We hear a lot about journalistic courage. But it's not often we meet up with in in the "Book Review" section of THE NEW YORK TIMES. So, it's been a shock this Easter Sunday to encounter Adam Liptak's negative review of Sandra Day O'Connor's book "Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court." Here is that sustained thumbs-down.
Since Liptak covers the High Court for THE NEW YORK TIMES, he risks alienating some of his sources who have a fondness or ever reverence for O'Connor. But he took those risks over and over again in panning "Out of Order."
Here are some samples of Liptak's assessments:
"The book is short and padded."
"She has delivered a disjointed collection of anodyne anecdotes and bar-association bromides ..."
"O'Connor is fond of the stock phrase and profligate with the exclamation point."
Of course, we who love both books and legal interpretation will now go in search of other views of "Out of Order" and compare and contrast them to Liptak's. Will those who gush about the insights in the book be branded forever as spineless suck-ups?
A good time could be had by all during this patch of spring weather after such a brutal winter along the northeast corridor. Many more could come to praise Ms. O'Connor, not bury her.