This first full-length biography of Clarence Thomas explores the controversial Supreme Court Justice’s remarkable rise to the nation’s highest court. Andrew Peyton Thomas (no relation) traces Thomas’ family roots back to slavery and the Civil War and the long aftermath of Jim Crow. Drawing on interviews with Thomas’ father, M.C. Thomas (the first such interview ever conducted) and Thomas’ mother, sister and dozens of close relatives and friends, the author reconstructs the story of a unique American family that provided the context for Clarence Thomas’ determined effort to escape the poverty and segregation of his youth and to become a free man.
Completing this tour de force of investigative reporting and analysis, Andrew Peyton Thomas conducted exclusive interviews with Justice Antonin Scalia, former President George Bush, and other Washington insiders (along with many of Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court clerks) in re-creating his years on the Court. A former prosecutor and trial lawyer himself, Andrew Peyton Thomas offers an analysis of Justice Thomas’ jurisprudence that dispels the myth that he has merely followed the conservative party line in his decisions.