The bestselling historian and journalist James Rosen provides the first comprehensive account of the brilliant and combative Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, whose philosophy and judicial opinions defined our legal era.
With SCALIA: Rise to Greatness, 1936–1986, the opening installment in a two-volume biography, acclaimed reporter and bestselling historian James Rosen provides the first comprehensive account of the life of Justice Antonin Scalia, whose singular career in government—including three decades on the Supreme Court—shaped American law and society in the twenty-first century.
Decades in the making, Rise to Greatness tells the story of the kid from Queens who became the first Italian American on the Court and one of the most profoundly influential figures of our time. This volume takes us from Scalia’s birth to his ascension to the Court, providing a fresh and probing look at his Catholic upbringing and education; his stints in academia and published works, some of them obscure and long-overlooked; and his service in the Nixon and Ford administrations, when Scalia played a central role in reforming the U.S. intelligence community and in the approval of sensitive covert operations.
Deeply researched and based on unparalleled access to documentary and personal sources, and written with an intellectual rigor and wit befitting its subject, Rosen’s narrative reads like a novel while presenting startling new insight into the life, mind, career, faith, and legacy of the man whom family and friends called “Nino.” The result is a compelling portrait of an American legend with whom the author personally corresponded, broke bread, drank wine, and braved the streets of the capital as a (nervous) passenger in the justice’s famously speedy BMW.
Rosen has unearthed previously unpublished writing from every phase of Scalia’s career, including private Supreme Court emails, and has interviewed Scalia’s family, classmates, students, colleagues from the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations, priests, poker buddies, hunting companions, and fellow judges and justices.
Rise to Greatness is a landmark of modern biography, a rich and moving study, accessible to lay readers, that brings to life a towering figure of American history. It is the book Scalia fans, and all citizens interested in history and the law, have long awaited.
James Rosen is a leading reporter, historian, and bestselling author. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Politico, The Atlantic, Harper’s, National Review, and the American Bar Association Journal, among other periodicals. He is the chief White House correspondent for Newsmax, following two decades of acclaimed reporting at Fox News. During the Obama administration, Rosen’s exclusive reporting on national security subjects led to his being placed under surveillance by the FBI and censored by the State Department, episodes that triggered headlines, investigations, and reforms. His previous books include The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate, hailed by the New York Times Magazine as “Pulitzer-quality biography,” and Cheney One on One, a collection of transcripts from the ten-hour oral history Rosen conducted with former vice president Dick Cheney in 2014. His most recent book, A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century, an anthology of essays by the late William F. Buckley Jr., spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. With his wife, two sons, and two cats, he splits his time between Washington and the Chesapeake Bay.