Richard Posner is a top-ranking member of the United States judiciary and one of the most highly respected legal theorists and philosophers. In An Affair of State, he turns his attention to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, which stemmed from charges of perjury and obstruction of justice regarding statements about his adulterous relationship with former White House staffer Monica Lewinsky. While Posner focuses on the actual legal issues involved rather than attempt to make a case for Clinton's or any of his Republican adversaries' being evil incarnate, he does not treat the president with kid gloves. Not only does Posner claim that Clinton is a brazen liar who "flaunts his religiosity, but gives religion a bad name," he makes a strong case that the charges of perjury against the president were valid, "that [he] in several instances obstructed justice in a legal sense, and that he has never admitted lying about his relationship with Lewinsky." Along the way, Posner considers several fascinating topics, including whether the president can pardon himself--theoretically, except in cases of impeachment, he can--and even, on occasion, displays a subtle dry wit. (Among the best one-liners: "[Alan] Dershowitz criticizes Clinton, but largely for the blunders he committed in trying to conceal his affair ... and implicitly for not having retained Dershowitz as legal advisor.") An Affair of State is the smartest, most level-headed book written to date about what Posner calls "the whole Clinton-Lewinsky-Starr-impeachment business"; it is likely to retain that status for some time to come. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
By far the most legally sophisticated account of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal yet published, Posner's book brings scholarly rigor to a saga so far dominated by journalistic accounts. As Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Posner is more than qualified to wade through the 8000-page Starr Report. Indeed, he brandishes acumen, wit and a practical and theoretical understanding of the legal and constitutional issues involved. Posner writes, at times, like a judge composing an appellate court opinion. He's very critical of the House Judiciary Committee for, among other perceived lapses of judgment and intellect, failing to understand the technical distinction between perjury and obstruction of justice. But he's harsh on President Clinton, too, and generally exhibits an ability to expose the arguments generated by Republicans, Democrats, the press and Starr's office as inconsistent, politically motivated or simply fallacious. Posner anticipates criticisms that his book creates certain tensions between his position as one of the most influential judges in the U.S. and the censorious quality of his appraisal of l'affaire Clinton. Readers can be thankful that he dismissed any scruples and proceeded to write this welcome analysis of the constitutional, moral, philosophical, and political questions the case raised. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
After reading all of the impeachment books, and I mean all of them, including Benedict's fabulous book on Johnson's impeachment trial, this is the best. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2001 by Andrew M. Strnad
I know of no book which cuts so surely to the meat and potatoes of the entire Clinton impeachment business and with such deadly aplomb as Judge Posner's book (he is chief judge of... Read morePublished on Dec 23 2000 by BluesDuke
This brief book is a well written level-headed examination of the mess created by President Clinton as a result of his lack of ethics. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2000 by Book Happy
Readers seeking another saucy expose on the President's personal affairs will be disappointed with "An Affair of State. Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2000 by Steven M. Leonard
Anyone interested in the affairs of President Clinton's last two years, will find this book of value. Read morePublished on May 5 2000
The ABA prohibits judges from speaking out about 'live' cases. This has nothing whatever to do with law and everything to do with keeping the faith within the increasingly... Read morePublished on April 22 2000 by "appalachianson"
This book is not partisan as some reviewers have claimed. Itis pragmatic.
It also seems strange to judge the book solely bythe highly debatable point of whether or not Posner... Read more
Richard Posner is highly respected legal scholar and Federal Judge, so it comes as a surprise that his latest book is such an ethical and intellectual disaster. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2000 by Paul Gottlieb