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First: Sandra Day O'Connor
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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
“She’s a hero for our time, and this is the biography for our time.”—Walter Isaacson
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR and The Washington Post

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 United States 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 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.
Praise for First
“Cinematic . . . poignant . . . illuminating and eminently readable . . . First gives us a real sense of Sandra Day O’Connor the human being. . . . Thomas gives O’Connor the credit she deserves.”The Washington Post
“[A] fascinating and revelatory biography . . . a richly detailed picture of [O’Connor’s] personal and professional life . . . Evan Thomas’s book is not just a biography of a remarkable woman, but an elegy for a worldview that, in law as well as politics, has disappeared from the nation’s main stages.”The New York Times Book Review
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Street Date:
03/19/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780399589294
ASIN:
B07DMZ4FP5
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APA Citation (style guide)

Evan Thomas. (2019). First: Sandra Day O'Connor. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Evan Thomas. 2019. First: Sandra Day O'Connor. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Evan Thomas, First: Sandra Day O'Connor. Random House Publishing Group, 2019.

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Evan Thomas. First: Sandra Day O'Connor. Random House Publishing Group, 2019. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: 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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title
First
fullDescription
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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
“She’s a hero for our time, and this is the biography for our time.”—Walter Isaacson
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR and The Washington Post

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 United States 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 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.
Praise for First
“Cinematic . . . poignant . . . illuminating and eminently readable . . . First gives us a real sense of Sandra Day O’Connor the human being. . . . Thomas gives O’Connor the credit she deserves.”The Washington Post
“[A] fascinating and revelatory biography . . . a richly detailed picture of [O’Connor’s] personal and professional life . . . Evan Thomas’s book is not just a biography of a remarkable woman, but an elegy for a worldview that, in law as well as politics, has disappeared from the nation’s main stages.”The New York Times Book Review
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2019
        The bestselling author delivers a new biography of Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930), the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court.Thomas (Being Nixon: A Man Divided, 2015, etc.), the former longtime correspondent and editor at Time and Newsweek, shows a woman who "saw herself as a bridge between an era where women were protected and submissive to an era of true equality of the sexes." However, writes the author, "she did not regard herself as a revolutionary. Her success was owed in no small part to her ability to marry ambition to restraint." Though a bit slow at first, the narrative establishes an essential background to understanding O'Connor as a woman who effectively navigated the shifting political landscape facing many women of her generation. Through Thomas' lens, readers discover O'Connor as a driven, confident woman who seldom pushed others to acknowledge the impact of gender on expectations or success. She was capable of ignoring sexism of her peers but was committed to public service, civility, and principles of equality. Mindful not to draw too many conclusions about O'Connor's beliefs, which she kept guarded, Thomas shines a clear light on her savvy, incremental approach to social change. From her professional charm and humor to her stylish grace, the author presents a significant view of O'Connor that contextualizes her political sensibilities. Peppered with tidbits about her personal life, the overall well-rendered portrait bears out the contradictory truths of her liminal position between traditional and evolving roles for women. At times, Thomas' conclusions border on restrained, but that befits his subject. The author is at his best addressing the cases that came before SCOTUS during O'Connor's era. Thomas ably shows O'Connor's pivotal role in reaching resolutions regarding such issues as abortion, affirmative action, and voting rights. The author also sheds light on O'Connor's nuanced legal prowess and her sensitivity to the tumultuous rise of partisanship.An important biography of a trailblazing woman, the book illuminates its subject's strength at pinpointing a path forward in complex times.

        COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 15, 2019
        Although a child of a flinty Arizona desert ranch, O'Connor was equally at home in Washington, D.C.'s glittering country clubs and salons. The dichotomy of her existence was one that served her well, providing her with the grit and determination to blaze trails as a woman in what was then known as a man's profession, the law. It also gave her the ability to inform a broad and empathic view of life's most complex problems, from racial and gender inequality to reproductive rights to freedom of speech. O'Connor's 1981 appointment as the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court was the culmination of a hard-fought battle for professional advancement, beginning with an unpaid position in a county district attorney's office and culminating in becoming the first woman majority leader in Arizona's state senate. By thoroughly mining O'Connor's archives and interviewing the trail-blazing justice's family, friends, and former clerks, the award-winning Thomas (Ike's Bluff, 2012) creates a fully realized portrait of this heroic, stalwart, and pioneering lawyer and Supreme Court justice, whose contributions to American jurisprudence are legendary and enduring.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from February 1, 2019

        Historian and journalist Thomas (Being Nixon;$SPACE$John Paul Jones) is well qualified to document the life of Sandra Day O'Connor (b. 1930), the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Thomas is aided by having access to and cooperation with the O'Connor family as well as utilizing Court archives. Before serving as justice from 1981 to 2006, O'Connor was an Arizona senator, the state's first woman majority leader, and later a judge for the Maricopa County Superior Court and then the Arizona Court of Appeals. With her varied political background, O'Connor became a crucial swing vote between the divided liberal and conservative justices. Thomas struggles to pinpoint his subject's jurisprudence, whether it was "minimalist" or "consequentalist" or more often "incremental, pragmatic, humble" in contrast to the ideological extremists on the Court during the latter part of the 20th century. VERDICT This highly readable biography shows the underlying factors motivating O'Connor both on and off the Court. It will have considerable popular appeal to both political scientists and historians, as well as general readers interested in how America's government interacts with the public in resolving political issues related to the law.--William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport

        Copyright 2019 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2019

        An award-winning journalist and author of numerous books whose New York Times best sellers include Being Nixon, Thomas draws on exclusive interviews and access to the Supreme Court archives to craft this biography of Sandra Day O'Connor, the first-ever female majority leader of a state senate and, eventually, America's first female Justice.

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • 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's a hero for our time, and this is the biography for our time."—Walter Isaacson
    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST
    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...
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