Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Grandfather's Son

A book review. To quote:

Even so, since there is a God, and thus it matters what we do quite apart from the swill, there is rather more to Clarence Thomas than the political context through which his soul was revealed. In this hemisphere, Thomas’s genetic line formally emerged seven generations ago, shortly after the united states became independent, when a man and his wife first appeared in Georgia’s Liberty County records, as property. After emancipation their son, in his mid-fifties, bought 40 acres of land that had once belonged to his slavemasters; and he in turn witnessed the birth of the grandfather to whom Thomas would dedicate his book, as the Justice would, in a manner, his life.

My Grandfather’s Son is accordingly not simply a riveting tale, though it surely is. (According to the New York Times, Justice Thomas’s memoir has been purchased by more Americans than any other hardcover in the country. ) In showing a man who refuses to be degraded by the dead souls who run the show these days, it reminds of a standard older and more enduring than any passing Empire, one towards which the rest of us, still, remain free to aspire.



Anonymous said...

From what I read, the land area where he was born was confiscated by the Federal Government following the Civil War and GIVEN to the people who were previously slaves.

elena maria vidal said...


Dymphna said...

I've read the book. It's scorching. I've always had such respect for him and now I admire him even more. I wish he'd managed to salvage his first marriage and I wish (but understand) that he'd managed to hang on the Catholicism of his childhood but one can always pray.