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Random House (2019-03-19)
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Memoirs
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FIRST: SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR

An Intimate Portrait of the First Woman Supreme Court Justice

by Thomas, Evan

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 bestselling author Evan Thomas.

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 State Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the United States Supreme Court, appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at fifty-eight, 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.


Evan Thomas is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestselling JOHN PAUL JONES, SEA OF THUNDER, and BEING NIXON. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for thirty-three years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years as Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, where, at the time of his retirement in 2010, he was editor at large. He wrote more than one hundred cover stories and in 1999 won a National Magazine Award. He wrote Newsweek's election specials in 1996, 2000, 2004 (winner for Newsweek of the National Magazine Award), and 2008. He appears on many TV and radio talk shows, including Meet the Press and Morning Joe. Thomas has taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton, where, from 2007 to 2014, he was Ferris Professor of Journalism.

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She's a hero for our time, and this is the biography for our time.

Quote: Walter Isaacson