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This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have ne This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have never before been published. Christopher J. Scalia and the Justice's former law clerk Edward Whelan selected the speeches. Americans have long been inspired by Justice Scalia’s ideas, delighted by his wit, and instructed by his intelligence. He was a sought-after speaker at commencements, convocations, and events across the country. Scalia Speaks will give readers the opportunity to encounter the legendary man more fully, helping them better understand the jurisprudence that made him one of the most important justices in the Court's history and introducing them to his broader insights on faith and life.


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This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have ne This definitive collection of beloved Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's finest speeches covers topics as varied as the law, faith, virtue, pastimes, and his heroes and friends. Featuring a foreword by longtime friend Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an intimate introduction by his youngest son, this volume includes dozens of speeches, some deeply personal, that have never before been published. Christopher J. Scalia and the Justice's former law clerk Edward Whelan selected the speeches. Americans have long been inspired by Justice Scalia’s ideas, delighted by his wit, and instructed by his intelligence. He was a sought-after speaker at commencements, convocations, and events across the country. Scalia Speaks will give readers the opportunity to encounter the legendary man more fully, helping them better understand the jurisprudence that made him one of the most important justices in the Court's history and introducing them to his broader insights on faith and life.

30 review for Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This book is co-authored by Scalia’s son, Christopher J. Scalia, and is a collection of Scalia’s speeches on legal issues, friends and a variety of topics. The book is designed for the general reader. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the foreword to the book. Scalia and Ginsburg were great friends and fellow opera fans, but one was a liberal the other a conservative. Scalia was an articulate speaker who had a way with words. He also had a great sense of humor. The book is well written and edited This book is co-authored by Scalia’s son, Christopher J. Scalia, and is a collection of Scalia’s speeches on legal issues, friends and a variety of topics. The book is designed for the general reader. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the foreword to the book. Scalia and Ginsburg were great friends and fellow opera fans, but one was a liberal the other a conservative. Scalia was an articulate speaker who had a way with words. He also had a great sense of humor. The book is well written and edited. Christopher has chosen speeches by Antonin that allows the reader to gain further insight into the man as well as the jurist. The book is broken down into categories such as friends, law, faith and so on. The sections I enjoyed the most were the speeches about being an Italian-American and the difference between an American and an European. Of course, I enjoyed most of the sections but those two gave me much to ruminate on. I have read all of Scalia’s books and biographies, therefore, I am familiar with his philosophy of constitutional originalism and his being a textualist in statutory interpretation. I know him to be a master of the English language, but from this book I learned he was also a gifted grammarian. That will make a great trivia question. I may not always agree with what he said but I love to read or hear what he had to say. Scalia was able to state his reasons in a succinct manner and in beautiful prose without the use of rhetoric. This will make a great reference book. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is fourteen hours long. Christopher J. Scalia does a good job narrating the book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Henry

    Excellent! Note this is not a collection of Justice Scalia's Supreme Court opinions (which would make an excellent book), but rather a diverse collection of speeches he has given over the years which reveal his reflections, in the words of the subtitle, on Law, Faith and Life Well Lived. The forward by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose judicial philosophy could not be more different than that of Antonin Scalia, should be a lesson for all of us in the present time. In part she says: "If our frie Excellent! Note this is not a collection of Justice Scalia's Supreme Court opinions (which would make an excellent book), but rather a diverse collection of speeches he has given over the years which reveal his reflections, in the words of the subtitle, on Law, Faith and Life Well Lived. The forward by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose judicial philosophy could not be more different than that of Antonin Scalia, should be a lesson for all of us in the present time. In part she says: "If our friendship [hers and Justice Scalia's] encourages others to appreciate that some very good people have ideas with which we disagree, and that, despite differences, people of goodwill can pull together for the well-being of the institutions we serve and our country, I will be overjoyed, as I am confident Justice Scalia would be." Oh that we could heed that advice.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen R

    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was an extraordinary and influential man well known for his conservatism, discipline, strong opinions and hard working nature. He also had a deep faith, a gift passed on to his nine children. On a more personal note, his son, Paul was a much admired priest at my local parish, most recently appointed vicar for clergy by Arlington’s bishop. This book is a compilation of Scalia’s speeches covering a variety of topics. They are entertaining, profound and at times Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was an extraordinary and influential man well known for his conservatism, discipline, strong opinions and hard working nature. He also had a deep faith, a gift passed on to his nine children. On a more personal note, his son, Paul was a much admired priest at my local parish, most recently appointed vicar for clergy by Arlington’s bishop. This book is a compilation of Scalia’s speeches covering a variety of topics. They are entertaining, profound and at times deeply personal. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this legendary man who put God, family, civility and the Constitution at the forefront. His insight, stories and tributes are truly inspirational and delightful to read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Huff

    It says a lot about Antonin Scalia that fellow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose views are typically the polar opposite of his, wrote a warm and heartfelt Foreward to this collection of his speeches. Another of his colleagues, Samuel Alito, had this to say in a Yale Law Review tribute: "For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Nino, as we called him, what will come to mind first are his human qualities. He was a delightful friend and colleague. He had a big personality; I think he filled It says a lot about Antonin Scalia that fellow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose views are typically the polar opposite of his, wrote a warm and heartfelt Foreward to this collection of his speeches. Another of his colleagues, Samuel Alito, had this to say in a Yale Law Review tribute: "For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Nino, as we called him, what will come to mind first are his human qualities. He was a delightful friend and colleague. He had a big personality; I think he filled every room he entered. He was charming, engaging, voluble, learned, witty, impatient, and nearly always very frank." This was a wide-ranging and very readable collection of a number of Scalia's speeches, compiled and edited by one of his sons, Christopher, along with Edward Whelan, who clerked for Scalia. The speeches are grouped under several broad headings, including "On the American People and Ethnicity", "On Living and Learning", "On Faith", "On Law', "On Virtue and the Public Good", and "On Heroes and Friends". Scalia was well-known for being a constitutional originalist, and that passionate view comes through often in his speeches. I wasn't aware that Scalia and his wife had nine children, and that he was a devout Catholic. I also hadn't realized that his tenure on the Supreme Court was three decades long. He was a man of much learning, humor, insight, influence and devotion, and I enjoyed each of these speeches. The speeches in the "Law" section can take a bit more effort (thought certainly lucid and understandable), but are well worth it. Also, once in a while a speech seemed like it ended very abruptly, which made me wonder about possible editing issues. Still, a very enjoyable read. Scalia was clearly one of the great Supreme Court justices, and a man who understood and lived the principle of civil discourse.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Doreen Prentiss Gabriellini

    I was drawn to this book. As a political junkie and ardent supporter of originialism in constitutional interpretation, I wanted to read in depth about this particular Justice. Antonin Scalia was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. He was considered to be a core member of the conservative wing of the court. I was happy to see that his son, as well as, his former law clerk saw fit to honor him by assembling some of hi I was drawn to this book. As a political junkie and ardent supporter of originialism in constitutional interpretation, I wanted to read in depth about this particular Justice. Antonin Scalia was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan. He was considered to be a core member of the conservative wing of the court. I was happy to see that his son, as well as, his former law clerk saw fit to honor him by assembling some of his most important speeches. The book is broken down into a wide range of categories (i.e. On virtue and the public good, On heroes and friends, On Law, On Faith). As I read each speech I found myself re-reading them. Justice Scalia's writings are not to be read or interpreted at first blush. The deeper meanings are only seen when one thoughtfully digests the sum of the parts. To say he was well written is an understatement. He was a genius in the use of the English language. He explains his thoughts, feelings, and love for the Constitution and our Country beautifully. I have bookmarked several speeches to read again, as I am not sure I have gained the full value of it's meaning. This book is wonderfully insightful. While it does not deeply delve into his family life or his deep friendships or his love of travel, it does show us a great thinker. He was an ardent Historian as well as an accomplished Justice whose wisdom and presence will never be seen on the high court again. This book is a must read for those interested in Justice Scalia's views, but also by those who love great writing. You do not have to subscribe to his conservative views to appreciate what he has to say and the way he chooses to say it. I will say that the book must be read in parts, slowly, for the reader to fully savor the meaning of Justice Scalia's writings. His depth of thought while composing these speeches speaks of the learned person he was. His wisdom will surely be missed. Many thanks to NetGalley and to Crown Forum, New York for an ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    Ronald Reagan appointed Antonin Scalia to SCOTUS, and that is almost enough reason for me to regard Scalia as a hero. And while I am no legal scholar (although, maybe I will change that autodidactically), for the next twenty or so years, as I followed in SCOTUS in a cursory kind of way, he always seemed to land the way I wanted things to go in major cases. The description I heard of his strict constructionist legal philosophy (I have subsequently learn this to be an utterly inaccurate label.) ap Ronald Reagan appointed Antonin Scalia to SCOTUS, and that is almost enough reason for me to regard Scalia as a hero. And while I am no legal scholar (although, maybe I will change that autodidactically), for the next twenty or so years, as I followed in SCOTUS in a cursory kind of way, he always seemed to land the way I wanted things to go in major cases. The description I heard of his strict constructionist legal philosophy (I have subsequently learn this to be an utterly inaccurate label.) appealed to me deeply. Then 2008 came along, I actually read every word of the majority opinion he wrote for Heller v. D.C., and Antonin Scalia became an intellectual hero to me. It is not just that I liked the disposition set out by the ruling, but his thinking and philosophy are inspiring. I have read more of his opinions and watched hours of interviews with him. He became one of the figures in American history that I most admire. I cannot express how saddened I was to hear of his death a couple of years ago. When I heard his son was publishing Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived, I had to read it. This book fully lived up to my high expectations.It has possibly been the most thought provoking secular read of my life. I have learn so much in this book. I have understood afresh the appalling limits of my knowledge. I have developed a hunger to study the law. While reading these speeches, the volume of things I don’t know but want to know once again daunted me. The amount of things I don’t yet know that I want to know is even bigger. I have written copious notes on the end papers and in the margins—half of them detailing ideas, questions, and legal cases I want to explore. I am experiencing all this because of a book of speeches? Scalia’s insights and ideas contain enormous wisdom, rationality, and faith. This book can change perceptions. It certainly has changed my philosophical parameters and encouraged me to be a better man. Amazing book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Any author - or in this case, speaker - who compliments C.S. Lewis and quotes G.K. Chesterton will win my regard. However in this wonderful compilation of speeches, Justice Scalia does more than honor their memory; he becomes their intellectual successor. Reading this collection, I easily imagined Justice Scalia joining the Inklings at the Eagle and Child. Although topically he addresses very different things, the attitude of academic rigor and spiritual wonder comes across the same. He shared t Any author - or in this case, speaker - who compliments C.S. Lewis and quotes G.K. Chesterton will win my regard. However in this wonderful compilation of speeches, Justice Scalia does more than honor their memory; he becomes their intellectual successor. Reading this collection, I easily imagined Justice Scalia joining the Inklings at the Eagle and Child. Although topically he addresses very different things, the attitude of academic rigor and spiritual wonder comes across the same. He shared their worldview. I gained a great deal of insight from this book. It started off a little rough and probably could have ended stronger, but everything in the middle was wonderful. This is Justice Scalia speaking to the common man on subjects ranging from President Taft to Thomas More. He brings wit and wisdom to every address. My favorites were his commencement speeches. This is one I will be coming back to. There is too much wisdom to glean from this book to read it only once!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    A great collection of some of Scalia's speeches and writings. The only reason this is 4 stars instead of 5 stars is because of the substantial overlap in substance between some of the speeches. A great collection of some of Scalia's speeches and writings. The only reason this is 4 stars instead of 5 stars is because of the substantial overlap in substance between some of the speeches.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    This memoir reveals the wit and wisdom of Justice Scalia. Compiled by his son, it is a compilation of his diverse speeches. As a west-coaster, I loved seeing the perspective of an East Coast Italian Catholic, who placed great importance on character and virtue. A few random notes: Should the Constitution mean what it says or what we want it to mean? Should it be adhered to or should it be a living constitution—changing to conform to what we want it to mean? George Washington called religion and m This memoir reveals the wit and wisdom of Justice Scalia. Compiled by his son, it is a compilation of his diverse speeches. As a west-coaster, I loved seeing the perspective of an East Coast Italian Catholic, who placed great importance on character and virtue. A few random notes: Should the Constitution mean what it says or what we want it to mean? Should it be adhered to or should it be a living constitution—changing to conform to what we want it to mean? George Washington called religion and morality two great pillars of human happiness. “I know of no country in which the churches have grown fuller as the government has moved leftward. The churches of Europe are empty.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jake C

    This rating is not a reflection of Scalia's opinions or beliefs, just of the book. This is a collection of speeches given by Scalia and a lot of them borrow from other ones, so read back-to-back they get kind of redundant This rating is not a reflection of Scalia's opinions or beliefs, just of the book. This is a collection of speeches given by Scalia and a lot of them borrow from other ones, so read back-to-back they get kind of redundant

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    If you enjoy hearing well thought out opinions that comprised a number of speeches to varied audiences, you will love this book. Antonio Scalia was a brilliant legal scholar with a dry wit and a wonderful way of using words to paint pictures and tell stories. He was also a man of integrity who loved the law and had a high standard of ethics and character to measure others with. A great read/listen, when you listen to his son narrate the boo,

  12. 5 out of 5

    John

    Staggeringly good. Some repetitive content, but it gives you a flair for the man and how he thought. Whether you agree with him or not, he is one of those rare examples of someone who can so clearly communicate WHY he's arrived at his conclusion that even if you disagree, you understand and respect how he got there with crisp logic anchored in a philosophical worldview. Staggeringly good. Some repetitive content, but it gives you a flair for the man and how he thought. Whether you agree with him or not, he is one of those rare examples of someone who can so clearly communicate WHY he's arrived at his conclusion that even if you disagree, you understand and respect how he got there with crisp logic anchored in a philosophical worldview.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike Glaser

    Highly recommended. This set of speeches by Justice Scalia is a must read for anyone who enjoys good writing on many different subjects.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Garret A

    What a loss to the Supreme Court and to the country. His words betray his brilliance, his sense of humor, and his strong faith. This is a must read to get a glimpse of who he was.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joe Rodeck

    Mucho respect for the compilers of this collection of speeches. Scalia represents Constitutional originalism; that is, advocacy of the exact intentions of its framers. Positives: 1) the speeches are mostly short and sweet. 2) Lots of wit. 3) I'd challenge anybody who couldn't say they gained a better understanding of American government and the Constitution. The religious stuff would be mainly for Catholics. Although Sir Thomas More (A Man for All Seasons) going to his execution on principle is a Mucho respect for the compilers of this collection of speeches. Scalia represents Constitutional originalism; that is, advocacy of the exact intentions of its framers. Positives: 1) the speeches are mostly short and sweet. 2) Lots of wit. 3) I'd challenge anybody who couldn't say they gained a better understanding of American government and the Constitution. The religious stuff would be mainly for Catholics. Although Sir Thomas More (A Man for All Seasons) going to his execution on principle is an absorbing tale. SAMPLES: "One of the strengths of this great country, one of the reasons we really are a symbol of light and of hope for the world, is the way in which people of different faiths, different races, different national origins, have come together and learned—not merely to tolerate one another, because I think that is too stingy a word for what we have achieved—but to respect and love one another." "A recent survey found that only about half of the American people could name the first book of the Old Testament; only about a third could say who gave the Sermon on the Mount; and only about a fifth could name a single Old Testament prophet. A nation that used to abound with names like Ezekiel and Zebadiah now presumably thinks that the Beatitudes are a female singing group. " In England a toast is customarily presented: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen." It is the custom to reply to that toast with a toast “To the president of the United States.” But if one wishes to evoke the deep and enduring symbol of our nationhood and our unity as a people, it seems to me the toast ought to be “Ladies and gentlemen, the Constitution of the United States.” "Societies always mature; they never rot. This despite the twentieth century’s evidence of concentration camps and gas ovens in one of the most advanced and civilized nations of the world." It is quite impossible to forgive the line “To be great is to be misunderstood,” which has been cribbed from the same book of banalities as “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” "The cardinal sin of capitalism is greed; but the cardinal sin of socialism is power." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reading level: College. Many 50 cent legal words and latin phrases.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    I rather enjoyed this collection of speeches and writings by Justice Scalia. It gave a window into his personality and passions, intellect and wit. Many a time a comment made me grin in humor, or cock my head slightly to the side as an intellectual point struck home. I picked up this book looking to also read some of Scalia's great writings, his dissents for example, but I think any non lawyer who picks this up will be grateful for their exclusion. As such, this collection is for anyone to enjoy I rather enjoyed this collection of speeches and writings by Justice Scalia. It gave a window into his personality and passions, intellect and wit. Many a time a comment made me grin in humor, or cock my head slightly to the side as an intellectual point struck home. I picked up this book looking to also read some of Scalia's great writings, his dissents for example, but I think any non lawyer who picks this up will be grateful for their exclusion. As such, this collection is for anyone to enjoy, and Scalia's sharp mind and insightful thoughts are worth being shared. I found much that I agreed with, but also found points of unexpected disagreement. My one ever slight criticism is that the themes and cited sources get a bit repetitive. Of course that makes sense. One turns to the quotations and materials known and loved most, and doesn't seek to count the sources. Quality over quantity is the mark of a good speech. Scalia would add brevity to that list. While the collection is thankfully not brief, most of the speeches are light and entertaining. Those that are not are appropriately attuned to the audience and the occasion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Guest

    Have you acquainted yourself with the writings of Judge Scalia? You should. His judicial opinions are as readable as they come. But if you can’t bring yourself to read even the best in class for Supreme Court opinions and dissents, then the speeches of Justice Scalia will have to suffice. One gets the sense that Scalia was more than just a great jurist, he was also a great Christian man. One cannot help but get great pleasure reading the words of a mind so great and a soul so good.

  18. 5 out of 5

    David Dang

    Fantastic book with a collection of speeches written by Antonin Scalia, arranged by his son. These speeches create compelling arguments on his originalist views and judicial restraint. Scalia is respected for his legal acumen on the Supreme Court, but also his deep friendship with also a legal giant, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I highly recommend this book and flip through a few speeches with topics that might pique your interest.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Walt

    This volume is a collection of speeches given by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. It reveals a remarkable man of great intellect and integrity. Scalia's position on the interpretation of the US Constitution is almost totally on the side of applying it 'as written' and NOT trying to rewrite it to fit today's world - AND - he explains why with clear, convincing arguments. This volume is a collection of speeches given by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. It reveals a remarkable man of great intellect and integrity. Scalia's position on the interpretation of the US Constitution is almost totally on the side of applying it 'as written' and NOT trying to rewrite it to fit today's world - AND - he explains why with clear, convincing arguments.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vishal

    Just a collection of speeches. Not to be mistaken for a biography.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Noreen

    It is worth the research to find a good writer with mastery of a complicated unfamiliar discipline. His family must miss him terribly.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charles Roberts

    Great prose, warm humor, simple yet erudite. Healthily self-deprecating, God-fearing. No wonder he and RBG were best friends.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alex Becker

    As someone interested in jurisprudence and justice in general, this book was a must read. A collection of speeches, this book serves as a great introduction to Scalia's legal philosophy and brings up great questions about our Constitution and more broadly our legal system. However, the book also provides very interesting stories and a set of essays on different figures of history that are touching and thought provoking. This would have been an easy five stars, but the organization of the book bo As someone interested in jurisprudence and justice in general, this book was a must read. A collection of speeches, this book serves as a great introduction to Scalia's legal philosophy and brings up great questions about our Constitution and more broadly our legal system. However, the book also provides very interesting stories and a set of essays on different figures of history that are touching and thought provoking. This would have been an easy five stars, but the organization of the book bothered me a bit. It seems like many of the essays repeat previous points. Trimming an essay here and there to get rid of redundancy would have been nice.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Colin Cox

    I was attracted to Scalia Speaks for two reasons: first, Justice Scalia is an intriguing figure. I have read several of his dissents, and unlike the small portion of legal scholarship I have read, they burst with clarity, humor, and an unmistakable style. The second reason I was attracted to this book reflects my growing interest in the law. Before his death, Scalia became a celebrity in contemporary politics, particularly on the right (on the left, Ruth Bader Ginsburg occupies a similar positio I was attracted to Scalia Speaks for two reasons: first, Justice Scalia is an intriguing figure. I have read several of his dissents, and unlike the small portion of legal scholarship I have read, they burst with clarity, humor, and an unmistakable style. The second reason I was attracted to this book reflects my growing interest in the law. Before his death, Scalia became a celebrity in contemporary politics, particularly on the right (on the left, Ruth Bader Ginsburg occupies a similar position). He developed a reputation for judicial contrarianism best expressed by his approach to Constitutional interpretation: Originalism. He defines Originalism multiple times in Scalia Speaks, but his definition on page 201 is the clearest: "The Constitution, as you know, contains a number of broad provisions...Originalism gives to those terms the meaning they were understood to have when the people adopted them" (201). Simply put, Originalism sees the Constitution as a reflection of the historical and cultural period that produced it. Therefore, Originalism is an ethnolinguistic approach to Constitutional interpretation that appears less interested in the founders' intentions and more interested in how the culture that constituted this moment in history perceived and understood the language of the Constitution. If I didn't think about it too much, I might find this line of reasoning seductive. The problem, of course, is that Originalism presents a myriad of interpretative challenges. According to the tenets of Originalism, as described by Scalia, a Supreme Court Justice must also be a historian, a linguistic, a cultural anthropologist, and a legal scholar. After reading Scalia Speaks, I don't doubt the man's brilliance and intelligence, but that's a tall order. In addition, this approach seems to make a troubling a priori assumption about the moral and ethical supremacy of the moment in history that produced our Constitution. Scalia bypasses this criticism by suggesting that the Supreme Court need not have broad, sweeping authority to enact change. If the people want change, then they should use the vote rather than appeal to the Supreme Court. Once again, this position makes a troubling assumption because it believes the vote has more power than it does. This position ignores the unequivocal efforts to suppress and delegitimize vast swaths of constituents both now and in the past. It would be nice to think the vote is as powerful as Scalia purports it to be. But to the credit of book's editors, Scalia Speaks represents Scalia's charm and humor, and while I find some of his positions unsettling, I cannot help but wonder if the limits of the public speech may explain some of the problems I have with the book. That is not to say that public talks cannot be thorough and rigorous because they certainly can. Most of these speeches, however, feel frustratingly undeveloped and repetitive.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    A curated collection of Justice Scalia's speeches. While there was some repetition in the themes, anecdotes, and quotes, the book covers a wide range of topics. Being an attorney, my favorite section was probably that in which Scalia explains his judicial philosophy and excoriates others. However, the sections on faith and ancestry were also very interesting And provide a more holistic view of Scalia, the man, the father, the Italian-American, and the child of God. I would probably recommend thi A curated collection of Justice Scalia's speeches. While there was some repetition in the themes, anecdotes, and quotes, the book covers a wide range of topics. Being an attorney, my favorite section was probably that in which Scalia explains his judicial philosophy and excoriates others. However, the sections on faith and ancestry were also very interesting And provide a more holistic view of Scalia, the man, the father, the Italian-American, and the child of God. I would probably recommend this book to anyone, given that Scalia has left such an indelible mark on American history.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    Got this as an audiobook from the library. Enjoyed pretty much all of his speeches which ran the gamut in topics. So much to like with the nice touch of humor.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tim Murphy

    This book is a beautifully constructed collection of the best of Antonin Scalia's lifetime speeches. Compiled by his son, Chris and Edward Whelan, a former Scalia law clerk, it captures his very sharp intellect, his equally sharp wit, and the affable personality from which both flow. The authors collected the speeches in these major sections: "On the American People and Ethnicity," in which the reader finds the following observations: - (On the Italian view of the Irish, the best of this section This book is a beautifully constructed collection of the best of Antonin Scalia's lifetime speeches. Compiled by his son, Chris and Edward Whelan, a former Scalia law clerk, it captures his very sharp intellect, his equally sharp wit, and the affable personality from which both flow. The authors collected the speeches in these major sections: "On the American People and Ethnicity," in which the reader finds the following observations: - (On the Italian view of the Irish, the best of this section): "Bluntness is important not only because it lets people know where they stand, but also because it toughens them up. Life is not an enterprise for sissies; the Irish know that, and they treat both themselves and others with a kind of benevolent roughness designed to prairie them for the world." - (On American and European values): "Thus, while Americans tend to believe strongly that religious values undergird government, and should acknowledged to do so, they simultaneously believe that the government should play no role in controlling religion, either at the individual or institutional level. Europeans tend to invert these two positions, believing that politicians should keep their religious beliefs to themselves while (paradoxically) turning a blind eye to state/church institutional entanglement..." "On Living and Learning," in which the reader will find: - (On games and sports): "Americans overwhelmingly preferred baseball, a game in which a lot of players stand around while not much happens, to soccer, a game in which people run back and forth furiously while not much happens." - An excellent essay on The Legal Profession that captures all the passion of what Scalia believes about the law and lawyering. "On Faith," where he makes these observations: - (On The Christian as Cretin): "As I told you earlier, the wise do not believe in resurrection of the dead (it is really quite absurd), just as they do not believe in the virgin birth--so everything from Easter morning to the Ascension had to have been made up by those 'groveling authors,' those 'rogues' Jefferson referred to, presumably part of their clever plan to get themselves crucified." - (On church and state, the best of this collection): "In sum, our American traditions that church and state are separate is in my view an authentically Christian tradition as well. There are good religious reasons for it as well as good political reasons; the confusion the two hurts both. Sectarian struggles for control can destroy the state; and religious preoccupation with government--with material welfare, with power, with coercion--can destroy the church." "On The Law," a major section of the book (as the reader would expect) where his judicial philosophy tinges the thoughts on every page. A succinct expression of his problem with a "living constitution" is found in "The Idea of the Constitution": - "If the Constitution does not mean what it objectively says, but rather what it ought to say, if 'due process,' for example, does not mean what it originally meant, but rather what it ought to mean today; then someone will have to decide the normative question of what it ought to mean. And in a democratic society that someone will ultimately be the majority. The individual guarantees of the Constitution will thereby have been placed under the supervision of the very entity it was their purpose to restrain: the majority." - A speech on "The Vocation of a Judge" is fascinating. - Likewise, a speech "On Legal Canards," full of his wit, includes this: "Now all of this would not have been worth commenting upon if Emerson had not been inflicted upon the law. I think it a generally sound policy to leave poets alone if they leave you alone." "On Virtue and the Public Good" in which the reader finds: - (On Tradition): "It is a strange thing, tradition. It can be squandered, but not bought. I can be lost, but not given to someone else." - (On Character, the best of these, quoting his father): "Brains...can be hired by the hour, just like muscles. Only character is not for sale at any price." In a final section, the authors include tribute speeches to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, William Howard Taft, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as memorials to several of his close friends. I had the opportunity to hear Justice Scalia speak to our small group at the State Department Senior Seminar in 1996. The book matches exactly the pleasing wit, unmatched intellect, and genial nature of the man I saw there, a man whom we lost far too soon.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Bandusky

    Very interesting and enjoyable read of Justice Scalia's speeches. We are fortunate to have his written words to continue to add common sense into this world. College Education - For to have strong views of right and wrong is to be discriminating, which is the only sin left on campus; just as toleration is the only universally acknowledged virtue. Religious Retreats - You must keep everything in perspective, and not run your spiritual life and your worldly life as though they are two separate opera Very interesting and enjoyable read of Justice Scalia's speeches. We are fortunate to have his written words to continue to add common sense into this world. College Education - For to have strong views of right and wrong is to be discriminating, which is the only sin left on campus; just as toleration is the only universally acknowledged virtue. Religious Retreats - You must keep everything in perspective, and not run your spiritual life and your worldly life as though they are two separate operations. The Idea of the Constitution - The compromises of principle, the misperceptions of liberty, that are believed in the homes, learned in the schools, and taught in the universities will ultimately be the body of knowledge and belief that new justices bring with them to the bench. The Constitution will endure, in other words, only to the extent that it endures in your understanding and affection. The Freedom of Speech - The reality is that originalism is the only game in town-the only real, verifiable criterion that can prevent judges from making the Constitution say whatever they think it should say. The Freedom of Speech - If you believe in democracy, you are an originalist, because it is only the limitations that the people voted for-which means the limitations that the people understood they were imposing-that can frustrate the will of the people. Congressional Power - We do not need a Constitution to change according to the desires of current society; all we need is a legislature and a ballot box. The Crisis in Judicial Appointments - Thus, to turn the interpretation of the Constitution over to majority opinion is to place the Bill of Rights in the hand of precisely the entity it was meant to protect against. Natural Law - One, and perhaps the most important, purpose of punishment is to set right the moral disorder that has been created by the crime. Character - Brains, he said, can be hired by the hour, just like muscles. Only character is not for sale at any price. Right and Left - Christ said, after all, that you should give your goods to the poor, not that you should force someone else to give his. Right and Left - The transformation of charity into legal entitlement has produced both donors without love and recipients without gratitude. Right and Left - The cardinal sin of capitalism is greed; but the cardinal sin of socialism is power. I am not sure there is a clear choice between those evils.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    I enjoyed this collection of speeches very much, reading a few at a time. This isn't my usual type of book, and I certainly am not inclined to read about the law and legal issues. However Scalia had an interesting mind and a clear, down to earth style of writing/speaking, especially to those of us who are not lawyers. This compilation covers a wide range of topics, representing a lively and broad ranging intellect, from the expected legal and historical issues, to insights into his upbringing, f I enjoyed this collection of speeches very much, reading a few at a time. This isn't my usual type of book, and I certainly am not inclined to read about the law and legal issues. However Scalia had an interesting mind and a clear, down to earth style of writing/speaking, especially to those of us who are not lawyers. This compilation covers a wide range of topics, representing a lively and broad ranging intellect, from the expected legal and historical issues, to insights into his upbringing, family, faith, friends, and philosophy. Two points especially stand out to me: He explains his belief in "originalism" as opposed to the "living constitution" view of interpreting the constitution and gives thought-provoking points about the role of the judiciary in our country. He also makes a point (learned from his father) that although education and knowledge are important, what really makes a person is judgement and character. He points out that the horrors of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust arose out of one of the most well-educated, technologically and scientifically advanced nations on the earth. I had seen the RBG documentary, the film On the Basis of Sex (about Ginsberg), and the opera Scalia/Ginsberg. It's refreshing to read of friendships which not only withstand, but flourish with differences of opinion.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    The speeches in "Scalia Speaks", edited by Christopher J. Scalia and Edward Whelan, tell so much about the man, Antonin Scalia. First, I have to say this book is way above my "pay grade." I spent much time in my dictionary while making notes on wonderful phrasing and points made, and finally just really enjoyed reading about his thoughts on those things that were important to him: his faith, his family, and his country. Judge Scalia's son, Christopher, and his former law clerk, Whelan, spent con The speeches in "Scalia Speaks", edited by Christopher J. Scalia and Edward Whelan, tell so much about the man, Antonin Scalia. First, I have to say this book is way above my "pay grade." I spent much time in my dictionary while making notes on wonderful phrasing and points made, and finally just really enjoyed reading about his thoughts on those things that were important to him: his faith, his family, and his country. Judge Scalia's son, Christopher, and his former law clerk, Whelan, spent considerable time making this book a remarkable memorial to the judge's life and times. During these difficult times, Judge Scalia's logic and long-term defense of the constitution might be helpful in diffusing some issues and shedding light on other issues with the use of the constitution as it was meant to be. Lastly, I found out the correct pronunciation of the judge's first name. It's amazing to know how many news anchors have mispronounced it. I still, however, really have to think about it before I say it! Although my reading time was very slow, I'm so glad I picked this book up at the library. Nice to have a little insight into the thoughts of this brilliant man.

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