on June 23, 1948, into a life marked by poverty and hunger His parents divorced when Thomas was still a baby, and his father moved noProvocative, inspiring, and unflinchingly honest, My Grandfather s Son is the story of one of America s most remarkable and controversial leaders, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, told in his own words.Thomas was born in rural Georgia on June 23, 1948, into a life marked by poverty and hunger His parents divorced when Thomas was still a baby, and his father moved north to Philadelphia, leaving his young mother to raise him and his brother and sister on the ten dollars a week she earned as a maid At age seven, Thomas and his six year old brother were sent to live with his mother s father, Myers Anderson, and her stepmother in their Savannah home It was a move that would forever change Thomas s life.His grandfather, whom he called Daddy, was a black man with a strict work ethic, trying to raise a family in the years of Jim Crow Thomas witnessed his grandparents steadfastness despite injustices, their hopefulness despite bigotry, and their deep love for their country His own quiet ambition would propel him to Holy Cross and Yale Law School, and eventually despite a bitter, highly contested public confirmation to the highest court in the land In this candid and deeply moving memoir, a quintessential American tale of hardship and grit, Clarence Thomas recounts his astonishing journey for the first time, and pays homage to the man who made it possible.Intimately and eloquently, Thomas speaks out, revealing the pieces of his life he holds dear, detailing the suffering and injustices he has overcome, including the acrimonious and polarizing Senate hearing involving a former aide, Anita Hill, and the depression and despair it created in his own life and the lives of those closest to him My Grandfather s Son is the story of a determined man whose faith, courage, and perseverance inspired him to rise up against all odds and achieve his dreams.
Recent Comments "My Grandfather's Son"
I really enjoyed this book. If someone had asked me a month ago if I would like to read Thomas' autobiography, I would have looked at them like they were crazy! :)But, I saw him interviewed recently on EWTN by Raymond Arroyo and I was stunned by how humble and self-effacing this Supreme Court justice was. In 1991, when he was confirmed to the SC, I was newly married and politically naive. I pretty much thought Anita Hill was a poor victim to this brutal manjust what the media wanted me to believ [...]
I must say that this book is as pivotal, revolutionary and impacting as the The Auto-Biography of Malcom-X, a book I read in college at Grambling State University over 15 years ago. Malcom X’s story had a tremendous impact on my life.I am proud to say that this book is a must read for anyone who says that they are concerned with the plight of Black folks in America. Clarence Thomas epitomizes The Courage TO Be as Paul TIllich profoundly purports in his book of the same title. As I read the sto [...]
One of my heroes, a man who had to struggle for what he wanted to achieve. He didn't blame others for whatever mistakes he may have made. He took personal responsibility for them. It was a shame what his enemies put him through, but he's a Supreme Court justice.
Justice Thomas's book, "My Grandfather's Son", was to me an enthralling and incredibly introspective story on how one of the most enigmatic public figures in our nation's recent history got to where he is today. For a long time, Clarence Thomas has been a mystery to me (and I am sure to many others as well). In "My Grandfather's Son" though, Justice Thomas opens the shutters to his life (his words, not mine) and bares his soul. He talks openly about what it was like to be abandoned by his father [...]
2.5 stars. First, the good. The opening 50 pages or so are spectacular. Justice Thomas grew up in rural poverty in tiny Pinpoint, GA. The details are fascinating, especially about how his family coped with living in a segregated society. His tales about his grandparents and their discipline (especially from his grandfather) are told so lovingly and with such heart. It's clear that Justice Thomas believes that he owes so much of his life and success to the lessons he learned from his grandfather. [...]
My Constitutional Law professor loaned this to me. I found it interesting. There's actually a lot inspiring about Justice Thomas's story. Unfortunately it's told with a lack of self awareness. For example, here's his description of a meeting with Women Employed (p. 165):"About a hundred mostly white women showed up. They gave every impression of being successful, and judging by the questions they asked me, they were smart and sophisticated as well. Yet I couldn't understand how angry they seemed [...]
This is a must read for any person who reads Thomas' SCOTUS opinions and think "WTF IS HE THINKING"? A very important back story on Justice Thomas' difficult and and poverty-stricken personal history. Raised by his grandfather to believe that personal responsibility is the ONLY way to succeed in your life, he is a true believer of the "pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps" philosophy. His opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger (the University of Michigan/affirmative action cases) makes much more sense in [...]
I was in college when the Senate confirmation hearings for the nomination of Clarence Thomas were taking place. It was the first time that I had become really interested in any current or political event. I became so engulfed in what to me was the apparent injustice with which he was being treated; I couldn't stop watching the hearing. I cut class for a few days so that I could participate as a spectator.I thoroughly enjoyed reading Thomas’ personal account of his life. The progression and ref [...]
Overall I enjoyed this book because I learned a great deal about Justice Thomas' childhood and his struggles with drinking and financial challenges. I had no idea of the problems he dealt with on his way to the Supreme Court but he did not 'close the loop' really on these personal struggles which leaves a reader wondering if Thomas has managed these demons. I was left with the impression that Justice Thomas was never really at peace with himself so given his lifetime tenure on the Court as a Jus [...]
What an amazing story of a child born into poverty, raised in poverty by grandparents determined to give him a better life and is now serving on the Supreme Court. Honest and painful at times, Judge Thomas doesn't pull any punches about mistakes he made, yet his determination to live life for the long term inspires the reader to strive to do his best no matter what the circumstances.
I can’t say I’m terribly interested in either race or politics, so the fact that a) I sought out this book (this was following a glimpse of an interview with Justice Clarence Thomas; my father-in-law shared it with me a year ago while we were on vacation) and b) I actually enjoyed this rather compelling memoir was surprising.Like many others of my generation (okay, I took a nonscientific poll consisting of one other person — my husband), we’ve heard of Clarence Thomas but knew almost not [...]
Thomas tells the story of his life from his childhood in Pinpoint, GA, to his first days as Supreme Court Justice. He credits above all his maternal grandfather, "Daddy," with making him the man that he is today. When his mother could not care for him and his brother, they came into the home of and under the law of "Daddy," a man who was tough, rigid, unyielding, rode his grandsons hard and pushed them to excellence, but certainly not with compliments and platitudes. Steps along the way for Thom [...]
A thoroughly readable, insightful, and informative book, that gives his first-hand insight into the life and mindset of Justice Thomas. An eye-opening look at how he overcame extreme poverty (for example, carrying all of his belongings in two grocery bags) and racism (not just from whites, but suprisingly from lighter-skinned blacks as well) during his childhood in the Jim Crow-era Deep South, the values and work ethic instilled in him by his "Daddy" (his maternal grandfather), his collegiate ye [...]
"Only the person who takes the voyage can really talk about it."Clarence Thomas's life is what we used to call an American Success Story. My Grandfather's Son details is life from being born in rural poverty to becoming an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Thomas was abandoned by his father and, at age 9, was shipped off by his mother to be raised by her parents. After the dual assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy in 1968, young Clarence's life fractured. He dropped [...]
“And now you know the rest of the story.” This autobiography by Clarence Thomas is amazing. Looking at both sides now, I have to say Clarence Thomas’ credibility has risen off the charts for me. Back in 1991, I watched the confirmation hearings and wondered a few times, “Wow, could he really have said these things?” even though I was rooting for him to be nominated. I did think Anita Hill sounded a little too slick, but once in a while I questioned it. While watching these hearings, I [...]
To say that Clarence Thomas is one of the most polarizing Supreme Court justices is probably an understatement, and given that his confirmation was over 20 years ago at this point, many of us coming into politics now, or coming into it in the last decade, know very little of him outside of what is reported and what happens on the Supreme Court.It was with some excitement (after having a copy of this book for nearly five years) and trepidation that I picked this up to read with all of that in min [...]
This book showed up in the mail from a book club I belong to. I didn't order it but decided why not give it a read. Of course I watched some of the senate hearings when Justice Thomas was nominated for the bench. And, in shameful honesty, I also got caught up in the soap opera of Anita Hill's testimony and Justice Thomas' response. Beyond that I admit I knew nothing about the man.As a general rule I do not read movie reviews before going to the movies. Why should I let someone else decide for me [...]
I began this book with a love/hate relationship. I loved some of the views Thomas expressed early on his book, but I started hating him in the middle chapters as he made some very condemnable choices in his private life -- I generally try to avoid being judgmental like that but I was turning to this book so that I could learn from someone I could respect, so I wasn't too happy with it in the middle. BUT, the last three or four chapters are amazing.After a tumultuous couple decades in his private [...]
Loved, loved, loved this book. It is the American dream at its essence, as well as a great study in perseverance and courage. I appreciated Thomas' approach to telling his story, making no excuses for missteps and bad decisions, disclosing the good and the bad, and ultimately learning lessons from his life experiences. It was gratifying to understand where he came from & how his character & beliefs were shaped by that. It was equally gratifying that he did not blame his family for the pr [...]
I picked this up in February and practically read it straight through! (Black History month) Such a captivating story. Of course, I understood the value of the Catholic upbringing which Clarence Thomas' grandfather insisted he receive when his single mother could no longer care for her two young boys. The nuns were strict, but it was definitely because they saw his potential. His work ethic and humility kept me in awe and suspense. In the end, you see the power of love (new wife) helping him thr [...]
Absolutely loved this book about Justice Thomas. I read it twice as fast as I read all those romance novels I read. And I can read two of those in a matter of hours. This book is revealing and remarkable. The things that are shared with us go to the root of so many topics. It is hard to not become so engrossed that you go to the library and read 36 other books to obtain just a small percentage of the knowledge given. This is a life changing book. A character building book and a book with unflinc [...]
His story truly opened my eyes to the fact that racism and bigotry aren't just something that happened before I was born. Even now stereotypes and hate are rampant in DC and the US.Also, Clarance shed light on how unthinking and greedy the media is, as well as many of our nations leaders. It is scary to have an inside look at the Senate and Congress, and see the senseless bickering and posturing. He strengthened my view that the US government is nothing more than a kids' club, much like we had i [...]
A captivating story of the life of Justice Clarence Thomas! I couldn't put it down. If you enjoy stories of people overcoming great odds to achieve amazing things you may like this book. I have the greatest respect for Justice Thomas and view him as a fine example of an honorable role model in a day and age and culture where such men and women seem to be few and far between. His journey to both his professional heights and his maturity as a man, and even a person of faith, was arduous and at tim [...]
I am catching this on audio, which I do not recommend for this book, Thomas is a slow, monotone reader with almost no inflection, but I am intrigued by his story. I just passed the point where he discussed the courage it took for him and other conservative blacks to reject the rage and anti-American sentiment of the 1970's race wars. I was weeping in the car by the time he finished. Change is hard, but even harder when the expectations of your race, family, or social sphere is completely unsuppo [...]
I am not quite finished with this book. However, from the very first chapter I was engaged. He is a very good story teller and he has a very unique perspective of a black boy/man growing up in a racist south. He has endured many challenges throughout his life and he continued to work hard and persevere. He has a straightforward attitude about the privilege of being an American. I am looking forward to the rest of the book. (3/4 finished)
Excellent! Judge Thomas is candid about his struggles as a successful black man in a white world. Pulls no punches regarding the negative aspects of the political scene but also doesn't white wash his own failings and negative attitudes. The concluding chapters, detailing the ordeal he went through prior to his confirmation to the Supreme Court, were powerful. His spiritual journey, away from his early faith and then back to an even stronger, closer walk with God was inspiring.
Hard work, quest for knowledge, determination, faith in God, respect for family, and pure grit can lead to a satisfying life, in spite of uphill battles and seemingly opposing odds. More family members want to read our copy before we donate to our local library. We hope that our library will purchase the audio version so we can hear Justice Thomas' rich, deep bass voice telling his story.
Thomas is a totally out of touch name dropper who spends more time talking about how guilty he felt or how many people were conspiring against him than about any accomplishments he actually made during his career. To add insult to injury, his writing is poor and unengaging.
This book gave me a very different perspective on Justice Thomas, and a lot more positive one. I gave it 4 stars, not 5, because Justice Thomas writing style is a little clumsy at times, but it is still a great story.
I'm beginning to gain a new respect for and different perspective of Clarence Thomas. He and I graduated from high school in Georgia during the same year, so it's easy to compare his youth to mine and remember what it was like for black kids growing up in the deep south.
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