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Benjamin Barton, expert in the history of the Supreme Court, contrasts our current Supreme Court Justices to past greats to expose a narrower intellectual and experiential diversity on today's high court."As Ben Barton's fascinating book makes clear, Supreme Court Justices of a past age were much more interesting people than those of today."." --Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Tennessee
The current Supreme Court is packed with a very specific type of person: type-A overachievers who have triumphed in a long tournament measuring academic and technical legal excellence. This Court desperately lacks individuals who reflect a different type of "merit." The book examines the exceptional and varied lives of past greats from John Marshall to Thurgood Marshall and asks how many, if any, of these giants would be nominated today. The book argues against our current bookish and narrow version of meritocracy. Healthier societies offer multiple different routes to success and onto bodies like our Supreme Court.