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Sandra Day O'Connor
Written by: Evan Thomas
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 16 hrs and 33 mins
Price: CDN$ 43.86
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Publisher's Summary

The intimate, inspiring, and authoritative biography of Sandra Day O’Connor, America’s first female Supreme Court justice, drawing on exclusive interviews and first-time access to Justice O’Connor’s archives - by the New York Times best-selling author Evan Thomas.

“She’s a hero for our time, and this is the biography for our time.” (Walter Isaacson)

She was born in 1930 in El Paso and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. At a time when women were expected to be homemakers, she set her sights on Stanford University. When she graduated near the top of her law school class in 1952, no firm would even interview her. But Sandra Day O’Connor’s story is that of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings - doing so with a blend of grace, wisdom, humor, understatement, and cowgirl toughness.

She became the first ever female majority leader of a state senate. As a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the US Supreme Court, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the Court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at 58 and caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s, O’Connor endured every difficulty with grit and poise.

Women and men who want to be leaders and be first in their own lives - who want to learn when to walk away and when to stand their ground - will be inspired by O’Connor’s example. This is a remarkably vivid and personal portrait of a woman who loved her family, who believed in serving her country, and who, when she became the most powerful woman in America, built a bridge forward for all women.

Advance praise for First:

“A great storyteller has found his greatest subject in trailblazer Sandra Day O’Connor. Evan Thomas has written one of the most insightful and thoroughly captivating biographies I have ever read: A clear and compelling illumination of Sandra Day O’Connor’s unique voice and place in American history is told through her remarkable life’s journey from a rancher’s daughter to the first woman appointed to the highest court in the land.” (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Leadership: In Turbulent Times)

“A vivid, humane, and inspiring portrait of an extraordinary woman and how she both reflected and shaped an era.” (Drew Faust, president emerita, Harvard University)

©2019 Evan Thomas (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there was Sandra Day O’Connor, and O’Connor’s story has everything. In Evan Thomas’s brilliant and compelling book, we are given an intimate and gripping account of a pioneering American woman successfully seeking to thrive in an all-male world. Noble and flawed, selfless and ambitious, Justice O’Connor sought a more perfect union amid imperfect choices. Written with fluidity and grace, Thomas’s book is required reading for anyone interested in the role of women in America, the course of justice, and the nature of our politics. This is a landmark achievement about an American original that’s also, blessedly, a delight to read.” (Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America)

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  • KathrynVB
  • 2019-04-05

Remarkable woman, well served in this book.

I am a female attorney with strong liberal views. This book about SOC satisfied my curiosity about America's first female Justice of the SCOTUS and never offended my left leanings. In fact, it impressed me with its confirmation that justices with great personal integrity, rather than rigid ideology, generally decide cases with a liberal bent rather than a conservative one.
I was not surprised to learn that a researcher who had created a system to analyze a judge's leanings over time was able to prove that SOC became much more liberal in her decisions as her decades of jurisprudence evolved.

SOC lived her values. She valued civility and personal relationships with her fellow justices and law clerks, and treated them with a touch of motherly attention. She valued decisiveness and never backed down from the tough decisions foisted on her as a judge. She had a pillow in her chambers, embroidered with the slogan "Maybe in error, Never in doubt". She was a decider.

Excellent book, excellent narrator. Worth your time and credit.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Brooke H
  • 2019-04-10

Enthralling

This book was well written and truly fascinating. I’m thankful to have listened and I’m glad to know more about the incredibly life of O’Connor. Truly inspirational

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • travis
  • 2019-04-17

LOVED Kirsten Potters narration !

This book captures so much of Sandra and her incredible and inspiring journey but what made me come back to it day after day was Kristen’s reading / narration. The excitement and enthusiasm was ..... AMAZING! I look forward to hearing more from her.